Do you keep your rage bottled up inside? Take the Quiz.
Never Keep Anything Bottled Up Inside Of You!
Do you bottle up your anger, let it out in doses, or explode all the time? Are you prone to tantrums, or do you keep your rage bottled up inside?
1. The last time you got really mad, you
a. locked yourself in your bedroom for hours and spoke to no one.
b. punched a wall or threw some object.
c. tried to deal with the situation by talking out the problem.
2. You're playing hockey and an opponent who has a rein for playing dirty, whacks you on the shin with his stick. You
a. send him flying with a shove. He'll learn not to mess with you!
b. brush it off, but silently stew inside for the rest of the game.
c. make sure the ref saw what happened. He's the one who should deal with the problem.
3. When you disagree with your parents, you're most likely to
a. explain your point of view calmly and hope you get your way.
b. provoke a screaming match and shout until you're red in the face.
c. storm off and give your parents the silent treatment for a week.
4. You've had the worst day imaginable: you bombed your Spanish quiz, a dog with sharp teeth actually ate your homework as you trekked to school, and, to top it off, your brother is laughing at your misery. You
a. can't take it anymore and explode, going on a verbal rampage and lashing out at everyone.
b. invite your best friend over for a joint rant session so you don't totally lose it.
c. flee your house and go somewhere that you can be alone and not have to deal with anyone.
5. You lose your temper
a. never. You're not the type to blow your top, even if you're really mad.
b. occasionally. There've only been a few times when you couldn't contain your rage.
c. more times than you can count. You're always ranting and raving over something or somebody.
6. You find out that your friend has been spreading vicious rumors about you behind your back. You
a. are furious, but probably won't do anything about it.
b. tell all your pals the rumor is false, then ditch your gossiping ex-pal.
c. will get major revenge by spreading some nasty tall tales of your own.
Answers & Scoring
Find your score using the key below. It shows your score for each answer. (For example, if you answered "a" for question 1, you get two points.) Then, add up your total points and read about yourself.
1. a - 2 points, b - 1 point, c - 3 points
2. a - 1 point, b - 2 points, c - 3 points
3. a - 3 points, b - 1 point, c - 2 points
4. a - 1 point, b - 3 points, c - 2 points
5. a - 2 points, b - 3 points, c - 1 point
6. a - 2 points, b - 3 points, c - 1 point
Frequently Furious: 6 to 10 points
When you get mad, you show it. You act out your anger whether it's screaming at the lunch lady when she serves tacos for the third time that week or plotting revenge against your ex. But you've probably noticed that losing your cool all the time turns off your friends and family. "Anger is natural and not something to be avoided," says Dr. Leona Eggert, director of Anger Management for Youth, a research and prevention program. "But we must learn how to respond to it and control it." Lashing out can get you into trouble, so find a way to deal with your feelings more constructively. First, figure out what really ticks you off (mom's nagging, little brother's pestering, dad's lectures). Then take positive action. "Have a plan for how you respond in certain situations," Eggert says. "Focus on keeping your cool." It helps to take a different approach when things don't go your way. Say a friend blows you off. Instead of declaring World War III, tell him or her how you feel and then find a new pal, if necessary. "Nobody can make us angry," says Eggert. "It's how we assess the situation and respond to it."
Inwardly Upset: 11 to 14 points
You silently seethe with anger. There may be a smile on your face, but you're fuming inside and that's dangerous. By keeping your feelings locked up, you risk an explosion later on that could harm you and others. "Anger builds up inside, and at some point it comes out," says Eggert. "You withdraw until you can't hold it in anymore and you explode." You might become depressed and be prone to feelings of sadness and irritability. Eggert explains that depression is simply anger turned inward. To avoid a major meltdown, take a different approach. When something bad happens, "acknowledge that you're angry and disappointed," says Eggert. There's nothing wrong with feeling infuriated now and then. But instead of keeping your emotions locked up in your own little jail, talk about them with someone you trust or take some other confidence-building action. Don't let anger eat at you. You can deal with it in an empowering way.
Keeps Cool: 15 to 18 Points
You know how to handle anger. When you get mad, you don't have a temper tantrum, but you don't pretend that nothing happened either. Instead, you try to deal with the situation practically. Where did you learn to be so calm and cool? Probably from your parents, teachers, or some other influential adult in your life. "Anger is a response, so it's a learned behavior," says Eggert. "Learning happens at home or at school." You've learned not to let little things get to and when dealing with bigger, more upsetting situations, you try to make the situation better. Just remember: You can't control the actions of other people -- you can only control how you react to them.
Leona Eggert, Ph.D., has worked for more than 20 years with adolescents, parents, and teachers. She is a child/adolescent psychosocial nurse specialist, certified school nurse, and health educator. She is the director of Anger Management for Youth, a program that helps young people cope with depression and anger. She teaches at the University of Washington.
Walker, S. (2001). How do you handle your anger? Scholastic Choices, 17(1), 19.