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Feeling very angry and frustrated all the time, or being around someone who is always angry, is exhausting and stressful. Our guide below will help you understand what causes anger and how you can help someone who is feeling angry.

This can help if:

  • you want to understand where anger comes from
  • you want to reduce your own anger, or help someone close to you reduce theirs
  • you want to know where to get help for anger.
Young woman with long dark hair wearing a beige knitted jumper looks pensive

What it means when you feel angry all the time

When you’re angry all the time, it affects how you experience everything in your life. You might find that:

  • you’re constantly in a bad mood
  • you express your anger in a way that hurts yourself or someone else
  • everything seems too hard, boring or uninteresting
  • you want to throw, hit or destroy things all the time
  • small things that didn’t used to bother you now put you in a bad mood
  • you lash out at people.

Anger usually occurs when there’s something going on in life that makes you feel upset, frustrated, hurt or bored. Sometimes anger is an immediate response to a specific event, such as getting a bad mark or someone cutting you off in traffic, or it can build up over time. Whatever the reason, feeling angry or seeing someone else become angry should alert you that something isn’t right.

When anger becomes a problem

For yourself

If you find you're often asking yourself "why am I angry all the time?", or you find you're feeling angry everyday or getting angry over little things, you might be holding onto your anger. When you hold on to your anger, you prevent yourself from feeling happy or positive, because your negative feelings block out everything else.

If you don’t deal with your anger in a positive way, then over time it will just build up and become your primary emotion. Read our guide on dealing with anger for some tools and tips that will ensure you have healthy outlets for processing your negative feelings.

 

For other people

Dealing with someone who is always angry can have a huge impact on your relationship with them. The level of anger someone is experiencing may help you think about how to respond to them. If the person seems annoyed but open to talking then you can start a dialogue, but if the person seems like they need time to themselves, then it's important to give them space to calm down.

You can’t be responsible for making them feel better, but there are a few simple things you can do to try and help:

  • don’t ignore the person
  • be open to listening to what they have to say
  • keep your voice calm when they’re upset
  • try to talk things through
  • acknowledge their distress but don’t feel like you have to back down if you disagree - your opinion is important too
  • avoid pushing advice or opinions on them - work out whether they just need someone to listen to them or if it’s appropriate to take on a bigger role
  • give them space if they need it.

Some good ways to approach a conversation with someone who is angry include:

  • I can see you're feeling angry, do you want to talk about it?
  • it looks like today has been full on - would you like to go for a walk with me and decompress?
  • this situation is getting tense - let's all take five minutes and regroup.

By identifying the emotion and providing an action to take in the moment, you can help the other person process their feelings in a healthy way and defuse the situation.

Depending on your relationship with the person, you may want to help them to access different kinds of support. For example, if your colleague or classmate is experiencing regular moments of frustration, you can call on your manager or teacher for guidance. If your best friend is experiencing anger, you may want to be there as a support person to help them access professional services.

If that’s not enough

Anger can be a sign that someone is experiencing depression, anxiety or a personality disorder, such as borderline personality disorder. If you think someone in your life needs extra help with their anger, you can support them to contact their GP or access a mental health service.

Sometimes people express their anger by becoming violent or abusive. If this is the case, and you think your safety may be at risk, remove yourself from the situation and get help. It’s never okay for someone to be violent or abusive towards you.

If things start to feel unsafe or scary, make sure you reach out for help. Call a mental health helpline, or arrange an appointment with a doctor or counsellor.

What can I do now?

  • Read about managing anger.
  • Recognise that anger passes, and wait before making any big decisions.
  • If your anger is getting you down, talk to your GP about it and ask for some support options.

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