Extremely angry body language is always very easy to spot. When we truly lose our cool there are many many signs that show our anger. Below, we’ll cover some of the more subtle signs of anger, but let’s cover the more apparent angry body language gestures first.
Obvious Angry Body Language Signs
- Clenched fists
- The mouth opens showing the lower teeth or the lips pinch tightly together
- Pointing at someone with a clenched fist and extended forefinger
- Overly assertive physical contact
- Eyes staring piercingly
These are some of the more obvious nonverbal clues to anger signs that we see when someone is very angry. They’re the kind of motions students on a criminal justice bachelor degree course will be told to look out for; sure signs of a loss of control. But what about when we are feeling only a little angry or when we are trying to hide our anger? It’s by being able to recognise and understand the following angry body language signs that you will be able to spot any threat of danger before it escalates, so make sure to read this list carefully.
Subtle Angry Body Language Signs
- The eyebrows lower and come closer together
- The lower eyelids tighten, hiding much of the bottom of the eye
- The upper lip becomes thinner
- Our face will either be too red or too pale. The face grows red when we try to hold our anger in, where if we are preparing to run or to fight our face will become pale as blood flows to the limbs.
- We may tap irritably either on a part of our body or on an object
- The angry person may push their chest or chin forward while showing open body language as if to say, “Go on, hit me.”
- Any kind of clubbing or beating motion can indicate anger as it simulates the motion of swinging a club.
These are the types of body language gestures which may be seen either in mild anger experienced in the moment (students in online counselling courses will be advised to look out for these gestures) or experienced through memory (interviews with mesothelioma patients show the patient using these subtle body language gestures when asked certain questions).
Angry Body Language when approaching
- An angry person will often approach very directly with their chest pushed forward
Controlled Angry Body Language
When we are feeling angry but are trying to control our anger rather than lashing out, we will show the following body language signs:
- Red face
- Arms folded across our chest, which is a stance we may assume if we are either protecting ourselves or holding our anger in (as we can’t hit someone with our arms folded)
- We will likely turn our body away so that our vital areas (face, throat, chest and privates) are protected and so that we may distract ourselves by turning to look at something other than the source of our anger.
- The leg body language may resemble a pumping, the sort of motion we make when working a foot pump, showing inpatients.
- When a person is doing a good job of hiding their anger you will notice occasional very quick and jerky moments. They may, for instance, be sitting perfectly still when suddenly they jab their forefinger down into the table.
Look out for these angry body language gestures. They’ll help you to spot a potential issue before it becomes a problem.