Anger isn’t a bad emotion. However, the behaviors that people exhibit when they feel angry can make it a problem. Anger problems are at the root of many marital issues.
Sometimes people aren’t aware that their anger is a problem (but often others around them are). The extent of an anger problem can be based on the intensity and the frequency of angry outbursts. Anger always becomes a problem when it starts to interfere with everyday life.
1. Relationship Problems
If you’re an angry person, it’s likely that you often get what you want but the consequence is that people won’t like you very much. For example, if you are rude to a waiter at a restaurant, it may get you a little better service. However, he’s not going to give you better service because he is pleased to have you as a customer. Instead, he’s only giving you better service so you won’t yell or behave rudely anymore.
This can be true in close relationships as well. Perhaps your family does what you ask. But, this may be due to their attempts to avoid one of your outbursts rather than out of love. For example, your mother-in-law may agree to only inviting half the family to a family event because she knows if she invites everyone, you’ll complain and threaten not to show up. So in an attempt to avoid hearing it, she does what you ask.
And anger can also cause lots of marriage problems. When one person has an anger problem, often the other spouse feels like she’s walking on eggshells. It can be difficult to ask for help if you know your spouse is going to yell, scream or throw an adult-sized temper tantrum. It can also be hard to speak up to your spouse when you disagree if you think he’s going to be upset so perhaps you stay quiet to avoid angering him. These sorts of things can keep the peace during the short-term but will cause relationship problems over the long-term.
2. Work Problems
Anger can sometimes lead to work-related problems. Quitting jobs frequently, getting written up by your boss, or having co-workers complain about your attitude and behavior can all be signs of anger management issues. Sometimes people say things to customers or co-workers out of anger. At other times jealousy and anger can fuel a person to sabotage a co-worker.
3. Health problems
When people don’t deal with anger in healthy ways it can cause physical health problems. People who are chronically angry tend to have higher levels of stress hormones within their body and this can have damaging effects over time.
There are numerous research articles about the negative effects of anger on health.OhioStateUniversity’s study entitled “The Influence of Anger Expression on Wound Healing,” found that people who struggle to regulate their anger tended took longer to heal from wounds.
There are numerous other studies showing that anger problems can cause breathing problems and can cause a person’s health to decline faster as they age. Anger problems can even have an impact on an adolescent’s physical health.
4. You Aren’t Enjoying Daily Activities
People who are chronically stressed and angry often lose out on enjoyment of everyday activities. Everyday stresses like waiting in line at the store or being stuck in traffic can incite a lot of anger and even rage for people with anger management problems.
People with anger management problems sometimes have difficulty putting things into perspective. Instead of being able to recognize that there are millions of cars on the road and some of them will cut in front of you, they often view it as a personal attack. They may think people are out to get them or assume that they are somehow being wronged in life.
5. You Become Aggressive
Aggression takes many forms. Acts of physical aggression can range from slamming your fist down a table to throwing something at someone to outright hitting someone. But aggression doesn’t have to be physical.
Verbal aggression includes name calling, making threats or trying to intimidate someone. Sometimes just a look you give to someone can be aggressive if you are doing it in an attempt to try and bully the other person into doing something.
Aggression can also include passive-aggressive behavior. For example, giving your spouse the silent treatment as a punishment because you are angry is passive-aggressive. Or slamming the doors to the cabinets while you are in the kitchen to let your spouse know you are angry is another form of passive-aggressive behavior.
When people are passive-aggressive, they don’t communicate their feelings directly but often try to punish or gain sympathy indirectly. Passive-aggressive people also may try to secretly sabotage their spouse’s efforts. For example, agreeing to go to a social event but then feigning an illness to get out of it.