Anger Index Self-Test

Your Anger Index: How Angry, Negative, Cynical and Hostile Are You?

The statements below describe situations that you may have experienced in your day-to-day living. If you haven't actually experienced it, try to imagine how you might react in the situation. Use the scoring scales to identify the response you are most likely to have in that scenario. Take whatever time you need to choose your answers, but keep in mind that your first reaction will generally most accurately represent how you would really respond. Try to be as honest with yourself as you can.

An additional way to use this Index is to ask someone who knows you well to fill out the answers for you to serve as a "reality test." They may see you very differently from the way that you see yourself. This could "open the door" to a discussion about their perspective about how angry you actually are. Do not, however, ask someone to do this for you if you are not truly interested in their perspective or you think you may get angry and disrespectful if their responses are different from yours.

Note: click here for a PDF version of Anger Index.

    3 for "most of the time"
    2 for "some of the time"
    1 for "rarely"
    for "never"

  1. I think that people who make mistakes should be strongly reprimanded and clearly told they did something wrong.
  2. I believe that most people are just out for themselves and you'd better not get in their way.
  3. When someone disagrees with me, I work hard to make sure they know that they're wrong.
  4. I get impatient, frustrated, and irritable when I have to wait (e.g. in a line at a store, when I am put on hold on the phone, in congested traffic, to be served at a restaurant).
  5. When I think about something that bothered me in the past, I start to get very angry about it all over again.
  6. If someone cancels on me at the last minute, I tend to think about how rude he or she is.
  7. When I hear about rapes or murders in the news, I would like to get back at the person who did the crime.
  8. When another driver tailgates me, or does something else I don’t like, I tend to react strongly and yell, cuss and swear, honk my horn, or flash my lights at the other person.
  9. When I am around people I don't like, they need to know it and they’ll get that message one way or another from me.
  10. When I see someone who is overweight, I start to think about how little self-discipline he or she has.
  11. When I get really angry I throw, hit, or break things around me.
  12. I can't stand it if things don't go the way I think they should go or want them to go.
  13. I get really upset with myself when I make a mistake or don't do something well.
  14. I believe that, if children misbehave, it's okay for their parents to scare them into behaving the right way.
  15. My anger has gotten me into trouble at work.
  16. When someone treats me poorly, I start to think about ways to get even with them.
  17. If I'm really mad at other people, I'm likely to put them down and cuss or swear at them.
  18. I believe that people would be dishonest if they could actually get away with it.
  19. My anger overwhelms me at times and I seem to lose control of myself.
  20. I have high expectations for myself and others.
  21. If someone hurts or offends me, I end up thinking about it a lot and have a hard time letting it go.
  22. When I get angry, I've experienced chest pain, headaches, dizziness, or other physical symptoms.
  23. When I'm angry, other people seem to shy away from me or be afraid or intimidated.
  24. I have gotten so mad that I grabbed or pushed another person.
  25. I tend to jump in and interrupt other people rather than listen to them when I disagree with them or have something important to say.
  26. Other people (e.g. partner, family, friends, boss) have expressed their concerns to me about what happens when I get angry or about how often I get mad.
  27. I don't like how I act when I get angry and I end up feeling bad about what I said or did.
  28. I think I have a "thin skin" and am easily affected by what others say and do.
  29. My anger has gotten me into trouble with the law.

    0 for "most of the time"
    1 for "some of the time"
    2 for "rarely"
    3 for "never"

  31. If I'm doing a project around home or at work and I start to get frustrated, I put it aside for awhile and come back to it when I'm calmed down and can think more clearly about how to handle what’s going on.
  32. When people I know are having difficult times in their lives, I try to understand what's going on for them and help them out if I can.
  33. I think that most people are basically trustworthy.
  34. When someone criticizes me, I listen to what they say and then try to assess whether it really makes sense for me.
  35. I try to focus on the good things that I have going in my life.
  36. I work hard to think about and try to really understand why I react the way I do when I get angry.
  37. I think people can be forgiven for what they do even if it has hurt me or others.


© 1987 David J. Decker, MA, LP