Anger: a strong feeling of displeasure and usually a response to an actively expressed opposition or hostility.
Anger is a healthy emotion designed to alert us that something is wrong. However, healthy anger assumes, and more importantly, requires that you, yourself, are a healthy man. Unfortunately, most us have never learned to experience and express anger healthily.
Many men use anger to hide feelings of hurt and fear because being hurt or fearful isn’t a “comfortable or manly” emotion. Hurt and fear generate feelings of vulnerability; unhealthy anger conversely gives the illusion of maintaining power or control. All the while concealing your true feelings and consequently blinding your ability to identify the wrong that’s been done.
If anger is a healthy emotion, how does a man or woman experience and express anger in a healthy manner?
In his book, “Overcoming Destructive Anger,” psychologist Dr. Bernard Golden shares great insight, wisdom, and recommendations that I use to guide the men struggling with managing their anger.
Dr. Golden observed very positive aspects of anger and defined specific skills that are essential for the practice of experiencing and expressing “healthy anger.” These include the following:
- Healthy anger means observing and experiencing anger without being overwhelmed by it and reacting to it.
- Healthy anger means recognizing our anger as a signal to explore the feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations that precede it.
- Healthy anger means viewing anger as a signal to direct our attention inward to identify our core desires, needs, and values.
- Healthy anger calls for developing self-compassion, which includes skills to enhance our sense of safety and connection.
- Healthy anger includes developing strategies to let go of anger, which may consist of forgiving others and yourself.
- Healthy anger encompasses compassionate practices that don’t cause suffering for others or ourselves.
- Healthy anger means learning how to communicate assertively with others.
- Healthy anger enhances our resilience and overall well-being
Becoming the healthiest man you can require learning to experience and express emotions healthily, including anger. How well you handle anger can make or break your relationships. If you struggle with anger, I recommend that you seek help from a trusted mentor, coach, or counselor. Remember, unhealthy anger blinds us to the truth, thus not something you should try to “fix” on your own.
I hope today’s blog was encouraging to you; if so, sign up to receive blogs when posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Check out some of my previous blogs like: “Letting Go of the Guilt, the Value of Forgiving Yourself,” “The Courage to Ask for Help,” or “Healthy Masculinity: Not a One Man Show.”
TransformingFamilies.org provides resources enabling you to discover and develop authentic, healthy intimacy in all your relationships.
FYI: I also provide one-on-one coaching; if you want to improve your relationships or someone to talk to, e-mail me at ‘email@example.com’, and we’ll schedule a time to connect. My hope for you is that God will transform you from being bruised or broken to an abundantly blessed child of God through these blogs, references, and resources.