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Does Anger and Shouting Stress You?

Camden

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One thing that always scares me is dealing with angry people or anyone who raises their voice or loses their temper over something. It could be a teacher, parent, boss, or anyone who has the capability to punish me.
Whenever they begin going on a tirade in my presence, I begin feeling strong anxiety symptoms. My face gets flushed and hot and my ears ring. I can tell I’m getting ready to “fight or flight.” I get the urge to get up and leave the room if it’s appropriate to do so. After episode I always feel guilty and stressed out even if the anger is not directed toward me. I sometimes feel sick and go to a quiet, isolated place to settle down.
 

MATD

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I despise confrontation, anger, etc. It can be very unsettling. How we deal with it is the key to getting past it.
 

Phillies Phan

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Camden, hopefully you’ll learn to ignore, walk away and if possible, eliminate negative people from your life such as you describe. Of course that’s not easy if they’re a boss, spouse or parent although push someone too hard and those relationships can end as well.

When you‘re older you will likely realize that you put up with much too much sh*t in your life and will stop associating with people who give you stress.
 

Aries

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I think it stresses everyone pretty much. What gets me going is people at work who keep pushing your buttons in an attempt to make you lose it. When I was a manager at a cafe a horrid women kept doing it over and over. That's the best way to get your boss in trouble - goad him into yelling at you. Of couse my own boss there yelled at me and other people all the time, but nothing ever happened to her because of it.
 

Camden

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It started for me in high school. I began developing more serious anxiety at about age 15 and I didn’t fully know how to handle it or communicate about it at that stage in my life.

I was always one of the “good kids” in high school who was afraid to get in trouble or upset anyone. I had/heard about some teachers and coaches who often shouted, punished entire classes for one or two kids’ transgressions, slammed doors, and were just all around unstable and scary to be around. I remember those days with an unpleasant vividness.

Going to college and working my first job really helped me to leave those dark days behind. I was pleasantly surprised that my superiors at university and at work were so calm and more approachable.

On the occasion someone does get angry (i.e. someone I know recently raising their voice in a meeting over spilled food in the break room fridge.) it still makes me react physically and feel a little ill and light headed afterwards. Angry people have a contagious effect on me. One of my worst panic attacks was spurred by raised voices and aggression from a workplace superior a while back.
I’m glad to hear I’m not alone with this embarrassing and disruptive fear.
 

cheer_mom

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I hate confrontation. It has always scared me. I go into flight mode immediately!! Its like I freeze though if i can leave. I don't stand up for myself or anything. I absolutely hate it.
 

Jonathan123

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Anger is very stressful, even if it's not us who are angry. I remember, many years ago, when I was deep in GAD, that a row developed in a pub where my wife and I were having a meal. Two guys were arguing and shouting at each other. They were asked to leave, but that made the situation even worse. It took me several says to get over that incident. Yes, anger is contagious especially to sensitive people,as most anxiety sufferers are. As we get older we learn to discriminate between those who are 'vexatious to the Spirit' and those we can talk to and trust. Keep well away from the others. If anyone gets angry, walk away. NEVER engage with them in their anger. It's not easy when it's your boss or someone close. Just look them in the eye and remain silent. If you react then it will increase their anger.
 

Doug97

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As I've got older I've got better at standing my ground against angry people. Yes they are scary, but one of my guiding core principles is never give in to bullies. I hate bullies with a passion that is white hot.
 

Aries

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Anger is very stressful, even if it's not us who are angry. I remember, many years ago, when I was deep in GAD, that a row developed in a pub where my wife and I were having a meal. Two guys were arguing and shouting at each other. They were asked to leave, but that made the situation even worse. It took me several says to get over that incident. Yes, anger is contagious especially to sensitive people,as most anxiety sufferers are. As we get older we learn to discriminate between those who are 'vexatious to the Spirit' and those we can talk to and trust. Keep well away from the others. If anyone gets angry, walk away. NEVER engage with them in their anger. It's not easy when it's your boss or someone close. Just look them in the eye and remain silent. If you react then it will increase their anger.
I had to look my boss in the eye and tell her to stop yelling at me at my last job. She stopped for a while, but she had other tricks up her sleeve.

