The Secrets of Unhealthy Anger

By Michelle Farriss

Anger makes people nervous.

You never know what’s going to happen. There could be screaming, hitting, throwing things, or mean, sarcastic comments that really hurt. Anything goes with anger and that’s why it’s so scary. Anger hits you at your core because when someone can’t contain their anger, you don’t feel safe.

Signs of unhealthy anger are everywhere; at work, in schools, even at home. Just walking down the street you’ve probably seen someone losing it.

This blog shows you eight ways to spot unhealthy anger because once you can recognize what doesn’t work – it’s easier to practice healthier behaviors.

Unhealthy Anger Is the Norm

There are few examples of healthy anger. Most people can’t name three people that handle anger well. That’s why I’m writing this. Recognizing the cost of unhealthy anger is what motivates you to transform it.

1. Stuffing Anger Causes Resentment

If you think holding anger in is better than expressing it, think again! Unexpressed anger leads to resentments that pile up over time. Studies have shown that stuffing anger leads to increased stress and is a major contributor in getting sick. Headaches, increased blood pressure and anxiety have been linked to unhealthy expressions of anger.

2. Exploding Anger Destroys Trust

Managing anger and how unhealthy anger hurts

Managing anger and how unhealthy anger hurts

With this type of anger you live in fear because you never know what’s coming. A common warning sign is when you start to feel unsafe. Intense blaming, defensiveness and verbal attacks are signs that indicate a rage is coming. 

Don’t try to fix it or calm the angry person down. If there are kids, get out as quietly as you can. Have an extra set of keys handy. It’s more important to be safe than to be helpful or right.

4. Screaming or Any Sign of Physical Anger

When anger gets physical, it can provoke intense fear or the need to retaliate. It becomes a battle of wills and “fighting for what you deserve.” This is NOT a good plan. Don’t poke the bear. Your life may depend on it.

If you’re afraid create a safety plan that includes a packed bag, extra keys, and a place to stay if you’re feeling unsafe. For more information callThe National Hotline for Domestic Violence.

5. The Silent Treatment

Giving someone the silent treatment is a way to punish without having to directly confront them. This destroys any chance of resolution. Tension increases because you’d rather punish than admit fault or openly talk things out.

Be the one to set a more positive example. Being the first one to speak doesn’t mean you lose – it means the relationship can win.

6. Using Time-outs

Leaving for hours is not the same as taking a planned time-out. Trust gets broken when you leave without saying a word. That distrust makes practicing an effective time-out difficult. To read more on time-outs readManaging Anger With Time-out.

7. Blame Invites Someone To Do the Same 

When you blame, people get defensive and emotions escalate fast. When you focus on “who gets the last word” it doesn’t end well. It becomes a back and forth of hurtful comments that prevents resolution. To avoid that read my blog on One Word That Hurts Relationships.

8. Ignoring Early Warning Signs

Ignoring the early signs of stress is the number one factor that contributes to losing control. Paying attention to how you feel throughout the day – not just once in awhile – keeps emotions in check. For more on the early warning signs of anger read When You or Someone You Love Gets Angry.

For more information on CPTSD and other issues visit our YouTube Channel

If you need support or would like to connect with like-minded people join our Private and Closed online Facebook Group for Child Abuse Survivors and those with CPTSD. Click here to join

The Memoir You Will Bear Witness is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback

I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment. All feedback is much appreciated. Thank you. Erin

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