Study shows that anxiety can lead to the feeling of anger with someone.

  • People mistakenly believe that someone they don’t like is suffering from anxiety. 
  • University of Bristol Researchers studied 48 participants. The majority had an increased tendency to worry.
  • According to researchers, stress could affect the brain’s ability to process threats.

A study found that feeling anxious may make it more likely for you to believe someone is mad at you, even if they’re not.

When you meet someone new, give a speech in public or interview for a job, stress levels can rise.

It can be even worse if you feel that people don’t enjoy your company or seem a little bit frustrated, this could make you more anxious. 

The University of Bristol examined 48 people and found that half of them had an increased tendency to worry. According to the Royal Society journal, they were more likely than others to mistakenly interpret facial expressions and perceive the faces as being angry.

Researchers believe that stress could affect the way our brains deal with threat.

Perceiving anger instead of happiness – thinking someone is frowning or staring – may evoke the wrong feelings, potentially harming relationships. They wrote that misinterpreting social cues could lead to negative social and emotional consequences.

If you believe people are not enjoying your company, or appear a bit cross, it can make you even more anxious (stock image)

You can become more anxious if you feel people aren’t enjoying you company (stock photo)

The research team, headed by Dr Maddy Dyer said that being stressed could have an effect on the way our brains handle threat. That may partially explain their findings.

They suggested that the findings might have implications for stressful situations such as job interviews or clinical settings.

“Our findings might have social or clinical implications,” they stated.

“Several social situations which involve facial emotion processing may cause anxiety in many people. For example, public speaking can trigger state anxiety.

According to the researchers, “Perceiving anger instead of happiness (e.g., thinking that someone is staring at you) or failing to perceive happiness in neutral, ambiguous faces can signal disinterest or rejection and cause negative emotions.

“This might lead to unintentional or weak reactions in social interactions and behaviour avoidance. These reactions could cause negative reactions among others which can impact attachments as well as relationships.

The researchers, led by Dr Maddy Dyer, said being stressed might have an impact on how our brains process threat, which could partially explain their results (stock image)

Researchers led by Dr Maddy Dyer suggested that stress might affect how our brains deal with threat. This could partly explain the results. Stock image