How to Deal with Being Angry with Yourself

5 Ways to Get to the Core Issue and Redirect Your Focus to Achieve Positive Outcomes

Neel Raman
6 min readJan 17


An aspect of emotional intelligence is knowing how to deal with being angry with yourself.

Everyone feels angry from time to time in their personal lives. How do you deal with being angry with yourself? Do you ignore it? Do you lash out at others?

When you get angry with yourself, you might not even realize why you’re upset. You may not even understand why you’re mad at yourself.

Sometimes, being angry with yourself can get out of hand and turn into self-loathing. This is not healthy and will only make you miserable, and may even cause depression.

If you’re depressed, you’ll be less motivated to work on improving yourself. If you’re less motivated to work on yourself, you’re less likely to achieve your goals.

So if you’re angry with yourself, you need to make peace with yourself first. Then you can move forward and focus on your goals.

1-Minute Summary Video

What Does Being Angry with Yourself Mean?

Being angry with yourself means you don’t have a sense of control and you’re experiencing feelings of anger that may have been triggered by something you did or didn’t do.

It could also mean you feel you’ve done something bad. Maybe you did something stupid, or maybe you didn’t do anything at all.

You might have made a mistake and you still feel guilty about it or you feel like something’s wrong with you. It means you have a negative emotion toward yourself.

Whatever the reason for your anger issues, you need to figure out what happened so you can learn from it.

That will help you avoid making the same mistakes again.

What Can Cause You to Be Angry with Yourself?

Factors that can cause you to be angry with yourself include:

  • Your thoughts. If you think negatively about yourself, you’re going to feel unhappy.
  • Your actions. If you act impulsively, you may feel a sense of guilt.
  • The environment around you. If you live in an unhealthy environment, that can trigger unpleasant emotions.
  • Your emotions. If you don’t know how to control your emotions well, you will struggle to deal with difficult feelings.
  • Other people. If you’re having trouble getting along with other people in your personal or professional life, it can trigger negative feelings.
  • Your beliefs. If you believe certain things about yourself, you’re going to have a hard time accepting those things as true.
  • Your experiences. If you had a difficult childhood or unresolved trauma, that will have a negative impact on your life.

Therefore, if you want to have better emotional intelligence, you need to improve your ability to manage your emotions. This includes managing your anger.

being angry with yourself

How Do People React to Anger?

People usually react to angry feelings by:

  • Ignoring it. They pretend it doesn’t exist.
  • Lashing out at someone else. They blame someone else for their problems.
  • Getting defensive. They become aggressive and start arguing.
  • Becoming quiet. They withdraw and shut down.
  • Trying to change the subject. They distract themselves by talking about something else.
  • Taking action. They take steps to fix whatever problem they’re facing.
  • Feeling sorry for themselves. They give up and may feel sad.
  • Expressing their feelings. They spend time with people who care about them.

Having intelligent ways to deal with being angry with yourself will help you keep your anger in check and generate a healthy emotion instead.

The Costs of Being Angry with Yourself

If you don’t apply anger management techniques, the consequences can include:

  • Depression. Experiencing depression is a common result when you have uncontrolled anger.
  • Anxiety. This is another common consequence of being angry with yourself. It can lead to panic attacks and sleeping disorders.
  • Irritability. Being constantly irritated is another common symptom of feeling angry with yourself.
  • Self-destructive behaviour. This is one way you can express anger, which unfortunately will not lead to positive outcomes.
  • Relationship problems. Not behaving like you normally would can strain your relationships.
  • Health issues. Prolonged anger issues can affect your physical health and can cause other medical conditions or issues, such as a mental health condition.

5 Ways to Deal with Being Angry with Yourself

Here are five ways you can get to the core issue of being angry with yourself and redirect your focus to achieve positive outcomes.

1. Don’t ignore your anger and allow yourself to experience it

Resisting or pretending you’re okay will cause the emotion of anger to continue building up inside you.

Instead, acknowledge you’re feeling angry. That way, you can work on identifying and solving the underlying issue.

2. Understand what caused you to feel angry

Knowing what triggered strong feelings of anger can help you better understand your patterns and how you react.

Asking self-evaluation questions, such as, “Why am I feeling this way?” or “What has triggered my emotions?,” will help you get to the root cause.

3. Accept responsibility

If your action has caused you to feel angry, you need to accept responsibility for what happened.

For example, if you are angry because you didn’t get enough sleep the previous night, say to yourself, “I’m responsible for my lack of sleep.”

It could also mean apologizing to whoever was involved, or practicing self-compassion.

4. Identify what you would rather feel

Sometimes, having some quiet time to reflect can help you get your anger under control. This can involve doing breathing exercises, which can include deep breathing or slow breathing, and practicing relaxation techniques.

When you’re in a relaxed state, you’re more likely to have more clarity so you can identity what you want.

5. Talk it out to get to the root cause

Even though you may think you know what may have caused you to feel angry, most times, the root cause is much deeper. If you experience anger regularly, it’s advisable to speak to someone.

This can be a trained professional or someone who can relate to what you’re going through. The aim is to talk about what you’re feeling so you know yourself and your triggers a lot better.

Final Thoughts

If you’re angry with yourself, the best thing you can do first is to become aware of it and not judge what you’re experiencing.

Let go of what you cannot change and focus on how you’d rather feel instead in your daily life.

Take any small step you can that will lead to a positive outcome.

Action Step: Next time you’re angry with yourself, pause first before you do anything. Ask yourself, “Is the action I’m about to take the best step for me, given the situation?” Then, take a step that will help you address your anger.

Question: What steps will you take to deal with being angry with yourself?

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Neel Raman

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