As I've got older I've got better at standing my ground against angry people. Yes they are scary, but one of my guiding core principles is never give in to bullies. I hate bullies with a passion that is white hot.
I always try to make a bully regret it. My boss at my current job finally got demoted.
 

Vincent

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I generally avoid confrontation, but have recently started standing my ground more. It's course harder when you're dealing with somebody in a position to impose consequences on you. But I've seen people get in heated exchanges with their bosses, and it blew over.
 

Camden

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Thankfully where I am now I have left some anger prone people with all their toxic behavior far behind. It still crosses my mind that I will inadvertently cross someone eventually and have to deal with their wrath.

I had faith during my aforementioned past that things would get better and indeed they did. Not only am I in a much more harmonious situation, I’ve developed better coping skills when things do get tense.

My skills I wish I had known as a high schooler or at my previous job regarding angry and hostile people:

1. Don’t take it personally! Just because someone is visibly mad doesn’t mean I did anything wrong.
2. Be assertive. Recognize that everyone’s emotions are valid, but don’t tolerate unwelcome hostility. If the situation allows, calmly walk away.
3. Talk about it. I admit it’s hard to speak up and tell other people about the stress this causes me. Find a friend, a parent, or counselor to confide in.
4. Focus on what you do well. Focus on your own hard work, contributions and achievements. Surround yourself with people that appreciate your contributions and most importantly who you are as a person.
5. Identify and avoid toxic behavior. This one comes with experience. Recognize that anger is not always yelling, threats, and aggression. It can be subtle and passive aggressive too.
6. Stand up for yourself. When all else fails, respectfully yet firmly let the angry/hostile person know that your are not at fault. Speak calmly, yet firmly and avoid becoming emotional yourself.
 

Jonathan123

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Scott Peck, an American psychiatrist, wrote a book called 'The People of the Lie'. I think it is still available on Amazon. He talked about how subtle evil can be. Evil is not necessarily violence. Oh no! It can be in very subtle ways, like anger or upsetting someone. We may think evil is too strong a word but it's not. Causing physical harm is evil as is also causing harm by the use of words. Words can cut deep especially among anxiety sufferers. The recipient of anger can be upset for days after, and even longer if the memory returns. It's why we should choose our words carefully.
 

Doug97

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Thankfully where I am now I have left some anger prone people with all their toxic behavior far behind. It still crosses my mind that I will inadvertently cross someone eventually and have to deal with their wrath.

I had faith during my aforementioned past that things would get better and indeed they did. Not only am I in a much more harmonious situation, I’ve developed better coping skills when things do get tense.

My skills I wish I had known as a high schooler or at my previous job regarding angry and hostile people:

1. Don’t take it personally! Just because someone is visibly mad doesn’t mean I did anything wrong.
2. Be assertive. Recognize that everyone’s emotions are valid, but don’t tolerate unwelcome hostility. If the situation allows, calmly walk away.
3. Talk about it. I admit it’s hard to speak up and tell other people about the stress this causes me. Find a friend, a parent, or counselor to confide in.
4. Focus on what you do well. Focus on your own hard work, contributions and achievements. Surround yourself with people that appreciate your contributions and most importantly who you are as a person.
5. Identify and avoid toxic behavior. This one comes with experience. Recognize that anger is not always yelling, threats, and aggression. It can be subtle and passive aggressive too.
6. Stand up for yourself. When all else fails, respectfully yet firmly let the angry/hostile person know that your are not at fault. Speak calmly, yet firmly and avoid becoming emotional yourself.
Good list. I'd add another one - learn how to say "no". At work I was terrible for just saying yes to everyone who wanted something from me, until it got to the point where my todo list was overwhelming. My stress levels improved when I learned how to say no. And delegate.
 

Camden

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I had a very tense meeting today that involved some raised voices and foul language. Thankfully my one colleague was there with me while my boss became irate over another internal business event.

