Are Brits in need of better anger management?

26th October 2012

The average Brit ‘sees red’ 28 times a month – or a staggering 336 times in a year, it emerged yesterday.

A lack of sleep and finance worries are the biggest contributors to feelings of anger and frustration, while relationship worries were also shown to be taking their toll.

Researchers studied the habits of 2,000 people to discover how our tempers impact on our lives and how often we let our angry side get the best of us. 

Results showed that the typical working adult sees red at least 7 times a week and nearly half of us worryingly admit to bottling things up. Six in ten people admit they regularly find themselves getting annoyed over trivial things without knowing why, while a quarter confessed they sometimes reach a level of anger where they risk losing control.

The research, which was commissioned by leading health and wellbeing mutual organisation Benenden Healthcare, found one in four people describe themselves as having a temper.

Yesterday, Lawrence Christensen, Head of Communications & Strategy at Benenden Healthcare said: “This is all about maintaining positive mental wellbeing and taking steps to ensure a balance in our emotions.  Everyone knows life is hard and everyone has their own coping mechanisms, but despite this, Brits are still experiencing frequent occasions where they let their angry side get the better of them – 28 times a month seems a staggering frequency, almost once a day.

“Anger can manifest itself in a number of ways and on a variety of levels, but it is important that we recognise when we might be going too far. These days, there is a wide range of ways in which people can seek assistance for anger management if they think they are seeing red all too often.

“On the flip side – bottling up anger can sometimes be just as detrimental to your mental wellbeing if it leads to a constant feeling of frustration – but again, talking things through with the right person in a calm manner can help dissipate anger.”

A third of Brits would describe their partner as having a temper and that they have to accommodate their partner’s mood within their relationship. In fact, one in four people says anger has an impact on their relationship overall while one in three have a particular incident they regret to this day after losing their temper.

A sharp tongued 64 per cent say their anger makes them likely to snap at people, while a third say they deal with it by just going very quiet. A tenth have stormed out of a meeting before; while one in five have thrown their phone in anger.

A quarter has made someone else cry after their temper got the better of them.

The study found it takes the average Brit half an hour or less to calm down after getting themselves worked up.

Day to day factors like cold callers, bad customer service and supermarket self-checkouts are some of the most anger-inducing experiences of modern life, while rudeness, last minute cancellations and internet faults are likely to put the average person in poor mood.

Respondents cited mornings as the most likely time to experience being angry, with the worst time of the week found as Monday lunchtime.

A mindful one in six moderate their drinking because they have experienced extreme anger when drunk and wish to avoid making the same mistakes. And when it comes to controlling anger, people feel going for fresh air or confiding in a friend works best.

While four in ten people would be willing to seek professional advice should they feel they were becoming angry too often.

Marcus Leonard, Cognitive Behaviour Therapist at Oakdale Group - a partner of Benenden Healthcare said: “Professionally, anger can be seen as a socially accepted way of dealing with vulnerability. People experience anger as a result of unmet expectations, i.e. the expectation of being told the truth or of people being polite.

“It is important for people to recognize that anger, expressed appropriately, can be perfectly natural and may often even be useful.  In my experience, when people lose their temper, they can best handle it by giving themselves space to reflect and taking quiet time to think about what they’ve done and exercising self-compassion.”

 “One of the threads that runs through anger management therapy sessions is the notion of giving the individual space to reflect on their actions in a non-judgemental vacuum which works very powerfully.  Effective communication is also useful in every relationship to ensure that our frustrations don’t ascend to unmanageable levels.”


1. Tiredness                                     

2. Rudeness                                      

3. Being lied to                                  

4. Finance worries                             

5. Bad customer service                     

6. Being Overworked                       

7. Cold Callers                                   

8. Being hungry                                

9. Being on hold                                 

10.When someone can't make decisions

11. When someone doesn't get back to you  

12. Worry about relationships 

13. Dealing with slow internet

14. When people turn up last minute 

15. Losing work when your computer crashes 

16. Worry about job stability

17. Self-service supermarket check outs

18. Worries about work performance

19. Dealing with big corporations

20. Feeling ill

If you’d like further information about anger management, please contact The British Association of Anger Management on 0845 1300 286 or visit or

The survey of 2,000 Brits aged 18+ was carried out by online market researchers between 17th & 18th October 2012


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