Everybody gets angry. But, how do you know if your anger is a real concern?
This questionnaire will help you assess your ability to cope with anger and determine whether or not anger management is a problem for you.
Please read through each question, recording the indicated score for each yes or no response. Your responses should be based on your current temperament.
Once you have answered all the questions add up the corresponding points to get your total.
Anger management test
- I am quick to forgive others who have harmed or offended me. (Yes = 0pts, No = 2pts)
- It takes me a long time to get over being angry. (Yes = 2pts, No = 0pts)
- I tend to overreact and get angry about little things. (Yes = 1pt, No = 0pts)
- I have taken out my anger on undeserving others. (Yes = 2pts, No = 0pts)
- I have retaliated with anger when another driver has cut me off or tailgated me. (Yes = 2pts, No = 0pts)
- I have said malicious things about others to get back at them when I am angry. (Yes = 2 pts, No = 0pts)
- I remain angry or resentful about something(s) that happened years ago. (Yes = 2pts, No = 0pts)
- I have an unresolved conflict with a friend or family member. (Yes = 1pt, No = 0pts)
- I have an unresolved conflict with someone at work. (Yes = 1pt, No = 0pts)
- When I am angry with someone, I am able to tell him or her why. (Yes = 0pts, No = 1pt)
- When something happens that makes me angry, I tend to replay the event over and over again in my mind. (Yes = 2pts, No = 0pts)
- When I am angry about something that happens at work, it affects me when I am home. (Yes = 1pt, No = 0pts)
- I have someone I can talk to when I feel angry or frustrated. (Yes = 0pts, No = 1pt)
- I often feel regret about how I express my anger. (Yes = 2pts, No = 0pts)
Total your score. If your score is:
0 to 3 points: Congratulations! Your score indicates that you are coping well with anger. Keep doing what you are doing.
4 to 13 points: Your score indicates that you may be harboring some resentment or have some difficulty in expressing your anger appropriately. Learning more about anger and the effects of stress will help you avoid problems now and in the future. If you are feeling overwhelmed, talking with a trusted friend, family member or clergy can help put things in perspective.
14 to 22 points: Your score indicates you are having a great deal of difficulty coping with your anger. Unresolved or pent-up anger always comes out inappropriately, causing harm to others, and increases stress in your life. When you are highly stressed you often lose perspective, overreact to little things and inappropriately vent anger on those you love. You could benefit from learning more about stress and managing anger and seeking the help of a trained professional.
Here are tips for controlling your anger:
Think before you speak
- In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.
Once you’re calm, express your anger
- As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but non-confrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.
Get some exercise
- Physical activity can help reduce stress that can cause you to become angry. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.
Take a timeout
- Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.
Identify possible solutions
- Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.
Stick with ‘I’ statements
- To avoid criticising or placing blame, which might only increase tension. Use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes,” instead of, “You never do any housework.”
Don’t hold a grudge
- Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want at all times.
Use humour to release tension
- Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Use humour to help you face what’s making you angry and, possibly, any unrealistic expectations you have for how things should go. Avoid sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.
Practice Relaxation Skills
- When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as, “Take it easy.” You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.
Know when to seek help
- Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Consider seeking help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you.
If youror someone you know might be having trouble controlling their temper and having issues with managing their anger, we can help. Please check our list of anger management specialists to assist you with your needs and more.