Are there warning signs that you need anger management classes? Yes. Would you recognize them in yourself? Maybe, but possibly not.
Although anger is a natural emotion and normal reaction to certain things, it can also be difficult to control, grow out of proportion to the circumstances, and be destructive. Anger is different from many other emotions in that way. After all, you don’t hear of people needing happiness management classes.
So, in determining if your anger has become a problem and if you are in need of anger management classes let's take a look at some of the most common warning signs.
How To Know If You Need Anger Management Classes
Some people struggle with anger all their lives and others experience events, such as divorce or death, that triggers a problem with it somewhere along the way. One thing they all have in common is they rarely recognize on their own that anger is a problem. In fact, most will tell you whatever anger they feel is completely justified. Because of that, knowing the warning signs of anger problems and when there is the need for anger management classes is crucial.
What are those signs? Take a look and see if any of these sound familiar:
- Feeling Unsettled. People struggling to control their anger often have a regular feeling of being unsettled. Some describe it as an uneasiness or agitation, like something needs to get out, be said or done.
- Physical Ailments. Many also experience regular headaches, jaw clenching, or muscle tension. A person may also literally feel hot when anger is rising or get slightly dizzy.
- Substance Abuse. Have you ever responded to a situation with “I need a drink” or “I need a cigarette”? Those struggling to control their anger often turn to substances as a way to moderate how they feel.
- Reliance on Sarcasm. Many think it’s just a form of humor, but constant, biting sarcasm can be sign of anger problems. Another description for sarcasm is that it's anger in a clown suit.
- Urges to Become Physical. Often those who are struggling to control their anger feel a deep urge to become physical. Some channel it into overly vigorous exercise, but others sadly allow physical urges to manifest into physical abuse like hitting, punching, pushing those they feel are the cause of their anger.
If you recognize any of these characteristics in yourself or someone else chances are strong that anger management classes are needed. Not only for the mental health and happiness of the person who needs them, but also for the peace and safety of those around them.
You’re Not Alone In Needing Anger Management
If your anger has become a problem you’re not alone. Issues with anger can be seen in many people, including some of the most well-known celebrities.
Charlie Sheen, for instance, was sentenced by a judge to 36 hours of anger management classes for assaulting his wife. He’s just one of a number of male celebrities court ordered to anger management classes. There are many, many others. Hello, Charlie, Sean Penn, Mel Gibson . . . These men all have experienced anger management problems to the point of causing harm to themselves or others.
Do you think these celebrities should have been able to see that they needed anger management classes before they were standing in front of a judge facing jail time? Maybe they should have, but the truth is that people with anger problems rarely see it in themselves. Anger becomes such a deeply rooted part of them they have a hard time discerning what’s normal and healthy from what’s extreme and dangerous. Hence the need for anger management classes – they need to relearn what’s normal, how to control their anger when it becomes a problem, and what’s at the root of their angry reactions.
But if you think the need to learn anger management is only for those famous guys, think again. Just in the past week I’ve worked in anger management with a truck driver, development company vice president, commercial property contractor, and medical equipment sales manager.
These men, both the famous and every day guys like you and me, all have two things in common:
- The need for anger management.
- Not going to anger management classes until something really, really bad has happened – been taken to jail, standing before a judge, kicked out of the house by their wife, hurt their kids with words that can never be erased . . .
All of these guys also had clear anger management warning signs they ignored:
- People telling them they needed to go to anger management classes whom they dismissed.
- Hurt and fear in the faces of loved ones, like their kids, they ignored.
- Troubled, broken relationships, such as with partners and coworkers, they blamed on someone or something else.
- Substance abuse they believed they had control over.
Do you have anger management warning signs you're ignoring? If it's possible you may need anger management classes, then be a man and go. Real men man up and learn how to change themselves before a judge tells them they have to go.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published August 7, 2010 and has been updated with new information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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