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5 Surprising Facts About Anger

5 Surprising Facts About Anger

What makes you angry? The injustices of the world? The jerk who stole your parking space? The spouse who won’t get off the couch? Whatever brings out the ire, it’s safe to say that you’re not the only one who gets a little angry from time to time. As common of an emotion as anger is, though, it is certainly very misunderstood. Read on for some of the most surprising facts about anger.


1. Your Anger Can Be Caused by the Strangest Things.

Many people like to describe their anger as something that happens to them; the tailgater and the line-cutters caused their outburst, not their reaction to other people’s rude behavior. But the truth is often way more complicated than that. Traumatic events can cause people to develop a short fuse. But even the most patient people in the world, when placed in uncomfortable circumstances, can be prone to angry outbursts. Hunger, hot weather, aches and pains, dehydration, and even being left-handed, can increase your chances of getting angry.

2. Anger Is Totally, Completely Normal — To a Point.

Anger is one of the most basic human emotions. Taken at face value, anger is merely a response to abnormal or dangerous situations, and there’s really nothing good or bad about it. What makes it good or bad, however, is how you respond to anger.


3. “Letting It Out” Isn’t Such a Great Strategy.

It’s obviously better to punch a pillow over another person, and will probably spare your loved ones’ feelings if you vent in the shower. But is it really doing you any good? Well, probably not. In fact, it can actually make your anger worse, because it can, “foster aggression by giving people permission to relax their self-control.”

4. Gender Plays a Huge Role.

It’s no stretch to say that, at least in Western culture, anger is a masculine emotion. And, as a result, boys and girls are are taught different things when it comes to managing their anger. Boys are socialized to be more aggressive, and girls, more passive. As adults, men are more likely to express their anger physically and impulsively; women, on the other hand, tend to have a harder time expressing their anger, and tend to be resentful and angrier for longer than men. In the end, though, neither of these coping mechanisms are healthy ways to deal with anger.

5. Anger Affects Your Health.

People with a short fuse, according to several scientific studies, can increase your likelihood of suffering from heart disease and strokes.

More reading on anger:
10 Steps to Managing Anger
7 Questions About Anger

Read more: Anxiety, Dating, Family, Friendship, Health, Healthy Aging, Love, Mental Wellness, Relationships, Spirit, Stress, ,

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


+ add your own
8:08PM PST on Mar 3, 2015

Thank you

2:08AM PDT on Sep 30, 2014

good to know

1:54AM PDT on Sep 30, 2014


1:31AM PDT on Sep 30, 2014

Letting it out is a good strategy. It means you can be more in control when you're not letting it out. (Anger can then be channelled in a good way.) It's simply not possible to not express your anger forever.

The rest of the article was accurate though.

10:40PM PDT on Aug 31, 2014

Anger is essential to fuel those who need to develop personal boundaries so that they are not doormats. It's also useful to jump start motivation when desire is lacking. Anger needs to be expressed as it arises rather than be built up over time and then used as a tool to feel powerful when exploding, punishing others or setting up personal boundaries after the fact.

Unexpressed anger, especially from years of chronic childhood neglect and emotional abuse leads to stress and stress makes you sick. Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, dermatitis, hair loss, IBS, IBD, Erectile Dysfunction, weight gain, and Insomnia are but a few of the long term problems associated with suppressed anger related stress. Learn more at

3:02PM PDT on Jul 22, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

12:42PM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

Chronic pain can amp up your anger response. I've had to learn how to diffuse it quickly by focusing on what's really bothering me. As the pain decreases as I heal somewhat, so does the frustration. But it can become a habitual response if you're not careful. I was recently taught a trick to side-step anger. As soon as you feel it rising, ask yourself what you're afraid of, since anger usually masks fear. It helps to get to the bottom of the problem.

10:39AM PDT on Jun 23, 2014

Thanks Katie

6:48AM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

Thanks for sharing. On the very rare occasions I get angry, it's usually because I'm upset or worried about something else in my life. But I don't get angry very often!

9:16PM PDT on Jun 8, 2014

I'm a mellow lefty who knows lots of spikey righties.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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