Anger Is Not the Enemy – TSMP #60

Matt and Jay discuss why Anger Is Not the Enemy, the value of righteous indignation, incorrect and unhealthy stereotypes about anger, why “boys SHOULD be boys,” how all societies disintegrate without angry men, and much more!

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Anger Is Not the Enemy

When It Comes To Anger, Modern Men Are “At Fault” 

  • Recent Gillette Commercial: “The Best Men Can Be 
    • LOTS of issues with this commercial, but the biggest is that “Fighting and aggression is bad” and saying “Boys will be boys is a bad idea” 
  • According to Insider Magazine
    • “Men’s anger is often fueled by fear”
  • Traditional issues with men and anger
    • UFC, Boxing and MMA? Bad
    • Football? Violent and unhealthy (and also, let’s get women involved!)
    • Getting in actual fights? Unhealthy

But Isn’t Anger Bad?

  • Everyday Health Website: “7 Ways Anger is Ruining Your Health”
    • Anger weakens your immune system, it’s linked to depression, it can even “shorten your life”!
    • Very common in “Pop Psychology” – especially the new wave of “pseudo-spiritual psychology” – to focus on positive emotions and avoid negative ones
  • Star Wars: Yoda’s quote “Fear leads to Anger. Anger leads to Hate. Hate leads to Suffering.”
    • Sorry Yoda – you’re wrong on this one

7 Myths About Anger (and Why They’re Wrong)

  1. Anger is a negative emotion.
    1. It’s not bad to feel angry. Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. In fact, a lot of really good things stem from anger, and angry feelings can lead to positive change. Many social injustices have called for people who became angry. What if Martin Luther King, Jr. never felt angry?
  2. Anger is the same thing as aggression.
    1. A lot of people confuse angry feelings and aggressive behavior. While feeling angry is healthy, aggressive behavior isn’t. There are many healthy ways to deal with anger without resorting to threats or violence.
  3. Anger management doesn’t work
    1. When people lack skills to manage their anger, their emotions can cause problems in all areas of their lives. Many relationship troubles, career issues, and legal problems result from unhealthy expressions of anger. Anger management classes and therapy can be powerful tools that help individuals reduce aggressive outbursts
  4. Anger is all in your head.
    1. Anger evokes a physiological response, and it’s that response that often fuels angry thoughts and aggressive behavior. Learning how to relax your body—and your mind—is key to reducing aggressive outbursts
  5. Venting your anger releases it.
    1. Punching your pillow, trashing the room, or screaming to your heart’s content doesn’t actually “release” your pent up rage. In fact, research suggests that venting your anger in this way actually has the opposite effect: The more you vent, the worse you’ll feel.
  6. Ignoring your anger makes it go away.
    1. Suppressing anger isn’t healthy, either. Smiling to cover up your frustration, denying your angry feelings, or allowing others to treat you poorly in an effort to keep the peace can cause your anger to turn inward. And suppressed anger has been linked to a variety of physical and mental health issues, from hypertension to depression.
  7. Men are angrier than women.
    1. Research consistently shows that men and women experience the same amount of anger. They just express it differently. While men are more likely to be aggressive and impulsive in their expressions of anger, women are more likely to use an indirect approach, like cutting someone out of their lives.

Healthy Ways To Express Anger

  • Use your anger to change something that isn’t working
    • Problem that needs fixing
    • Situation that needs to change
    • Relationship issues
    • Emotional imbalance inside yourself
  • If you’re upset with someone, try to put yourself in their shoes—how would you like him or her to talk to you about this issue?
  • Avoid causing damage, possibly irreparable, to a relationship by losing control of yourself and using your anger to hurt them.
  • Remember that things said in anger cannot necessarily be taken back even when you are no longer feeling them.
  • Try to recognize what “pushed your button” and use self-reflection to help you communicate your feelings to your loved one
  • Remember, you are communicating with someone you love and who loves you. Anger is helpful BUT it must be channelled appropriately. Use it to make your relationship better and to fix the situation, rather than saying something harmful and regrettable that will damage your relationship.

Conclusion

  • Think about it: If men didn’t weren’t violent and didn’t get angry…
    • Their countries would be overrun by men who ARE violent
    • Their women would be raped
    • Their stuff would get stolen
    • They would be abused and/or killed
  • Without appropriately channelled anger, civilization could never stay strong or safe
  • Quote by G. Michael Hopf:
    • “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times.”
  • Anger IS valuable – We just need to manage it in a healthy way

Sometimes you just need to headbang to some awesome metal music

Get Angry, Make Things Better and Stay Superior!

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