Why are so many teens sooooo angry? Teens must deal with the psychological job of developing their own personal identity and eventually growing up and moving on from their family. This process takes many years and usually teens show anger to express their independence. Teens also are impulsive – they react first and think about the consequences later – maybe weeks or months after they have gotten into trouble. They often take dangerous risks because think nothing bad can happen to them. Other peers typically pressure teens to take on some not-so-safe challenges. No matter how you slice it, being a teenager can be hazardous when it comes to the issue of anger.

While many teens express anger outwardly in an aggressive way where it is easy for anyone to recognize, some teens focus their anger “inwardly” and become withdrawn, quiet, sad, or sullen. They isolate themselves from their family or friends and may become depressed over time. Other teens are passive-aggressive where they conceal their angry feelings. These teens appear to be calm on the surface but they are secretly raging or plotting revenge underneath. Passive-aggressive anger is often the most difficult to detect and may lead to sneaky behaviors, acts of revenge or even violent behavior that no one saw coming.


  • Often yells, demeans or swear at adults or other authority figures

  • Punches holes in doors or walls when angry

  • Openly challenges or defies adult requests

  • Refuses to follow house or school rules

  • Intimidates or threatens others

  • Destroys other people’s property when upset

  • Physical fights with others

  • Does not argue back when provoked or seems to hold angry feelings inside

  • Appears withdrawn, quiet or is isolated from others

  • Seems to have few emotions and/or much difficulty in verbalizing their feelings

  • Appears to be sad or depressed

  • Gets taken advantage of or “used” by others because they do not set limits

  • May hold angry feelings in for a long time and then suddenly “blow ups” in rage

  • Physical problems – headaches, stomach upset, back pain or other physical complaints due to holding anger inward

  • Avoids directly verbalizing angry feelings but retaliates through sneaky behaviors

  • Says one thing to avoid getting into trouble but does another thing to secretly get one’s own way in a situation

  • Often blames others and pretends to be innocent of any wrong doing

  • Will agree to do something but then tends to sabotage the outcome
    “Forgets” to do what they promised to do or procrastinates

  • Secretly schemes or plans revenge, although does not appear outwardly angry

  • May be dangerous or violent in their acts of retaliation – catches others by surprise, as they did not recognize that they were angry