General Question

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Have you ever punched a wall?

Asked by La_chica_gomela (12532points) May 24th, 2009

Why? Were you just frustrated or was it something else? Do you think it’s a common or normal reaction to negative feelings (such as anger, grief, frustration, etc) or do you think it’s some kind of warning sign?

I’m trying to understand if this is something common or there’s some kind of statistical improbability with how many people (okay, fine, men, i’m trying to be non-biased here) i’ve seen do this in my life.

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54 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

It’s a classic sign of rage issues. It is not normal.

Grisaille's avatar

Yes. Unfortunately, it punched back.

Tink's avatar

Yes because of anger and I made a hole in it

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I’ve always been torn when it comes to people doing this. I myself have never done it, but I would be lying out of my ass if I said I never had the desire to do so. This is why I want a punching bag, because I’m the type of person who has the unfortunate tendency to let things build up before they all break loose at once.

That said, I think when people resort to such a violent action, it’s typically in instances where it’s impulsive and therefore uncontrolled, which can definitely be a warning sign. An ex of mine punched a wall when he got extremely angry and upset at me once, and it scared the shit out of me, because I’d never seen him do anything like it before. It never once turned into something more violent or scary, however.

I think when people display these kind of emotions/actions, the danger it may pose to other people depends on how frequently it happens. If I saw this behavior coming from someone on a regular basis, yes, I would be a little worried they may get more violent. Once in a while or barely ever, though, I think it’s human and very normal.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’ve kicked, punched, and thrown things at a wall at one time or another. It has always been from anger or frustration or something similar to this. It’s not a habit of mine and it happens very rarely and even though it is only a temporary form of release, it isn’t a very mature form of behavior.

I’m only human but I don’t have persistent anger management issues either. More often than not I will go exercise or walk or take a drive if I’m worked up about something rather than hit inanimate objects or break things.

MacBean's avatar

I did once. (Well, it was a door, not a wall.) I can’t even remember what I was angry about, but I know it was directed at my mother and I was seeing red. The only options I could see were to punch my mother or an inanimate object. The door was the closest inanimate object to me. It did not tickle.

A fair number of people I know have dented car hoods, put holes in walls, and/or damaged their hands by punching things that were not the people they wanted to punch. My oldest nephew has broken his knuckles on two occasions because the walls he takes his frustration out on tend to be concrete. Whoops.

DesireeCassandra's avatar

I did, maybe twice… in high school. I hated life, and was angry at my parents. I think it all had to do with being young and not really understanding life.

shrubbery's avatar

I’ve wanted to a couple of times. And I’ve wanted to put my hand through a glass window for some reason. Glad I didn’t.
I don’t think it’s a warning, I think it’s a sign that the person is so angry (we’ve all been there) but they choose to take it out on a wall rather than a person, which is a good thing in my book. It shows self control, maybe not as much as someone who would go for a walk or run instead of punch the wall, but hey, we’re all human and we all have our own ways of dealing with things, at least they didn’t punch a person or kick the closest animal or something, that would be a warning.

Jack79's avatar

Lots of times, including yesterday.

Yes, I was very frustrated. I am frustrated most of the time these days. Some of you know why.

I don’t know if it’s normal, I know that it would have to be either the wall or somebody’s face. I chose the wall.

Grisaille's avatar

Okay, on a serious note:

The only time I punched a wall was when my grandmother died. I was upset, confused with life, angry at the injustice of the world (she did not have health insurance – we were waiting on “the paperwork to go through” so she could get a kidney transplant. I felt as if she passed away because of the ineptitude of the health care system); I was just pissed.

Other than that, I’ve never been so uncontrollably upset that I’ve lashed out at inanimate objects. Painting ain’t easy, yo.

