The Most Difficult Emotion to Control, Ranked

Choose the emotion you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 22, 2024 06:24
Humans experience a wide range of emotions, each carrying its unique challenges and effects on our behavior. Often, we find ourselves struggling to manage certain emotions more than others, which can impact our decision-making, relationships, and mental health. Understanding which emotion people find the most challenging to control can provide valuable insights into common psychological struggles. By participating in voting for the most difficult emotion to control, users contribute to a collective understanding and acknowledgment of these emotional challenges. This ongoing ranking not only reflects public perception but also encourages a broader dialogue about emotional health and coping mechanisms. It's an opportunity for everyone to see which emotions are resonating as the toughest to manage across diverse demographics.

What Is the Most Difficult Emotion to Control?

  1. 1


    A strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.
    • Physiological Impact: Increases heart rate and blood pressure.
    • Common Causes: Frustration, feeling threatened, disrespect.
  2. 2


    An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
    • Survival Mechanism: Triggers the 'fight or flight' response.
    • Common Fears: Fear of heights, spiders, or failure.
  3. 3


    A multifaceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed.
    • Stages: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.
    • Physical Symptoms: Fatigue, nausea, weight loss or gain.
  4. 4


    A complex emotion that encompasses feelings ranging from fear of abandonment to rage and humiliation.
    • Triggers: Perceived threats to a valued relationship.
    • Effects: Can lead to destructive behavior in relationships.
  5. 5


    A cognitive or emotional experience that occurs when a person believes or realizes—accurately or not—that they have compromised their own standards of conduct or have violated a universal moral standard and bear significant responsibility for that violation.
    • Psychological Effects: Can lead to feelings of shame and regret.
    • Coping Mechanisms: Seeking forgiveness, making amends.
  6. 6


    A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.
    • Social Aspect: Often related to societal norms and values.
    • Effects on Self-Esteem: Can significantly lower self-worth.
  7. 7


    A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck.
    • Comparison: Stems from comparing oneself to others.
    • Outcome: Can lead to feelings of inferiority or hostility.
  8. 8


    A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.
    • Physical Symptoms: Sweating, trembling, dizziness.
    • Psychological Impact: Can lead to panic attacks or anxiety disorders.
  9. 9


    An intense feeling of deep affection.
    • Complexity: Encompasses a range of positive and negative emotional states.
    • Physical Effects: Increases dopamine and serotonin levels.
  10. 10


    A natural human emotion that involves a feeling of loss, despair, or sorrow.
    • Physical Response: Crying.
    • Psychological Impact: Can lead to depression if prolonged.

Missing your favorite emotion?

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult emotion to control. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or emotion is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 167 votes
  • 10 ranked items

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Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each emotion once every 24 hours. The rank of each emotion is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

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More about the Most Difficult Emotion to Control

Rank #1 for the most difficult emotion to control: Anger (Source)
Emotions shape our lives. They influence decisions, actions, and relationships. Among these emotions, some are harder to control than others. This difficulty stems from their intensity and the way they affect our minds and bodies. Understanding why certain emotions are tough to manage helps us gain better control over them.

One key reason some emotions are hard to control is their deep-rooted connection to our survival instincts. These emotions trigger strong physical responses. They can cause rapid heartbeat, sweating, and muscle tension. These reactions prepare us to face threats, but they also make it hard to think clearly. When our bodies react strongly, it becomes challenging to calm down and regain control.

Another factor is the way these emotions impact our thoughts. They can cloud our judgment and make us focus on negative aspects of a situation. This narrow focus can lead to a cycle of negative thinking, making it even harder to manage the emotion. Our minds get stuck in a loop, replaying the same thoughts and feelings, which only intensifies the emotion.

Social and cultural factors also play a role. Society often teaches us to suppress or hide certain emotions. This can create a sense of shame or guilt when we experience them. Instead of addressing the emotion, we may try to ignore or deny it. This avoidance can backfire, making the emotion more intense and harder to control.

Personal experiences and upbringing shape how we handle emotions. Some people grow up in environments where expressing emotions is discouraged. This can make it difficult for them to recognize and manage their feelings. Others may have faced trauma or difficult situations that make certain emotions more intense and harder to control.

Learning to manage difficult emotions takes time and practice. One effective approach is mindfulness. This involves paying attention to our thoughts and feelings without judgment. By observing our emotions, we can begin to understand them better and reduce their intensity. Mindfulness helps create a sense of distance from the emotion, making it easier to regain control.

Another useful technique is deep breathing. When we take slow, deep breaths, it sends a signal to our bodies to relax. This can help reduce the physical symptoms of intense emotions, making it easier to think clearly and respond calmly.

Talking to someone we trust can also help. Sharing our feelings can provide relief and offer new perspectives. It can help us feel less alone and more understood, which can make the emotion easier to manage.

Exercise is another effective way to cope. Physical activity releases endorphins, which improve mood and reduce stress. Regular exercise can help us handle emotions better over time.

Seeking professional help is important when emotions become overwhelming. Therapists and counselors can provide tools and strategies to manage difficult emotions. They can help us understand the root causes and develop healthier ways to cope.

Managing difficult emotions is a challenge, but it is possible. With practice and support, we can learn to navigate these intense feelings. By understanding the factors that make them hard to control, we can take steps to regain control and improve our emotional well-being.

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