For men, it is not always anger that is the most palpable emotion, yet this is what manifests.
As I’ve distinctively written about anger on a wide range of topics, this emotion still plagues me. I know the last blog was about how the rage manifested as I was frustrated with my truck (dad’s truck really). Anger was masking shame. I was able to differentiate between emotions. A trap for many of us is to learn how to discern what emotions are present. The more we work on this skill, the more emotionally intelligent we become.
Anger is an emotional reaction to situations that we do not often know how to deal with. In my own journey, I have experienced this as the inability to express myself. This comes as telling myself I am wrong or a failure or not a good father in most cases. Many of us cannot even fathom the idea of being rid of anger, nonetheless, understand what anger is. Joining an anger management group or working with a therapist can help you explore your relationship to anger.
Anger in men kills love and desire.
Acting out in irruption is a common reaction to normal issues that can arise within a relationship. Anger is also a normal reaction to many stressors in life such as denied promotion, traffic, children, or family. Basically, anger is a result of feeling out of control or threatened. When one is out of control the connection to the self is lost. This lack of identification with emotions tends to get most of us in trouble.
Often anger is an action that is seen as explosive in nature, typically by men. There is a choice one has in regard to anger. Act it out or let it pass. In most cases, anger manifests within half a second. The result of anger setting in on average last a few hours or days or even into months or years. As anger sets in we begin to feel a physical threat.
This threat can be investigated slowly to determine the nature of the threat. Is the threat real? This is counter to almost every lesson we learn in life that requires us to “find a resolution” or “know how to handle all situations.” Sometimes we just do not know the answer, therefore, what is often the best recourse is to allow the anger in, and allow it to pass.
Dominating aspects of male anger.
Zeus showed rage by being overly demanding and controlling of many of the relationships he had in life. Zeus was filled with power, authority, and dominion, whether he chose dominion over women or conquering men (to include the dark aspect of fathering) (Bolen, 1983). This form of archetypal energy comes in bouts of disruptive drives that tend to take our focus off anything we might be concentrating on. What tends to pain men most is the pain they inflict on themselves as they refuse to talk about what angers them. Once this anger pattern begins to set in, the whirlwind engulfs everyone around them.
One problem with being engulfed with Zeus energy is how men in anger do not fully engage in his relationships. With anger and rage, men distance themselves from connecting to either other men or emotionally to women. The paradox to this is, the inability to connect emotionally, brings on anger, therefore, creating disconnection. This cycle dominates men’s lives for eternity.
Mark Twain is one of my favorite literary writers. Many of his stories have helped me connect to varying aspects in my personal life. One quote that has always stood out for me, outlines the toxicity of anger as,
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”
Unfortunately anger is ours to own.
One of the hardest paradoxes to understand is the notion that someone else is frustrating us. However, we as humans feel incapacitated when asked to divulge information. This makes understanding anger even more difficult. Perhaps the confusion is deeper set in as men try to realize that what we have been told in society is that anger is ok. Rather, anger is the one emotion that is allowed to be expressed. Emotions that we run from, such as love, desire, and fear are often pushed to the side to better be free to adapt to society’s constraints.
The danger to men is not the anger, but rather the broken relationships they create.
Men become scared and therefore erupt to create distance. Well, maybe not all men, but I sure did. Being raised by a mother who was warm and welcoming did not prepare me for how to navigate relationships with men. Yes, my father was in my life, though he was not there present physically nor emotionally. Relying again on mythology and interpreting my relationship to men through Zeus, male relationships are also seen as
A poignant quote by Shakespeare touches on the nature of an angered man as,
“Men in rage strike those that wish them best.”
For one reason or another, we strike out to the ones we love the most. According to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), “Anger is one of the most common negative patterns in relationships.” Anger has been known as the silent killer among families. It sneaks in on its victim unannounced; suffocating from within. Our entire body is tied in knots as anger sits in. Unfortunately, the individual is not the only one who is bound up in knots; the entire family is also constricted by this raging eruption.
Beginning the process of understanding anger.
Families suffer far too long from the effects of displaced emotions. Families become patterned to ignore, block off, and often repeat patterns that keep them in a cycle driven to avoid confrontation. Anger buries emotions in resentment. This resentment forms as the inability to communicate. Families are doomed to suffer the outcome of anger. When anger grows and hides from within, a family is not able to heal nor grow.
Anger is always present. This emotions has been unconscious for far too long. It can be a gift. This emotion can be one of the most valuable teachers in life. Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror when you’re mad? Can you look at yourself? Can you describe yourself or your emotional reaction to how you feel.
If you are thinking about working on your anger to better understand that damages that have been present in your relationship for a long tie now, please contact me. I want to support you in finding healthier alternatives to being in relationships.
This is the first step of many in healing your relationships with others and with yourself.
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