How to Tell if Someone Is Angry Online

Two Parts:Spotting AngerSpotting Fake Anger

Anger is a hard emotion to catch in people, especially if it's online. It can be difficult to tell if a person behind the screen is truly angry or not. While it may be hard to tell, especially since each person has a different personality, this quick guide will help you determine if someone is angry online and how to spot it easily.

Part 1
Spotting Anger

  1. Image titled Angryonlinepic1.png
    Notice if the person says little. Some people avoid joining in conversations when they are angry or upset. Ask the person a few questions. If the answers come out as fine, cool, okay, and other one worded sentences, the person may be angry. However, note that if your friend is naturally shy or not a chatter box, short replies may happen often and is completely normal.
  2. Image titled Angryonlinepic1 1.png
    Notice if the person is using sarcasm. Most people tend to use sarcasm when they are feeling upset. You might notice fake words, exaggerated enthusiasm, annoyed emoticons, and the use of using three or more periods at the end of each sentence.
  3. Image titled Angryonlinepic1 3.png
    Know that the conversation may end shortly. After a few questions and answers, the person may feel too upset to control themselves to the point that he needs to go offline. Leave the person alone, and avoid chatting with him until you know when the person feels better.
    • Realize that the person may need to leave because of a busy schedule or his bedtime.
  4. Image titled Angryonlinepic1 4.png
    Pay attention if the person types and then erases what he wrote. When asking questions like "How are you feeling?" or "How was your day?" the person may write a long comment, complaining how terrible he feels or how awful his day was. However, to hide his anger from you, he would then stop and erase what he wrote. If this happens, there is a possibility that the person is having a rough day. Try making him happy by sending him a sweet note or complimenting him.
    • Beware of using this method when communicating with him over email or other sites that do not let you know if the user is typing.
  5. Image titled Angryonlinepic1 5.png
    Know that the person may not talk to you for a long period of time. People who are angry avoid conversations, especially if there was a bad relationship issue. If you know the person's phone number, call or text him to ask him if he is alright. You could also meet in person if you live close by.
    • Some people may also not respond to you if they are very busy. It's always okay to give them a call just to check on them.
  6. Image titled Angryonlinepic1 6.png
    Notice if the person is not friendly. Anger tends to make people emotional and makes them blow up like a balloon. You friend may not act funny, understand jokes, or talk to you like he always does. He may even think of you as weird. He'll take everything you say into bubbling anger, spitting out profanity and words that he would never say in person. Later on, the person may feel bad for what he did. Understand that anger and stress can be hard to control so forgive your friend.

Part 2
Spotting Fake Anger

  1. Image titled Angryonlinepic1 7.png
    Notice if the person is exaggerating. Repeated words of OMG, angry emoticons, and abuse of punctuation (ex: periods and exclamation marks) can mean that the person is faking anger. Despite this fact, continue to be nice to the person, and console her as best as you can.
  2. Image titled Angryonlinepic1 8.png
    Notice if the person is lying. If you receive some comments and messages from your friend lying you about feeling mad, she is most likely faking her anger to either cover up a situation or get attention.
  3. Image titled Angryonlinepic1 9.png
    Notice if the person is not making any sense. Look out for lies, fabricated stories, and comments that contradict their lies. Things like that can prove that your friend is faking her anger.
  4. Image titled Angryonlinepic1 10.png
    Notice if the person apologizes for an outburst. If she writes a whole paragraph about how she feels mad and follows it with an apology, the anger is most likely fake. Very few people apologize for their feelings, unless if they are normally respectful to you.


  • Be there for the person. Whether he is really angry or not, it is important for him to feel supported.
  • Most people who fake anger want attention or need something from you. Try asking them personally if they need something.
  • Send virtual hugs to the person. Tell her how strong she is for controlling her anger safely.


  • Do not accuse a person of faking his anger unless if you are certain. Otherwise, you will offend him and possibly worsen his anger.

  • Avoid bothering the person much if he or she is feeling upset.

Article Info

Categories: Managing Conflict and Difficult Interactions | Managing Arguments