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Anger is both an incredibly simple and highly complex emotion, one that motivates, inspires and encourages so much of what, as a society, do on a daily basis. Are you driven by your feelings of anger, or do you manage your anger in a healthy, effective way?

While we can use anger to help encourage us to achieve great things if left unmanaged it can be an incredibly negative influence in our lives. One of the deciding factors is whether or not we allow ourselves to express and deal with this anger, or keep it buried deep within. Those who find a healthy outlet for their anger are able to release it from their lives, freeing themselves from any potential side effects.

Those who do suppress their anger, however, not only struggle mentally and emotionally, studies indicate that repressed anger can have serious physical side effects including an increased risk of diseases like cancer. It is for this reason that it is incredibly important to find a way to let your anger out, even if it’s nothing more than some time alone in a room screaming into a pillow.

Even if you do express your anger, the way that you naturally respond to these situations may actually provide some interesting insight into your true personality. I’m not talking about the times you consciously choose to react in a specific way, acknowledging what society believes is to be best – I mean the times that you’re hit with a situation that makes you so mad that you instantly feel overcome by feelings of anger and frustration.

What does the way you react when angry reveal about your personality?

Sad, Silent or Brooding

We all know at least one of these people, the ones who don’t seem to really react much at all. Rather than getting angry or upset, they internalize everything that is happening causing them to struggle mentally and emotionally. If you fall into this category, anger leaves you feeling as though you’re living under a dark cloud, struggling to break free.

It could be that you are afraid of hurting those you care about by expressing your anger, or that you struggle with self-confidence and self-esteem, believing that no one would care to hear your concerns anyway. Whatever the cause, you need to recognize the horrible impact that this has on your mental health. Unless you want to struggle with depression or anxiety in the future, you need to deal with your anger today.

Tearing Up or Crying

Another sign that you’re not adequately dealing with your anger or getting it out is if you find that it instantly brings you to tears. While this reaction can be a little embarrassing for some, it’s important to take a step back and look at the reason why you respond in this way.

This is an indication of an ongoing problem. It’s not the situation before you that’s actually the cause of your tears. Looking back at the times leading up to this point, times when you faced anger, frustration or annoyance, you likely felt as though you couldn’t express it or were expected not to. The very thought of having to hold back and avoid revealing your anger is incredibly overwhelming, and it’s that feeling of helplessness that brings tears to your eyes. It’s time to reassess how you handle your anger because you need to find a healthy outlet!

Shouting or Lashing Out Verbally

If your first instinct is to instantly raise your voice, attacking the people that have upset you verbally or shouting your opinions on the situation for all to hear, then you are the kind of person who feels ignored, overlooked or unheard in society. You may have a lot of knowledge on the specific situation and you’re just frustrated that no one is taking the time to hear what you have to say, or this feeling of being ignored may extend to other areas of your life.

While it may feel good at the moment to make yourself heard, you need to recognize that the people around you likely aren’t actually listening to the message of what you’re trying to say when you lash out in this way. Sure, they hear your voice, but they aren’t actually listening to what you’re trying to say, so you’re no further ahead. Instead, you would be better served working through your anger and then returning with a clear head to firmly make your opinion known.

Acts of Violence

The most dangerous of the forms of anger are those who turn to aggression. If you fall into this category, it doesn’t mean that you’re physically attacking the people who upset you. You may take it out on any number of inanimate objects – punching the wall, slamming doors, or throwing things across the room. Even if you have found a healthy form of expression, like punching a pillow, your first instinct is still aggression, you’ve just learned to manage it better than most.

There is no nice way to say this, so I’m just going to come out and say it… Those who react with acts of violence generally do so because for one reason or another you feel superior to those around you. There may be logical reasons for these feelings, but it’s more likely simply a case of an inflated ego. After all, how else would you justify putting others in harms way simply so that you can release your anger? It’s time to do some serious self-reflection, working on the way you view and treat those around you.