Why do we break things when we are furious?


Why do we break things when we are furious?

In: Other

I’m gonna leave this here until an expert answers.

We, human beings are wired to express things or emotions in action. Be it rage, sympathy, love, or any other feeling. When we are furious or mad, our feelings get converted into action, and breaking (or throwing) stuff can release the stress.

It’s an overpowering thing. Some of us have a need for control over things we can’t control when we’re frustrated by things, so exerting force over objects helps plant a false sense of power over something.

Most people don’t break anything. I would say it’s a pathology that’s exaggerated by the media because of the drama.

That said, we are all susceptible to making bad decisions when we are emotional. Rage is one of the emotions that can especially consume us to the point where we can’t focus on anything else, and hence can’t assess the outcomes of our actions clearly. The breaking of stuff is then a mix of needing to direct our aggression into action, and disregard for the consequences of doing so.

That aggression can make us physically violent is likely due to genetic links, because those who fought others were at many times in our evolution more successful in survival and/or breeding offspring than those who did not.

Anger is designed to make us aggressive. It’s the “fight” part of “fight or flight”. It’s there to make us motivated enough to try and obliterate the thing that is causing a problem for us. To work, anger needs to make us more willing to break things and more likely to try breaking things. Sometimes that means the thing making us angry, sometimes it means incidental things, if something else is stopping us from breaking the thing that is making us angry, like anti-murder laws.


I’m not sure what context this is, seems pretty general, but I feel it’s important to note most people don’t do that.

If you’ve ever read Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft you will find that many destructive and abusive people do it for many reasons and excuse it as being out of control, when the opposite is true. These abusers are in control, have perfected their systematic abuse, and target and tailor their abuse to their specific victim.

Some people here have said evolution or fight or flight or what have you, but when it comes to abuse and destruction, context means a lot and that seems really reductive.

If you are in a situation where someone is constantly destroying your possessions or others, you should get out of that situation immediately. If you are looking for an excuse as to why you yourself destroys objects in anger, you should get help. There is actually not an excuse for it in normally functioning adults.

I don’t think it’s everybody, just people with anger issues. I’m one of those people. The trick is to remember that you’re the one that will have to clean it up, so you’re only fucking your own angry self over. That and focusing on breathing instead of the thoughts racing through your mind.

Another handy trick is to focus on your senses. Think of 5 things you see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell and finally what taste do you have in your mouth. I’ve never made it past 4 without being calm again.

Not everyone does. Possible reason is redirecting the anger to things instead of something or someone that caused it.

Firstly should be noted that not everyone breaks things because of anger.

Now to the actual part of your question.
If people are not emotionally and correctly regulated as children when dealing with overwhelming feelings, they don’t learn how to self regulate and such will create strategies to release tension and unregulated emotion.
I.e breaking things.