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Eighteen Signs of "Problem Anger"

Directions: Read each question and keep track of the number of times you respond "yes"

1) Do you find it difficult to remain calm when someone has a different opinion from yours?

2) Do people describe you as two different people when calm vs. angry?

3) Does your spouse and/or friends avoid conflict with you?

4) Are you a "yeller"?

5) Would others describe you as "prickly" or "too sensitive"?

6) Has anyone ever suffered a bruise, red mark, scratch or some other injury as a result of your actions during an argument?

7) Have you ever become so angry at someone in traffic that you have tried to cut them off, tailgated them or rolled down your window to yell at them?

8) Have you ever broken an object (glass, chair, vase, ashtray, etc.) during an argument?

9) Have you ever surprised yourself by how angry you got and how you acted?

10) Have you ever lost a relationship (partner or friend) because of your anger?

11) Have you ever punched or kicked a wall in anger?

12) Have you ever lost a job or been disciplined at work because of anger?

13) Has anyone ever said that she/he is afraid of you?

14) Have you ever been "blind" with rage, or could not remember what you did when angry?

15) Have ever slapped or punched a loved one or child in anger?

16) Have you shaken your fist or raised your hand toward someone?

17) Do you find yourself having the same arguments over and over with your spouse, children or co-workers?

18) Have you ever later regretted your actions after becoming angry?


If you didn't respond "Yes" to any of the questions: Low probability that you have problem anger.

If you responded "Yes" to 1 or 2 questions: You've certainly done some destructive things in the past. The key question for you may be frequency. If these are things that have happened only once in your life, you may not have a problem with anger. If these things have happened on more than one occasion, there is cause for concern. Oftentimes people who exhibit these signs on an infrequent basis may minimize the severity of the problem ("it only happens a couple of times a year, so how bad can it be?"). Please be aware that each of the "awful eighteen" is a sign of toxic anger, and the more frequently they occur over the course of your lifetime, the more likely it is that you are struggling with problem anger.

If you responded "Yes" to more than 2 questions: A very strong indicator that you struggle with problem anger.