A few days ago, I was teaching a class called Levites School for Men. During the class a powerful discussion began about why men are so angry, to keep the conversation going, later that evening I posted a status on Facebook, simply asking the question ‘Why Are Men So Angry?’ The comments were insightful and thought-provoking. Some of the responses were:
“Lack of preparation…someone should have taught me how to prepare for it and manage it”
“ Men are angry because of injustices in our world”
“ We walk out into a world that constantly tests the mental fortitude of our mind, body, and spirit.”
So it’s safe to say that many men deal with anger on some level, and those same men often struggle with finding healthy ways to deal with it. When describing anger, I like to look at it like a debt relationship, and the only way to get out of a debt relationship is that someone has to pay or someone has to be forgiven.
People often get angry when they don’t get their way and then they live in a time warp, wishing something could be restored that never can. Most men are never taught how to express anger properly or they don’t know what to do with those intense feelings so they learn to either lash out or suppress them and because of this, many men walk around with bottled up anger from things that either disappointed them or stole their time.
The thing we must realize is that anger is real; it is an emotion, but our emotions need to be controlled, our emotions should not control us. We have to heal from our anger and learn to steward it properly. Anger can sometimes be a clue to help you discover your purpose and passion. What things, situations or injustices make you angry? This may be a clue to the problem you’re supposed to solve, so channel that anger and let it point to purpose instead.
Misplaced anger is rooted in immaturity. I always say, “Men manage their emotions, boys respond to them.”
The real goal is to have the maturity to manage our anger, and that starts by having a plan for when you get angry so you can control your reaction in intense situations. What’s your plan? Will you take a moment to go for a short walk? Will you talk through it with a trusted friend? Take some to really think about what you’ll do in those situations. Write it down or tell someone who will hold you accountable.
The Goodmenproject.com featured a great article with 9 Healthy Ways Men Can Deal With Anger if you struggle with finding ways to deal with anger, I encourage you to not only read these tips but apply them.
1. Accept anger: I no longer try to push my anger away or pretend it’s not there.
2. Write down my thoughts/Process: Writing is a way I can work through my anger.
3. Talk to a friend/Pray: After I’ve calmed down, I find it is helpful to have a conversation about how I feel with a trusted friend.
4. Be physical: Working out in the gym is one of my favorite ways of moving through anger.
5. This too will pass: I remember this phrase and realize it is a truth that helps me get through tough situations.
6. Identify solutions: Sometimes I like to stop and think about which aspects of the situation I can control and which aspects I cannot control.
7. Don’t be judgmental: In the past, I would sometimes blame people or situations for my anger.
8. Relax: A fifteen-minute break where I can sit down, close my eyes and take some deep breaths is an effective way for me to deal with anger.
9. Forgive: Learning to forgive can take years, but it is worth it because it releases bitterness and helps me be more accepting of others and myself.
Remember, turn or channel anger into a positive place where you can use it to bring about a positive change in the world.