How to Stay Away from Stress Carriers to Help Control Your Anger

Some people are stress carriers and can bring stress into a situation and induce anger. Do you know someone who, when he walks into the room, seems to disrupt everything around him? Before that person arrived, people were in a good mood, and this person changed all that. The laughter stopped, moods changed, and tension suddenly permeated the air. That lovely person is a stress carrier.

You can tell a stress carrier by the person’s:

  • Tone of voice (rapid, pressured, and grating)

  • Body posture (it communicates aggression [for example, hands waving] or defensiveness [for example, arms crossed in front of chest])

  • Tense facial expression (clenched jaw, frown, or narrowing around the eyes)

  • Fist clenching

  • Use of obscenities

  • Tendency to talk over other people in a conversation

  • Jarring laugh

  • Fixed, angry opinions

  • Rapid eye-blinks

  • Sighing

  • Dark circles under the eyes

  • Head-nodding

  • Excessive perspiration

  • Finger tapping

  • Jerky body movements

  • Tendency to walk fast

  • Tendency to eat fast

  • Tendency to frequently check what time it is

  • Tendency to hurry up the speech of others by interjecting comments such as “Yeah,” “Uh-huh,” “Right,” and “I know.”

  • Talking or listening to you while the person’s eyes continually scan the room

Stay away from stress carriers as much as you can. Their stress is contagious — if you’re around them very long, you’ll feel stressed, too. If a stress carrier’s stress spills over into anger, guess what will happen to you? You’ll find yourself angry — and you won’t know why.

If you have any of the stress-carrier characteristics, you may be a stress carrier yourself. If you’re really brave, ask someone who knows you well to examine the list and tell you what he thinks. You may not be the best judge of your true self.

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