3or4monsters's avatar

It wasn’t driven by a desire to do violence. Anger welled up, and I felt possessed, not myself, destructive, but I pummeled an inanimate object because the pain I caused myself was a reset switch—- the pain cut through the red haze of anger, sobering and humiliating me, and made crystal clear what kind of damage those emotions could cause. I rerouted those tracks, it stopped the train from reaching it’s destination. It would cause this thing to end before I could hurt someone or damage something of worth.

In sum, it was the fastest, most thorough method of making the rage go away without hurting anybody else but myself.

It has been many, many years since such actions were necessary.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@Grisaille: I’m sorry for your loss. that sounds unimaginably painful.

Grisaille's avatar

@La_chica_gomela It’s in the past now; I’m not spiritual, but I’d like to believe she’s in a better place. She was hooked up to machines for nearly a year in a coma, bed sores, dialysis daily, black patches on her skin from all the IVs and what have you. Wasn’t pretty, wasn’t easy. I’ve gotten over it now (kinda), but it still pisses me off that this shit is frequent. I hope President Obama lives up to his promises; the healthcare system is broken.

And thank you for you condolences.

rooeytoo's avatar

It’s not a part of me that I am proud of but yes I have many times. I hate it when I lose control like that. I would like to blame it on someone else and yes there is always a trigger provided by another person, but ultimately I know that I can’t blame anyone or anything else for what I do. It is my job to control me, that is all I can control so I have to work harder at doing it and not wishing the rest of the world would behave so I didn’t have to.

Myndecho's avatar

No not really, walls are harder than my hand.

alive's avatar

yes.

also, one time i kicked a wall (i was fighting with my parents) and instantly was like “SHIT! i just put a hole in the wall” so i got into even more trouble! haha oh good ol’ childhood!

augustlan's avatar

Several times, when I was in high school. The worst occasion was the time it was a brick wall. Ouch! As an adult, I have thrown things into walls twice, and kicked a wall. In all instances, I also had to fix the wall. Always anger related. It’s very few and far between, and hasn’t happened for a long time.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

No. I’ve x-rayed people who have broken bones doing it though, and its really quite funny. I wonder how many people would punch walls/windows/fridges if they knew every staff member in the hospital was trying not to laugh.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh It may not be the smart thing to do, but are you saying you’ve never been so angry you haven’t wanted to do something like that?

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Oh I have, I just choose softer targets! I don’t claim to have that much self-control.

Actually when I do feel like that, I go for a fast run, whip out my weights when I get back and keep at it till I’m too tired to keep going.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Okay, just curious. I often punch pillows, but that is so dissatisfying. lol

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@DrasticDreamer I find a mattress is more satisfying, but sometimes a wooden beam (in the right direction so it can flex). I once kicked an old lounge chair without much padding left. My foot hurt for hours.

YARNLADY's avatar

Nope, I’m not a hitter, but I’m a door slammer.

jrpowell's avatar

Once that I remember. But that was a knee through the wall. And I filled the wall with hot dogs until they fixed it. I thought it would start to smell, but it never did. (that was at work)

joeysefika's avatar

Yeah, the other week, suffice to say it hurt. As a result I have very cut up knuckles.. But that may well have been from the teeth of the guy I also punched.

Lupin's avatar

Never in anger. But I did break my hand once because I was stupid.
When I was an impulsive teenager, I worked at a certain famous fast food place that makes hamburgers. Lettuce came in large, strong plastic bags. Three us decided it would make a loud noise if we filled it with air and popped it. The other two guys held the tightly inflated bag in front of the walk-in freezer door and I punched as hard as I could. Right into the bag, into the metal walk-in. Crack! I had to be taken to emergency and had a cast on for three weeks. I do not punch walls.

