Anger understandably has a really bad reputation. A lot of it is earned but let’s not assume that anger is never helpful. In moderation, it definitely serves an important purpose. In fact, we’ll get to that very soon. But first, we must address the reality that anger can be very destructive. One could be said to have “anger issues” if their rage is frequent, difficult to control, and out of proportion to the situation.
Of course, men in our culture are expected to show more anger than women. For better or for worse, this is considered the norm. So, how do you know when a man in your life has crossed the line?
4 Signs of Anger Issues in Men
Men are conditioned to present a certain type of strong or even macho aura. Thus, if they feel this is threatened, they might be quick to defend themselves. This can manifest as literal self-defense or violence. But more likely, it’s about saving face, e.g.
- Raising your voice
- Getting mean or cruel with your comebacks
- Shifting to a more threatening posture
- Over-reacting to any kind of criticism
- Short temper
Anger can be expressed in less obvious ways. Some might call this passive-aggressive behavior and it includes:
- Silent treatment
- Withholding affection
- Insults disguised as “jokes”
- Blaming others
Lots of Burned Bridges in Their Life
Does a man you know have very few friends from the past? Are they on bad terms with all of their exes? Do they seem to move from job to job because of workplace conflict? Life is tricky. Friendships and relationships are challenging. However, for the most part, people make them work. It’s not one battle after another. A man with anger issues is a man with stories to tell about all the folks who have wronged them in the past. They’ll even brag about how easily they cut off the people in question.
People Are on Edge Around Him
When in his presence, do you and others walk on eggshells? Has this led to people choosing to avoid him in the name of keeping the peace? Check the body language of those who come in contact with the man in question. It could be a major red flag.
When Anger is Healthy and/or Productive
Anger is an emotion that can aid our survival. There are times when one needs to get mad enough to deal with a threat. In its purest form, anger is the emotional manifestation of a self-protective process. Our emotions serve an evolutionary function, but when they overwhelm us with their intensity or frequency they can become counterproductive.
The ability and willingness to acknowledge that your anger needs to be addressed is a giant step in a positive direction. Men who identify their anger and find productive ways to discharge it are more likely to deal with other emotions in a healthy manner. When this feels impossible, rest assured there is help available for you.
Do You Need Anger Management?
Anger management is helpful because it:
- Teaches men to identify their anger and their triggers and their anger escalation process
- Helps them understand their thinking that contributes to or causes anger
- Guides them to experience and process anger without being consumed by it
- Develops healthy coping mechanisms to control anger
- Facilitates building personal resilience and strength to better weather the stressors of life
If you or a man you know is struggling to control things, I’d love to help you in anger management therapy. Men can balance their emotions without surrendering their identity. Let’s connect and talk about the possibilities!
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