CHECKLIST FOR HIDDEN ANGER

IF WE HAVE ANY NATIONAL FAULT,
IT IS HIDING OUR OWN ANGER FROM OURSELVES.

Here is a checklist to help you determine if you are hiding your anger from yourself. Any of these is usually a sign of hidden unexpected anger:

  1. Procrastination in the completion of imposed tasks
  2. Perpetual or habitual lateness
  3. A liking for sadistic or ironic humor
  4. Sarcasm, cynicism or flippancy in conversation
  5. Over politeness, constant cheerfulness, attitude of grin and bear it
  6. Frequent sighing
  7. Smiling while hurting
  8. Frequent disturbing or frightening dreams
  9. Over controlled, monotone speaking
  10. Difficulty in getting to sleep or sleeping through the night
  11. Boredom, apathy, loss of interest in things you are usually enthusiastic about
  12. Slowing down of movements
  13. Getting tired more easily than usual
  14. Excessive irritability over trifles
  15. Getting drowsy at inappropriate times
  16. Sleeping more than usual, 12 to 14 hours a day
  17. Waking up tired rather than rested or refreshed
  18. Clenched jaws, especially while sleeping
  19. Facial tics, spasmodic foot movements, habitual fist clenching and similar repeated acts done unintentionally or unaware
  20. Grinding of teeth, especially while sleeping
  21. Chronically stiff or sore neck or shoulder muscles
  22. Chronic depression, extended periods of feeling down for no reason
  23. Stomach ulcers

This is not about rage. Rage is anger out of control and taking over your whole being. This is about the feelings we call irritation, annoyance, getting mad, etc. All these negative feelings share one thing in common: they are considered undesirable at best, sinful or destructive at worst. We are taught to avoid them: to avoid having them if possible (it isn't) but certainly to avoid expressing them. Unfortunately, many people go overboard in controlling negative, feelings; they control not only their expression, but their awareness of them as well.

Paul Dunion, Ed.D.
2000

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