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CounselingNH E-Zine, Issue #022 Anger: A Male Dilemma
April 21, 2009

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April 21, 2009

Volume 1, Issue #022 Anger-A Male Dilemma

A Note From Jim

Feature Article: Anger- A Male Dilemma

A Note From Jim:

Hi, Jim here – bringing you the next in our series of E-zines. Our focus lately in our writing has been on assisting individuals in managing their anger. We can’t help but notice in our work that people are sometimes affected by what is the most obvious. We find that the way a man is likely to experience his problem with anger is remarkably different than the way a female is prone to define her problem with anger. This writing will discuss a problem that many men encounter with their experience of anger.

Anger- A Male Dilemma Boys are initially raised by their mothers. During their very early years they are supported in experiencing and expressing feelings. By the time they begin kindergarten boys are influenced by other older males in their life to not express emotions verbally. They are particularly pressured to not cry or express vulnerability directly. They are taught that their role in life is to be strong, aggressive, in charge and maybe even dominant. Boys learn at an early age that vulnerable feelings can be suppressed through the experience of anger and aggression. Over time, many males lose touch with the ability to experience or even to simply identify feelings such as sadness, compassion, anxiety, nervousness, etc. The male’s response over time to any situation that elicits feelings then becomes that of anger. There are multiple problems resulting from this dynamic that constitute the dilemma that males face. The central issue is that males override vulnerability with anger and aggression as a way of feeling stronger, more competent and in control. Through this process the male is actually placing themselves in a highly vulnerable position. They are narrowing their response to the world. They are depriving themselves of the ability to use emotional tools. Their ability to thoroughly assess a situation becomes limited. They are making themselves reliant on everything around them being calm and not provocative in order to feel stable. They are also usually moving themselves into a socially isolated position as people tend to avoid angry and aggressive responders.

Fortunately, males don’t have to settle for living with this dilemma. They can work towards relearning to identify their emotional responses to the world. This is not something men have to make themselves do. Rather, it’s something that men allow themselves to do. This is a difficult but rewarding transition for men. Men have to struggle with how they can feel strong without resorting to aggression. When you think about this, the converse makes it clear. If resorting to the use of anger and aggression is the only way a male can feel strong, how strong can he really be? Strength then is the man’s ability to assess, think about and work out issues without the use of aggression. In fact men can learn to be skeptical of their own inclination towards aggression. They can learn to ask the following question. What is it that I’m avoiding feeling by the use of anger and aggression? One of the questions male must ask themselves pertains to the way they want their sons to develop. Most men would encourage their sons to experience a wider range of emotions than they themselves can comfortably tolerate. We encourage men to allow them to grow and develop in a similar fashion as they encourage their sons to grow.

All the best,

Jim _______________________________________________________________ Recommendations:

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All the Best,

Jim Foster

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