For men, it is culturally one of those emotions which feel okay to express. Growling and grimacing seem more “guy-like” than chin quivering and tears. But, what does the anger actually mean and where does it come from?
The roots of anger are not really different between men and women. What are they?
- FRUSTRATION–the feeling of a lack of control, or power, in a situation.
- HURT–emotional hurt. Guys have feelings too, even though we would like to pretend we don’t.
- ANXIETY— this may also be called fear, but guys don’t like to be afraid of anything. But, they will feel anxious or nervous about a lot of things.
What does it look like? The Incredible Hulk? John McEnroe, back in the day? Alec Baldwin? Chris Brown vs. Rihanna? Charlie “Need It- Don’t Lead It” Sheen? Mike “Lend Me Your Ear” Tyson? Johnny Manziel?
So, what do guys do with their emotions? Well, we don’t seem to have quite the support system women seem to have.
Gatherings of guys may include; sports teams, golfing, scouting or military groups, clubs, gangs, business associates and others. Yet, posturing, positioning, and power may prevent genuine connection.
Expressions of anger for guys may include:
- STUFFING, called repressing, resulting in physical, emotional, and psychological unhealthiness
- SHUTTING DOWN, not communicating, not demonstrating any emotion
- ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE, or self-medicating
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
- SUICIDAL/HOMICIDAL THINKING AND BEHAVIOR, aka destructive behavior
- BULLYING, or overpowering of a perceived weaker person through intimidation.
What’s a guy gonna do?
- Learn to identify which of these emotions are being experienced.
- Change the situation, if you can, or accept, for the moment, the situation if you can’t.
- Choose to think differently about the situation.
- Learn relaxation and self-regulating techniques
Don’t go it alone. To effectively and genuinely connect, guys can join interest groups, support groups, admit and commit to an anger management group–(remember Jack Nicholson, and Adam Sandler…but, before being court ordered to do so!), mentoring, AA/NA sponsor, faith based groups, programs and fellowships and sports or recreational pursuits, which channels aggression through sanctioned outlets, just to name a few…and/or see a professional.
More tips and resources available, through MillerCounselingServices.com!
Author: David Wiley, MS, LPC
Mr. David Wiley, MS, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Miller Counseling Services. He has practiced in a variety of behavioral health settings in the Triangle area of North Carolina since 1981, including innovative approaches to substance abuse and chronic pain management, crisis intervention, as well as working with relationship issues with couples and families. Areas of interest, and expertise include: mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, substance abuse education/screening/outpatient follow-up, ADD/ADHD, relationship/premarital/marital counseling along with co-therapy, stress/pain management including biofeedback modality, life transition issues especially with college students as well as older adults, adolescent counseling.