This blog post is dedicated to all the brave Gentlemen out there who want to change.
What does “Being a Man” mean to you? Is it being able to fix cars, throw a football, make lots of money, lift over a hundred pounds, ride a motorbike or perhaps be the king in the bedroom? Does being a man also mean to suck up your emotions when you’re feeling pain, both externally and internally?
What do you do when you are feeling upset with someone?
Do you shut down and not talk about it?
Do you slam cupboards and make lots of noise?
Do you curse and swear at things and at people?
Are you reclusive and irritable?
Do you drink?
I know a thing or two about anger. I’ve been angry many times and especially in my relationships. I’ve been demanding and controlling to my partners and I’ve yelled and snapped at the smallest of events. I’ve even been angry countless times with my son and raised the roof at him with my fury. In short, I’ve been abusive.
No, it wasn’t easy for me to say that, not in the slightest. And to share with the world that I’ve been abusive was even harder.
Yeah, I understand that people might think differently about me. They might try to analyze me and my situation or wonder why I’m saying these bad things about myself. And, yes, dating again??…well, forget about it! (If I honestly wasn’t OK with that, I wouldn’t have started Solace and would have started a relationship blog instead…)
But I have to openly speak about my abusive past because I want to take accountability for my actions. It’s that plain and simple. I refuse to live my life any further without acknowledging my true self. If I hide behind my actions, I will only continue to suffer more.
“I’ve had problems managing my anger problems before…and it was important for me to take care of it in order to lead a more fulfilling life” – Jason, Creator of Solace.
So what is anger? Did you know that anger is a secondary emotion?
What does that mean?
Anger is an emotion that comes out of us, following behind a primary feeling that’s usually a bit distressing. In other words, we usually feel something else first before anger comes on board.
Example 1: If I drop a brick on my toe, I might feel anger and immediately curse. But, the primary feeling is pain. I just didn’t identify the feeling of pain first and I jumped straight to anger.
Example 2: If my partner forgot to call me after work when I reminded her, I might have gotten angry right away and began blaming her. But the primary feelings are disappointment and a feeling like I was unimportant to her.
Some other primary feelings that can trigger anger might be: anxiousness, depression, loneliness, irritation, sadness, annoyance, restlessness and hurt.
So where is this anger coming from if it’s a secondary emotion? It comes from a deep down place of hurt that hasn’t been properly processed in our subconscious. Simply put, we had a lot of tough moments growing up that we couldn’t properly store in its rightful place in our brains, so they’re kind of just floating around in this space of an “unprocessed memory bank.”
So it’s our job, gentlemen, to be proud and to take care of ourselves! We need to take that info in the “unprocessed memory bank” and put it in its rightful place in that noggin’ of ours!
The tough moments growing up that made us into these “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” characters could have ranged from many things. Layer by layer, peel back the past and see where you think your struggles once started:
- Young adult years trying to seek identity (ie finding a career path, maybe drinking excessively to soothe deeper wounds, or having financial struggles)
- Tough teenage years of trauma (perhaps your parents divorced or you were bullied)
- An abusive childhood.
It’s OK to feel angry from time to time, but if your anger is repeatedly hurting others or striking fear in your family, I suggest pressing pause for a moment and evaluate your life. Sit down and calmly talk about it with your partner, friend or family member. If you feel that they aren’t able to help, then I suggest a counsellor would be a really great place to start. Read this for tips on finding a counsellor.
As I’ve said before, there’s no shame in having anger issues and wanting to address it. It’s only a problem when we don’t take care of it and it begins hurting ourselves and others.
Being a man isn’t easy because there’s so much pressure and expectations placed upon us by society. In some cultures, the man is expected to make more money, to be the provider and to be a rock when it comes to emotions.
For me, whether a man can build a shelf, throw a baseball or lift a sack of sand is irrelevant and antiquated. An admirable man recognizes his boundaries and limits and is aware of his emotions and feelings, especially anger. He can communicate healthily about them without repeatedly hurting those around him. He can address his weaknesses and also has good intentions to take care of his troubled past. He acknowledges the struggles that he faced and though painful, he understands how important it is in order to live a more fulfilling life.
And there you have it, guys.
Just know, you’re not alone when it comes to anger issues. I’ll raise my hand to having that problem and hope that it can help others bravely raise theirs too.
(Featured Photo taken by Kristi MacFarlane Photography)