A roommate of mine always confuses me. I'm trying to put a word to what she does. When she drinks others milk, eats their food, and they point it out to her (after watching her do it), she just yells "FUCK. FUCK. Fine. I'll buy you a new one. Everyone's always blaming me for taking their stuff. SHIT.", then continues to bad mouth the person who pointed it out when they leave the room. Then a few minutes later, she realizes that she did indeed use the wrong milk carton, and all is back to normal. That brief moment of random anger and hostility instead of rational behavior is what confuses me.

Or if she is proven wrong about something, or has a tough time writing a paper, the same emotion comes out.

It's really weird.. and I can't describe the irrational emotions.

  • A "Sore loser" ?
    – moonstar
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 10:11

5 Answers 5


It is a defense mechanism against guilt/shame/blame.

It is a kind of reaction formation that leads to anger and rage.

In Freudian psychoanalytic theory, defence mechanisms are psychological strategies brought into play by the unconscious mind to manipulate, deny, or distort reality in order to defend against feelings of anxiety and unacceptable impulses to maintain one's self schema.

When anxiety becomes overwhelming, it is the ego's place to protect the person by employing defence mechanisms. Guilt, embarrassment and shame often accompany anxiety.

The anxiety is felt as an increase in bodily or mental tension and the signal that the organism receives in this way allows it the possibility of taking defensive action regarding the perceived danger.

And there is a certain type of manipulation technique:

Brandishing anger: Manipulator uses anger to brandish sufficient emotional intensity and rage to shock the victim into submission. The manipulator is not actually angry, he or she just puts on an act. He just wants what he wants and gets "angry" when denied.

In conclusion, after all these psychological explanations, if I want to come up with one word for this kind of person, it would be impetuous or impulsive.

of, pertaining to, or characterized by sudden or rash action or emotion.

impetuous, impulsive both refer to persons who are hasty and precipitate in action, or to actions not preceded by thought.

Also from vocabulary.com:

Impetuous has to do with doing things on the spur of the moment — and not good things. Being impetuous usually goes along with being impatient and easily angered.

  • I agree that lack of impulse control is a significant part of this picture. This is normal in the young but is not in average adults. Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 5:54

Someone who is easily angered and incapable of controlling their temper is said to be

Irascible having or showing a tendency to be easily angered

He was a little quick-tempered and irascible , and people were apt to think him cross and crabbed, but he had a kind heart.



Are you easy to tick off? Known to have a short fuse? Then, you could be described as choleric. Don't worry; it's not a disease related to cholera. Choleric just means you're testy and irritable.


The following link is a useful article on anger disorder. The description might match your roommate's, if these outbursts of anger are also accompanied with violence.

Anger disorder, more properly known as Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) is a psychological condition characterized by sporadic episodes of aggression, violence, and destructive behavior.


She isn't "getting angry" but just experiencing an emotional episode: lalochezia

Emotional relief gained by using indecent or vulgar language.

  • A really great word!
    – user63230
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 5:35

Consider "temperamental and "mercurial."

temperamental: marked by excessive sensitivity and impulsive mood changes.

mercurial: characterized by rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood.


Emotions are irrational

The behavior you describe is typical of a person who is under stress. Her personality also plays a part.

A word ... immature.

Edit: We could just say she's stressed, or stressed out.

You could check her star sign. Believers (not me of course) think a Scorpio behaves like this!

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