Just because you do not outwardly lose control of your anger, does not mean you are safe from this emotion. In fact, anger could be damaging your mental and physical health, ruining your relationships, and limiting your opportunities in life without you even realising it. Here are just ten signs that hidden anger might be a problem for you:
1. You Make a Lot of Snarky or Sarcastic Comments
The problem with snarky and sarcastic comments is they often end up hurting the person on the receiving end of them. Making snarky comments is now almost an online sport; people who do it are often admired and viewed as intellectual. This is usually just an attempt to lash out at other people without having to suffer any consequences – although there will usually be consequences because it means you are just feeding your inner-anger.
2. You Enjoy Hurtful Humour
Humour that is based on bigotry, racism, or other prejudices is usually a symptom of inner-anger. This desire to laugh at others may be fuelled by the desire to blame other people for your suffering. The one thing you will notice about individuals who have developed a high level of inner-peace is that they no longer find hurtful humour funny.
3. Making Mountains out of Molehills
If your response to small mistakes or problems is to get overly worked-up, it means that you have a lot of anger just under the surface that is always waiting to burst out. If you have a tendency to exaggerate threats in your head, this could also be a sign of anger just waiting for an outlet.
4. Grinding Your Teeth While Asleep
If you wake up with a sore jaw, or you have been told you have been grinding your teeth while asleep, this can be a sign of pent-up anger.
5. You Tend to Sigh Frequently
Sighing is something that many do frequently without even realising that they are doing it. In order to spot it, you will need to pay more attention to your behaviour. Better yet, you could ask friends and family to point it out every time you sigh. If you sigh a lot, this will usually be a sign of hidden anger.
6. Stomach Ulcers
Digestive problems such as stomach ulcers may also be a sign of anger below the surface – although it is usually due to a combination of factors, including stress.
7. Frequent Nightmares
If you are suppressing your anger, it will usually find other ways of making itself heard. One of the more common is for this emotion to set the tone of your dreams. If you seem to be having a lot of nightmares, you may want to consider the possibility that this is due to unresolved anger.
If you have a cynical attitude towards recovery, it is usually a sign that there is some underlying anger holding you back in life. Cynicism can be dangerous for those who are in addiction recovery because it is a symptom of stinking thinking – it reduces your motivation and it puts you at higher risk of relapse.
9. Arguing with Strangers Online
If you enjoy arguing with strangers online, it may be because you are using it as a way to vent your anger. It may seem safer to do this than lashing out at friends and family, but it can actually be a very unhealthy and unethical way to behave. Real people get hurt in these online debates; it is even driving some people to suicide. The fact that others are anonymous online makes it easier to be nasty to them.
10. Regularly Late for Appointments
Habitual lateness can be an attempt to punish the person who is waiting or to express resentment about a situation (for example, the expectation to follow rules at work).