What makes you angry?

What makes you angry?

Suppose you are having difficulty controlling your temper and wish to gain control. In that case, you must understand what makes you angry. Once you have a list of instances that make you mad, you then have a starting point to work from.

What makes you angry? therapy with Dr Elaine Ryan psychologist

Different things make different people feel anger. The problem and what you should look for is what makes you feel anger out of proportion to what is happening.

If you are at the beginning of trying to manage your anger, it is helpful to group the things that make you angry into groups. Many things that upset you can fall into the following categories.

  • Things that are unfair or break the rules.
  • Things that irritate or annoy you.
  • Things that cost you time or money.
This article is part of a series of self-help articles to help with anger. If you were looking for my anger management course you can read more about it here, or start by reading about the emotion of anger.

Things that are unfair or break the rules.

You feel angry, not only when a rule is broken, such as laws set down by the government or rules of the road, but also be alert to anger your experience when someone breaks rules you hold.


Rules set by law

Someone not following the rules of the road.
People who make noise after a pre-defined time.
People who break the law.

Rules set by you

You must think about rules set by you, as these are more likely to provoke an angry response than when someone breaks the rules set by law. There are far too many to list, and many will be unique to you, but I shall give some examples to show you what to look for.

  • People should tidy up after themselves.
  • People should respect my space.
  • People should not question me.
  • Kids should stay out of my garden.
  • People should not make use of my things.

Things that cost you time and money.

Examples of things that can make you angry in this category can include,

  • Someone who is wasting your time.
  • Not taking care of something that cost money. This could be not taking care of a car, right down to more minor things such as not taking care of or appreciating smaller items that cost you both money and time to earn it.

Things that irritate or annoy you.

Like the other examples above, this list will be unique to you, but I shall give some examples to get you started.

  • Loud people.
  • Being shouted at.
  • Neighbours not taking care of their property; think untidy front garden.
  • People who eat with their mouths open.
  • Not saying thank you, or excuse me.
  • impolite people


Note many of these things can cross categories. You might have an internal rule to be polite, expect the same from others, and be irritated by rudeness.
Someone is coughing, standing close behind you in a queue. This is one of mine!
Stranger standing too close to you.

Why do you need to be aware of the things that make you angry?

If you want to express the emotion of anger without losing your temper or just want to feel less wound up all the time, you need to know your triggers before you can start working on them. I divided them into the categories above. It is easier to identify your triggers when you can label or categorise them.


Once you have your list, you can start practising responding differently in different scenarios.

Retrain your brain®. If you would like my help please see my online self-help courses