Jude's avatar

Once. I was having an argument with my Mom. She had a problem with my then g/f. At the time, she was in huge denial about the fact that I was gay. My g/f was 10 years older and in my Mom’s mind, my g/f was brainwashing me into being gay. Crazy, I know. My Mom was saying terrible things about my girlfriend even though she had never met her. I was pissed and hurt and yelling back, and out of frustration, I turned and punched the wall. Knuckles a bit bloody, but, I was so upset, I don’t remember feeling anything.

whatthefluther's avatar

I suffer from bouts of unbearable pain. The worst is when my abdominal muscles/diaphragm cramps up. I can not imagine that even being stabbed in the abdomen could be more painful and sometimes wonder if slashing those muscles will make the pain go away. The cramping is a result of muscles weakness and failure caused by ALS. I have had or have similar cramping in my feet and legs, hands and arms, chest and jaw but none compares to abdominal muscle cramping. The cramping in my legs and arms have subsided some as those muscles are pretty much history. But I would do anything to stop the ab pain. I can not breathe, it brings me to tears, I get angry and I get frustrated. I punch my wooden desk with all my strength. Fortunately, I lack the strength to hurt the desk or my hand seriously. But, it seems to transfer the pain some and I feel better for doing it. I hope to keep punching my desk for a long time and hope these cramps subside without taking away my ability to breathe, but it doesn’t look good.

casheroo's avatar

Yes, and I hurt my hand badly. I never saw a doctor for it, but it hurt to move for weeks.
I was just super frustrated, screaming baby 24/7, husband working 80 hours a week..I was at my wits end. It’s not the healthiest outlet, but it’s better than hitting a person, in my opinion.
My husband has hit quite a few walls, at our first apartment. He made a couple holes. He hasn’t done that in a while though.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

I don’t punch walls. At least, I’ve never been angry enough to want to do that. But I do slam doors. And often get yelled at for doing so…

hearkat's avatar

I kicked a hole in a door when I was 10. I wasbeing teased and tormented by my siblings.

When I was around 35 I put 2 holes in the wall with my forehead. I was still full of self-loathing from my childhood abuse, and I was in a very difficult relationship with a man who had also been abused in childhood. We loved each other deeply, but it was a bad match. On top of that, my oral birth control gave me the worst PMS mood swings ever. Those were some of the darkest days of my life, when I considered voluntary committment.

dynamicduo's avatar

Never. I have taken out my anger on pillows, but I draw the line when it comes to inflicting permanant damage to a physical object.

Dog's avatar

@johnpowell The hot dogs never stunk? Great preservatives in those things huh?

Yes- a wall and a window. The latter garnered me stitches.

I was overwhelmed with rage and needed to lash out. The pain seemed to temper the
rage. Also the cost of replacing the window and the time I spent patching the wall were
penance.

justwannaknow's avatar

That is something that never made sense to me. First it would probably hurt like hell and then if you damage the innocent wall you must make it good, either by repairing it or paying for it.

SirBailey's avatar

Is punching a wall (or slamming a door, or yelling, etc.) a response to anger or a demand for attention?

Blondesjon's avatar

I’ve punched many walls, and cabinets, and refrigerators, and doors. I finally got over myself about twelve years ago. I was trying to put the Christmas tree up and I couldn’t get it to stay upright. I began to pitch a fit and started storming around the house looking for dry wall anchors and some rope. I was going to tie that fucker to the wall. It was going to stand up one way or another.

I went to the closet at the end of the hall and jerked the louvred door open so hard that it ripped out of it’s tracks and broke in four or five places. Something clicked in my head at that moment and I truly realized how ridiculous I was acting. I went out and bought a stand with a broader base. Problem solved.

There is still no door on that closet. I like to think of it as reminder.

i’m also too lazy to replace it

Dansedescygnes's avatar

Nah. When I’m angry I don’t want to hurt myself or actually break anything. Broken things bother me much more than whatever was making me angry would have. I prefer to throw things or knock things down or as @YARNLADY said, slam doors. I don’t punch walls or throw breakable things, that’s just destruction that can’t be repaired. Also, I don’t want to injure myself in the process; I have no desire to self-injure.

