Screaming at people you love: How to manage feelings of anger

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson
Updated February 12, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Content Warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include suicide which could be triggering to the reader. If you or someone you love is having suicidal thoughts, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. Free support is available 24/7. Please also see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

Screaming or yelling are behaviors that may accompany anger or disappointment. Studies show that prolonged rage or anger and screaming are unhealthy for your relationships and your health, potentially leading to high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease. Yelling is a behavior, and anger is an emotion. Yelling can be tackled through anger management techniques. 

If you’ve recognized that you’re having trouble controlling your behaviors when angry or want to learn how to stop yelling in a relationship, you may choose to make positive changes in your life. Talking about your anger and learning techniques for managing frustration in a healthy way can be vital for your mental health and the proper functioning of your relationships.

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Learn how to control your anger

How to manage anger healthily

If you notice that controlling your anger has become an issue, coping skills, good habits, and supportive routines may help. For example, you may notice that high stress levels or feelings of depression and anxiety could be a catalyst for your anger, potentially leading to a screaming match. If these emotions worsen, consider taking action to avoid outbursts and any negative consequences that follow. 

Examplesof supportive routines and coping skills for managing anger could include:

  • Stepping aside when you start to feel angry and taking a few deep breaths
  • Having an outlet, like physical activity
  • Managing stress through lifestyle changes (lowering overall life stress, meditation practices, etc.)
  • Seeing a therapist regularly
  • Attending anger management support groups

Different techniques may work differently for everyone, so find what works most effectively for you. Part of controlling your anger can be discovering whether there is another health concern to address. Reaching out for professional help in recognizing problem areas is often vital to healing. 

What makes you angry?

Understanding and identifying the triggers that cause you to feel angry may be valuable. If you are yelling at your spouse or other people you love, the cause may be internal, particularly if yelling has become a repetitive behavior or theme in your life. Many find their anger feels uncontrollable, but it is possible to overcome it with self-awareness and actionable steps. 

Anger, like fear, can be a natural response to real, or perceived, threats. It may pair with feelings of being overwhelmed, emotional suppression, unmet needs, and other emotions. At times, anger is a secondary emotion to others, such as fear, sadness, or disappointment. You may have unresolved concerns, or it could be that you don’t feel comfortable navigating these feelings more productively yet. Often, genetics may play a role in why people yell. 

Anger isn’t inherently “bad.” Instead, behaviors motivated by anger, like yelling, hitting walls, ignoring others, verbal abuse, or physical abuse may indicate a need for change. Although anger can be challenging to talk about, finding new ways to manage and navigate it are possible.

Are external factors to blame?

Have you ever blamed anger on what’s going on outside of you? At times, anger may arise due to external stressors or situations. These situations may cause you to feel angry or distressed, which may cause you to want to yell to release the emotion. 

External factors, like stressors, sadness, traumatic or distressing events, feeling overwhelmed or overloaded by obligations in life, and relationship concerns may prompt or worsen symptoms of anger. Reducing stress and lightening your load can be part of anger management. However, these factors do not necessarily excuse inappropriate or unhealthy reactions. To some extent, anger management can be about modifying how you respond to external factors, helping you learn to address them in a calm manner. Stressors may come and go. How you react to them can change with time and effort. 

Try to approach anger with curiosity rather than blame. Acknowledgment of your actions is an essential first ingredient for change. If the anger affects your family or loved ones, working to rebuild and develop a healthy relationship with them through family therapy and other means may be another vital step in anger management. 

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Anger management techniques to stop yelling 

You can try several anger management techniques at home or out and about with loved ones when you feel the urge to yell. 

Acknowledge your anger

Studies show that labeling your emotions is beneficial in healing them. First, acknowledge without judgment or blame that you are feeling angry. Acknowledge any urges you have, whether it’s yelling, slamming a door, or another behavior. Then, make the conscious choice to partake in a healthy coping mechanism instead. 

Reach out for help

You may want support as you move forward in resolving your anger. Once you acknowledge that you face difficulty with yelling, and/or other anger management-related concerns, you may decide to seek professional help by reaching out to a reputable local, or online, anger management program. A web search may be able to help you locate these resources.

