Growing up, I was the puppeteer of my emotions. I could display a range of feelings whenever I wanted.
However, as I grew older, especially during my teens, my emotions seemed to dissipate, leaving only a couple that I openly displayed – most notably anger and humour.
My limited emotional vocabulary lead to limited communication skills and, after eventually realising this, I knew I had to broaden my emotional choice to improve my personality and lessen the negative aura I projected onto others.
Dealing with anger
Anger was the most common emotion I used, usually as an umbrella to protect myself from showing others how I felt inside.
After all, I had been trained that showing emotion was weak – something that blokes just didn’t do; you didn’t show you were sad or had a caring sole and you especially didn’t cry!
The reality is that, just like women, men have emotions too – but whether it’s family, friends, the media, school or a thousand and one other things, men are still pressured into suppressing their feelings.
Manage anger rather than stifle it!
The first thing we need to accept then is that anger is not an emotion to avoid – it is part of our make-up – it is who we are – but it does need managing!
Feeling anger is not necessarily bad – it can be a prompt, to alert us to certain situations or a motivator, to propel us through difficult times.
This is why the way we use it, and react to it, is of the upmost importance!
Harmful uses of anger
Directed at others, without restraint, anger can be fatal, destroying relationships and creating feelings of fear, upset and retribution in others.
Others can carry such feelings for years and may even be forced into their own anger cycles because of how you made them feel.
You can also damage yourself by not expressing emotions effectively and directing them inwardly, releasing stress hormones which eat away at your physical, psychological and emotional well-being.
Ten tips to manage anger:
Managing anger is the goal – the subtle balance between feeling and expressing anger without inflicting catastrophic damage upon ourselves and those around us.
There are also a few tips in here to help you completely avoid those unnecessary tantrums!
When you get angry, try walking!
It’s surprising how a simple walk can calm the anger monsters in your head.
Need the technique? Check out Gaz’s guide to “Zen walking.”
3. Notice how your anger works:
Feel how your anger starts.
Clenching fists, tightness in the chest and pressure in the head can all be preliminary symptoms of anger.
Tune into when anger begins and use one of the strategies in this article to manage it accordingly!
4. Watch yourself getting angry:
Roger Federer, the tennis player, said that watching himself practice at a young age actually helped him identify anger and deal with it more effectively.
Anyone who has seen Federer win in style, with his elegance and class, knows that this is a man who is not dictated to by his inner demons.
5. Lay off the booze:
Rather than drinking when you’re angry, talk about the issue or use a strategy you find useful.
Drinking alcohol merely makes anger (and the possible consequences) worse.
6. Analyse the situation:
Check in your mind whether this is your battle to fight, and even if it is, is it worth the involvement?
Things look very different after calming down and reflecting back.
8. Get your facts straight:
For many, anger is amplified by their immediate perception of a situation.
Gather the facts and think it through!
9. Have a bit of compassion:
Sometimes we react angrily towards someone who makes an accidental mistake.
Let it go – we’re human beings, we’re designed to be flawed and make mistakes!
10. Open up:
Last but definitely not least, open up about your feelings!
Anger is an umbrella emotion which can mask the way you truly feel.
Start to explore and accept other emotions and allow yourself to own them!
A final word on anger
Like any emotion, anger has its uses but can also cause serious issues!
The art is to utilise anger rather than allow it the steering wheel on your journey through life.
Remember it’s okay to be upset about things… especially blokes! You don’t have to restrict your tears to when your team misses the winning penalty!
I hope you’re finding these blogs useful, if there’s any particular topic you’d like explored, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org!