And also what @rooeytoo said, anger like that for me is really only caused by another person.

phoenyx's avatar

Back when I was a teenager, I got in some stupid fight with my parents that ended when I kicked a hole in the wall and we were all too stunned to keep fighting. Looks like argument with parents → hole in wall isn’t uncommon.

Darwin's avatar

I haven’t punched a wall in anger. I am more of a door slammer. I have, however, hit walls with my head in order to stop focusing on pain in my abdomen.

My son, however, has hit many walls, windows and doors with his fists, his head, his feet, and whatever he could pick up. His room is a disaster area, and he really needs to learn how to tape and float. However, he is bipolar and oppositional-defiant and has huge anger and impulsivity issues.

We are working on those.

arnbev959's avatar

Usually I don’t do anything, but when I really need a physical outlet for venting I throw things. I usually end up breaking something. Once I threw a baseball through the side of an aluminum pool and flooded the backyard.

loser's avatar

Many, many times. I did it in anger. It served as a release. A very ineffective release, but a release. I don’t do it anymore since the last time I actually put a hole in the wall and had to fix it.

Facade's avatar

No, that would hurt.

Ashalah's avatar

Yes I have punched a wall. A few times actually. Wether I was angry or upset or stressed. I don’t neccessarily think it is a warning sign. Honestly I think taking your frustration out on a wall is better than taking it out on a person. I think it’s pretty normal.

Staalesen's avatar

Well, yes… I was trying to get some racist thrown out from a party, and talked to the person who brought them there… He responded with hitting me in the face, and since I had enoug decency not to hit back, i hit a wall on my way out, broke my finger, and got denied acces to the locale for a week since I was involved in a Violent episode.. Go figure…

YARNLADY's avatar

@SirBailey Probably both, the anger brings on a fight response that can be relieved by the act of door slamming, and the sound tells the rest of the world, or at least household to pay attention to this issue. My son used to go in the kitchen and very loudly empty the ice cube trays into the ice cube holder.

justwannaknow's avatar

It would make more sense to find something constructive to do rather than destructive. I go out to the back and split firewood with a splitting maul.

Master's avatar

I used to.

wundayatta's avatar

I have never punched a wall, but once I slammed my trumpet against one. You know how Dizzy’s trumpet went up? Well mine was just the opposite after that fit of frustration.

I learned a lot from that experience.

cameron666's avatar

Yes. I’m currently suffering from this issue. My counselor thinks that my adhd has something to do with it. I suffer from it severely, I dont thinka bout my actions. i tend to just act impulsively.. I got mad and punched my wall, hit the 2×4 behind the drywall and broke all my fingers.. idk why i do it.. it releases endorphins though..

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t think I have ever punched anything. Maybe it’s a guy thing.

Darwin's avatar

I guess this is an improvement: last night instead of punching the wall my son threw egg-rolls and Sprite at me. The egg-rolls stung a bit but the dogs appreciated them. They also attempted to lick all of the Sprite up but it was more than they could consume.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Darwin – your narrative brings back memories of my childhood with my brother. It is a hell of a thing for you, the other family members and (it took me a long time to realize this) your son himself because I don’t think anyone would consciously choose to have the feelings that cause him to react in that manner.

To me, it was truly one of those situations where if it didn’t kill me, it made me stronger.

monsoonchaser's avatar

I’m glad I found this page. Earlier today, I was having an argument with my mom, I was yelling and I walked out of her room full of anger and “impulsively” (as other posts on this page have put it) punched a window. The results were terrible, the window shattered and there were 2 large deep gashes in my arm. I was stunned,confused and in shock. I went to the hospital for 10 staples in my arm. Now that I think back on the moment I notice how there were no rational thoughts going through my head, just anger. I’ve slammed doors before, but I’ve never done anything like this, and I am considering anger management or something. My personality is similar to Drastic Dreamer, I am very calm and I just let my stresses and angers build until I snap under pressure.

sixteenarmsbill's avatar

Yes it hurt like hell.

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