Anger Issues / Anger Management in Men
Many men struggle with the emotion of anger. The struggle can either be one of not being able to ‘control’ one’s anger or conversely not being able to experience how angry one actually is. Anger in and of itself is not a problem as it is simply an emotion. The problem is the choices men may decide to make at the moment they experience the emotion of anger. It can feel at that precise moment like the man has no other alternative and is consumed by anger. The negative consequences of reacting to anger can result in the loss of relationships, employment, health and overall well-being. In the current North American context anger in men is generally frowned upon and viewed as entirely negative. As a result many men work to suppress their emotion of anger or to negate that they experience it. The consequence of negating the presence of anger is generally that the emotion becomes turned inward. Inward anger (often unnoticed) can transform into an experience of depression.
Responding to Anger
Individuals do not have any control over which emotions they will experience. It is normal and completely healthy to experience all emotions even the ones considered most ‘negative’. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling or experiencing anger. Every human on the planet has had and will continue to have the experience of anger. However, an emotion such as anger provides an opportunity to respond (which is drastically different from reacting). Responding to anger implies experiencing the emotion of being angry and then making the healthiest choice one can make in the moment. This is the fundamental work for a man who struggles with his anger. It is developing the courage to experience the emotion of anger and then responding to that emotion with a healthy choice. This takes commitment and practice but over time responding to anger in a healthy way becomes easier and easier.
Treatment for Anger Issues in Men
It may be intellectually helpful to understand that the ideal goal is to respond to the emotion of anger with a healthy choice. However, knowing something intellectually does not translate into a new behaviour. There could be a myriad of reasons why men struggle in particular with the emotion of anger. It is not uncommon for men to have grown up in homes or environments where their primary caregivers displayed anger regularly. Often past hurts or pains can also have negatively affected a man making the use of anger act as a safety mechanism. Uncontrolled anger is trying to provide a message to the individual experiencing it and it is important to help uncover what that message is. A man is not a bad person because he reacts to his anger. He is simply an individual in pain and it is important to help uncover and work through that pain while concurrently practising to respond to anger with healthy choices.
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“Anger in and of itself is not a problem as it is simply an emotion. The problem is the choices men may decide to make at the moment they experience the emotion of anger.”