“The stress of it all is wearing me down. All I’m looking for is just one small slice of ‘happiness,’ and I can’t seem to find it. I work so hard on my depression and anxiety, so what am I missing?” Let’s make sure those bases are covered, okay? Have you considered hidden anger?
To keep life on a supposed even keel for ourselves and others, we keep anger locked away within (that would be the “hidden” part – again). And it’s as though we’ve swallowed a slowly ticking time-bomb.
Anger is one such symptom, and it can pack a wallop. And the thing is, most don’t take it into account (that would be the “hidden” part), much less acknowledge it’s a major misery player.
Tricky thing about anger is it can be so destructive, yet it isn’t rage – so it’s often not given its due. No, anger – within this particular context – is more about being chronically irritable, annoyed, and “Dang, I’m ticked-off.” And that’s an unfortunate way to live.
So how do things get to the point where we become lost and clueless? Well, most of us learned early-on that feeling – expressing – anger isn’t the thing to do. And guess what happens. To keep life on a supposed even keel for ourselves and others, we keep anger locked away within (that would be the “hidden” part – again). And it’s as though we’ve swallowed a slowly ticking time-bomb.
Sooner or later it’s going to blow. Boom!
22 Signs of Hidden Anger
I was doing some article research recently and came upon a great list, which I’m thinking has been floating about for a long time (duh, and I finally bumped into it). As much as I tried, I couldn’t find the author’s name to credit. Nonetheless, I’m bringing it to you.
That list of 22…
- Procrastination when it comes to completing tasks
- Perpetual or habitual lateness
- Enjoying sadistic or ironic humor
- A preference for conversational sarcasm, cynicism, or flippancy
- Frequent sighing
- Ongoing over-the-top politeness, cheerfulness, and “grin and bear it” attitude
- Hurting like heck, yet smiling all the while
- Frequent disturbing or frightening dreams
- Over-controlled monotone speaking voice
- Difficulty in getting to sleep or sleeping through the night
- Enthusiasm turns into boredom, apathy, and loss of interest
- Slowing down of movements
- Being more easily fatigued
- Excessive irritability over things that truly don’t matter
- Getting drowsy at inappropriate times
- Sleeping more than usual – perhaps 12-14 hours a day
- Waking-up tired rather than rested or refreshed
- Clenched jaws or grinding of the teeth – especially while sleeping
- Facial tics, involuntary foot movements, habitual fist clenching, and similar repeated physical acts performed unintentionally or beneath awareness
- Chronically stiff or sore neck or shoulder muscles
- Persistent depression, extended periods of feeling down for no apparent reason
- Stomach ulcers
Okay, so I’m sure there are all sorts of “grading” angles out there. But how ’bout we go with this? If 10+ are a factor in your life, you may well have an anger problem you need to do something about. If five hit home, you’re average on the anger scale, and management techniques would make you more comfortable.
Catch this, though. If even one of numbers 19-22 ring true, your anger situation may have hit the danger zone. And that means it’s time to do something about it immediately – before it consumes you (and others).
That’s All, Folks
What do you think of the list? In my opinion it’s excellent. I mean, it’s a great point of reference we can use to gain insight into personal dynamics we may never have considered. And, of course, if we see the warning light on the dashboard, we’re called to action.
If you’re a mood and/or anxiety disorder sufferer and find yourself worn to the bone by stress – and feeling lost and clueless – you have to consider all possible contributors. Your anger may be a “happiness” barrier you’ve never taken into account – ’til now.
But now that you have, it’s time to examine and implement needed change.
And how do you do that? Come on back next week and we’ll toss it around…