It’s a strange feeling. Sitting in the meeting room listening to the shouting and aggressive demeanor seems kind of surreal to me. Looking back on it is kind of blurry. I wrote stuff down, but I don’t have a detailed memory formed of the episode. After the meeting, I was really shaken up, as if I had just been involved in a car wreck. I felt like my boss is mad, my one colleague is obviously shaken up and upset, and this upcoming project is going to be a disaster. It felt like the sky was falling for a moment today before I pulled myself together.

Long story short: Due to some past trauma, yelling and anger is a quick way for me to go down a bad mental path, even in a job I like.
 

cheer_mom

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I hate confrontation. The minute someone starts yelling or even acting angry, I shut down. I don't know why I do this. I wasn't raised in a violent home or anything so no past trauma. I just quit talking and like you said, just kinda don't have memory of what was really going on.
Sorry you had to deal with that. Hopefully, things go better today.
 

loggiemod

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I've also never liked confrontation, shouting or people getting angry. Makes me feel very anxious and I just want to leave the situation.
 

MATD

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I had a very tense meeting today that involved some raised voices and foul language. Thankfully my one colleague was there with me while my boss became irate over another internal business event.

It’s a strange feeling. Sitting in the meeting room listening to the shouting and aggressive demeanor seems kind of surreal to me. Looking back on it is kind of blurry. I wrote stuff down, but I don’t have a detailed memory formed of the episode. After the meeting, I was really shaken up, as if I had just been involved in a car wreck. I felt like my boss is mad, my one colleague is obviously shaken up and upset, and this upcoming project is going to be a disaster. It felt like the sky was falling for a moment today before I pulled myself together.

Long story short: Due to some past trauma, yelling and anger is a quick way for me to go down a bad mental path, even in a job I like.
“I felt like the sky was falling for a moment before I pulled myself together”. Well done Camden. That’s how it’s done, one small step at a time.
 

FirstJack

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One thing that always scares me is dealing with angry people or anyone who raises their voice or loses their temper over something. It could be a teacher, parent, boss, or anyone who has the capability to punish me.
Whenever they begin going on a tirade in my presence, I begin feeling strong anxiety symptoms. My face gets flushed and hot and my ears ring. I can tell I’m getting ready to “fight or flight.” I get the urge to get up and leave the room if it’s appropriate to do so. After episode I always feel guilty and stressed out even if the anger is not directed toward me. I sometimes feel sick and go to a quiet, isolated place to settle down.
Have you had many experiences with anger? Or, people being angry with you? I certainly believe that anger and yelling can certainly change us or condition us. But loud voices do not generally bother me at all. Maybe this is cultural, and I grew up in an environment where people often (usually) use loud voices. In my case, it is not the volume but the words that determine my reaction, if that makes sense.
 

Camden

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“I felt like the sky was falling for a moment before I pulled myself together”. Well done Camden. That’s how it’s done, one small step at a time.
Thanks MATD! Simply putting the confrontation behind me and refocusing my energy on tasks and other things that I can control works for me after being so shaken up after witnessing someone act like Gordon Ramsay.

I spoke also privately with my colleague (Jennie) who was also there during the confrontational meeting. She is far more experienced than me and we went through everything going on with the project. With her help, we were able to list everything going right and put our manager at ease that everything is being tended to. Clear and respectful communication, confiding in colleagues, teamwork skills and anxiety management skills have helped me navigate this latest incident with minimal pain.
 

blueberries

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Other people's anger scares me. I do not like witnessing people in a shouting match. And I'm not talking about "street fights" and the kind of anger that is seen there. That's an entirely different kind, a dangerous kind where there may be actual physical damage done. I'm talking about the kind that is between family members or friends having an argument or a boss berating one of his underlings for something perceived to have been done wrong. I have generally been a "nice person" in the work place because I don't want to deal with anyone's anger against me. If someone were to get angry at me I would get very hurt, uncomfortable and offended and would probably cry. I'm not good at defending myself in these situations. And I tend to carry grudges so I would probably carry that hurt, along with anger towards the person who was angry with me, for a long time.
 
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