ONE ANGER MANAGEMENT TEST ANYONE CAN TAKE
By Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC
Most of us don’t think of ourselves as needing anger management – even those of us who really do. It’s easy to believe the person who has anger problems is that out-of-control guy, like the Adam Sandler character in the movie Anger Management, or Charlie Sheen (the real one, not his TV show character). Wouldn’t it be helpful if there was a quick and easy anger management test?
The good news is there is – sort of. Determining if you need help with anger management isn’t overly complicated as you’ll see. There is actually an easy way for people to test themselves and see if they need anger management help.
Who Needs To Take An Anger Management Test
It’s important to understand that anger management treatment isn’t just for those with extreme anger problems.
Sure, many of the men I treat have had some pretty bad episodes of anger. Here are some examples:
- Throwing their kid across the room
- Chasing down another driver until they pull over
- Punching holes in walls
- Getting arrested for domestic violence
These are pretty extreme, but they really have happened.
More commonly, the men (and women) I help with anger have just come to the realization that their anger controls them more than they control their anger, and they want that to change. These people take the anger management test below and answer, true.
Here’s a post I wrote on our social media pages sometime ago. It’s a humorous admission quiz to determine if you need anger management classes.
Can you relate to this statement about people pissing you off? If so, this could be a sign that getting some anger management help would be a good thing for you.
Is Needing Anger Management Help Normal?
Anger can be a very strong and overwhelming emotion, but it’s also a normal feeling we all experience. As it turns out, it’s pretty common to need help controlling it because anger can trigger a rush of adrenaline that can take over your brain, temporarily pushing any logical thought aside.
The important question about anger is not whether we feel it or not, because we all do, but rather how it gets out of our control when we feel it.
One of the things this test for anger management reveals is the false belief that the solution to effectively controlling anger lies outside of us. In other words, if my wife, supervisor, or kids would just stop doing x, y, or z I wouldn’t be angry.
Unfortunately, we cannot change other people, so there must be another answer for how to control anger. Good news – there is.
Managing anger is something that comes from within you. In anger management classes we learn more about that and techniques for how to change ourselves, the only thing we really can control, rather than other people.
Focusing on the idea that other people piss us off is a common problem for those of us with anger problems.
Many men are like Wes, a guy I’m treating right now, who says the only person who makes him angry is his wife. He says nobody can push his buttons like her and when they fight, they have some real “doozies.”
Another guy I’m working with, Juan, says it’s his three kids that are always pissing him off (and, of course, his wife can do it too).
These men are looking outside of themselves and blaming others for their anger issues. Sound familiar?
Take The Anger Management Test
So, with all of that in mind, go ahead – take this very simple test and see how you fare.
Here’s my simple Anger Management Test:
True or False? – I don’t need anger management. I need people to stop pissing me off.
Are you like Wes and Juan, and believe you just need (certain) people to stop making you angry? If you agree with this anger management test question, then learning how to manage anger would really benefit you.
If you disagree, then before you dismiss this whole thing ask someone else what they think. Since denial is another common problem for those with anger issues, give this anger test to a couple of people who really know you and tell them you want them to be completely honest with you.
The purpose of this anger management test is to discover the truth about ourselves, not to prove we don’t need anger management. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with getting angry. Anger is only a problem when we let it control us rather than us controlling it, or when we deny we even have a problem with anger.