You can also talk with your primary care physician, who may be able to tell you about resources in your area or help you find affordable mental health professionals such as a therapist or counselor.

Finally, contact a therapist, counselor, social worker, or psychologist directly. Explain your situation and ask if they are taking new clients. If they aren’t, they may be able to provide a referral to someone who is. A web search or contact with your insurance company may help you locate a provider who offers individual, group, or couples therapy.

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Learn how to control your anger

Practice mindfulness 

Healing anger may start with feeling able to control your actions before you make them. You may want to learn how to identify an urge and know what the urge is before it happens. Often, anger can feel out of control and automatic. However, learning that your behaviors are active choices may benefit you. 

Mindfulness may help you get to a place where you can identify your emotions and urges. Mindfulness is about focusing on the present moment, relaxing your nervous system, and observing yourself without judgment. You can practice guided meditation or mindfulness through an app, video, or audio recording. Or, you can look up breathing techniques and mindfulness practices online to try for anger. 

If you can mindfully identify your anger or practice mindfulness in place of anger-motivated urges, you may be able to avoid yelling. A therapist, counselor, or anger management program may be able to work with you to develop your mindfulness skills. They may also help you address any relevant co-occurring concerns that could be causing anger. You don’t have to go through the process alone.

Work on repairing your relationships 

Although you can address and modify your behavior, it will not automatically excuse or repair the effects of past behaviors. When someone’s partner yells at them—especially if their partner, wife, or husband has anger issues—it could affect them long after the incident. When working on anger management, you may also choose to apologize for what has happened in the past and recognize how it has affected others, such as friends, family members, or partners. 

Apologizing can be a healthy form of communication when you have wronged someone. If anger or yelling has affected your family, you might sign up for family therapy to discuss these issues. Similarly, if a romantic partner has been affected by your anger, couples therapy could benefit you if you wish to remain in a relationship.

Family or couples therapy can also help those in your life understand how to support you and help you employ anger management techniques. For example, a spouse may not understand why you want to take space before a conversation and could feel hurt. A therapist may be able to help explain and get you both on the same page. If issues went unspoken in the past, like feelings of depression, therapy could be a safe and comfortable space to open up about those concerns and effectively communicate your feelings. 

Take pride in working on your anger 

Reaching out for help and admitting you want to change a behavior can be something to take pride in. It’s not always easy to admit you want to change, and some go their entire lives allowing concerns like yelling to impact themselves and others negatively. 

Try to be proud of yourself for choosing to break the cycle. Remember that these changes do not always happen overnight and that it may take time or various avenues of support to get to your final destination. Show yourself kindness and recognize your wins along the way.

Counseling for anger 

As with many things in life, increasing anger management skills and learning to manage your emotions healthily can be an ongoing process. Therapy may be highly beneficial if you’ve experienced concerns related to anger management or have been on the receiving end of acts like screaming. 

In some cases, barriers to treatment may prevent you from seeking support. If you feel out of options, consider online counseling. Online therapy can be as beneficial as traditional, face-to-face options for addressing various concerns. One study assessed the effectiveness of internet-delivered counseling and found that the intervention successfully reduced feelings of anger and hostility for participants. In addition, individuals saw an increase in their quality of life, reporting more significant satisfaction levels. For those ready to use them, online therapy platforms like BetterHelp provide a convenient and available method to speak with a therapist. 

Online therapy often allows you to use several modes of communication, such as live chat, videoconferencing, messaging, and voice calls, allowing you to connect with a professional from anywhere with a reliable internet connection. Talking about your anger issues can feel shameful, but therapy may allow you to confide in an unbiased party safely.  

Immediate support 

If you need someone to talk to right now, or if you find that specific concerns, like a substance use disorder, contribute to your anger, you may consider reaching out to a hotline, such as the following: 

Takeaway

Recognizing you’re dealing with anger can be the first step toward dealing with it. Often, underlying mental health concerns may need to be addressed to reduce angry feelings and prevent yelling at those you love. 

With the help of a qualified therapist, you can learn new coping skills and anger-management techniques. These might provide traction for improving your quality of life and relationships. Change can be possible with beneficial tools and support.

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The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
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