Print Posted By Blog Admin on 06/12/2017 in Category 1

Men and Anger

Men and Anger

Although both men and women experience feelings of anger and aggression, we specifically wanted to focus on the topic of men and anger. We interviewed Marriage and Family Therapist Rob Kaufman his expert opinion about anger and how do manage it.

Q: What is anger and how is it different from aggression?

A: ANGER is very different from AGGRESSION. Anger is a feeling and aggression is a behavior; how we deal with our feelings of anger. This basic difference is the same between “sadness” and “crying;” we feel sad and express that sadness through our behavior of crying.

Q: What are some of the potential health consequences of dealing with anger?

A: While I am not qualified to answer how anger influences or affects us physically, for example, increasing blood pressure, or cholesterol or glucose or triglycerides, etc., I am prepared to speak to how anger can affect our mental health. Anger, especially anger that is internalized, can increase stress, contribute to depression and anxiety. Anger not addressed can lead to aggressive behavior (think bar fights or domestic violence). But anger unchecked also leads man to self-medicate with alcohol, marijuana, food, exercise, self-mutilation or suicidal gestures and contribute to addictions.

Q: How do men generally deal with their anger?

A: Healthy men (and women) deal with anger in healthy ways. First, they work to identify why they feel angry - e.g. fired from job; girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband was unfaithful or is divorcing them; they were abused by a parent growing up; because of poor social skills they have no friends, etc. Second, they address whatever they feel angry about - e.g. look at why they were fired and what part they played in it as well as look for another job rather than have a pity party at home; they work on lessening their anger by working on accepting their hurt and anger and lessen it by working on forgiving their partner whether they remain together or split-up; and seek counseling or a support group to deal with those parts of the anger they cannot heal on their own.

Unhealthy men (and women) deal with anger in Unhealthy ways: First they work to avoid, dismiss, or try not to think about why they are angry - e.g. fired from job; girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband was unfaithful or is divorcing them; they were abused by a parent growing up; because of poor social skills they have no friends, etc. Second, they work diligently to not feel their anger or anything about their situation - feel sorry for themselves for being fired, blame everyone around them (which will increase the very anger they don’t want to feel) and most likely self-medicate - by alcohol, drugs, food, etc.; or suppress their anger which will increase stress, depression and anxiety and eventually paralyze them; and, when the anger mounts and they are unable to repress it anymore, they explode and lash out verbally or physically - e.g. domestic violence, go postal, drive recklessly, etc.

Q: Why are some people more prone to anger than others?

A: While this question is above my pay grade (i.e. I am not a physician or health care provider or scientist), I would guess a contributing factor is the quantity of testosterone in each man, which I assume varies among men. As for the psychological reason some men are more prone to anger than others has more to do with DNA and their personality. Some men can let situations that anger other men, simply roll off their back. Some men - think men with ADHD or poor impulse control - react in the moment they feel angry before thinking about the consequences of their action, while other men can reflect on their anger and act differently in a way that is not destructive or harmful to others or themselves.

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