27 Questions To Ask Yourself When You’re Angry
Did you know that anger is actually a secondary emotion? This means that at the core of everything you’re feeling, your anger isn’t actually the “main event”, it's just a B-list-body-guard who showed up to the party to protect us from whatever that “main event” emotion is. Sure, it can be a raging-monster-beast that can be very hard to control, but it’s not the root of what’s going on. So, what is?
Well… the moment you find yourself consumed with anger, “What’s going on?” is the big question you are now on a mission to find out. The good news is that you’re not alone! In fact, people all over the globe are struggling with this beast-monster of anger and are trying to figure out what lies beneath the mask of it. I’ve been there, I’m actually there right now, and I know how confusing it can be.
Here are some questions to help you process and figure it out:
What was I doing before I started feeling angry? What triggered this anger?
What feelings are underneath my anger? (Am I afraid of something? Hurt by someone? Did I not get something that I wanted? Is there an injustice going on? Am I sad?)
Has an event like this happened to me before?
When I started to feel angry, did I immediately withdraw or want to fight?
Am I entirely responsible for the anger I am feeling?
Tracing back step by step, what lead up to this moment?
If I took away the circumstance that I just described, would I still feel angry?
What outcome was I hoping for or expecting?
Since I cannot have that outcome, what is the actual outcome now, and can I be okay with it?
If I choose to fight, what risk and losses are involved? What is there to gain?
If I choose to withdraw, what risks and losses are involved? What is there to gain?
If I choose to confront this calmly, what risks and losses are involved? What is there to gain?
Is being angry helping this situation?
If this anger is not helping the situation, what can I do differently to help?
Do I believe that it is okay to be angry?
How did my parents deal with anger when I was growing up?
How does my spouse deal with anger now?
What do I believe the “right way” to deal with anger is? Is that “way” actually true, good, helpful, healthy, and right?
Am I angry over something worth being angry about? (You can answer yes to this question!)
Is my anger “self-inflicted” or did someone else inflict it?
Can I forgive myself? Am I ready to forgive the other person?
If not, what to I need to do or what needs to happen for me to be ready to forgive myself or the other person?
How long can I personally handle anger like this before it starts to negatively effect me? How long has it been already?
Have I expressed my anger to the person I am angry at? If not, is it possible to do so?
If this anger is never resolved, what will that mean for me?
What can I look forward to once this anger is resolved?
What part do I play in resolving this anger?
The healthiest individuals take time to process what they’re feeling and thinking, even if they’re angry. Take a moment, sit down, and work through it. I promise you’ll feel better, even if you won’t find the answer right away.
PS: Be sure to watch our Naked Conversations webcast The Do’s and Don’ts of Anger and learn more about processing your anger in a healthy way!
Written by Anna Collins
Anna Collins lives in sunny Southern California with her husband and two children. She is passionate about her marriage, staying at home with her kids, writing, coffee, good conversation, and game night. Her life dream is to someday write a book and see it published.