Men out there, can you control your anger?

…You hate getting angry.

…You promised your partner you wouldn’t let your anger consume you. But here you are – fuming again. And regardless of how you got here, again, you want to get advice for better anger control.

Picture this! Your partner raises a once very scary issue with you. But this time you calmly listen to her and together you come up with a plan to solve it. She may say something like: “I don’t think we have enough money this month to cover all these bills” And you say: “Ok honey, where do you think we might be able to delay payment or – (fill in the space) -. Lets look at our options!”

Wouldn’t that be nice eh! NO anger, just reasonable responses to reasonable situations. Unfortunately there is a long way between the first paragraph and the next paragraph if you are prone to anger. A very long way!

…Imagine no more explosions of anger. No more threatening behaviour. No more begging and pleading for forgiveness. No more depressive mood swings. Can you imagine your partner’s delight and surprise to discover that the man she loves has changed into a loving caring partner and father? The kids will even want to hang with you. Would you dare to believe that anxiety would vanish, depression become a thing of the past, and you see a family worth fighting for?

With a few simple tools and an attitude adjustment you can make the change for better anger control. But before you embark on life changing heart and head surgery you must first identify and eliminate a few things in your life that are preventing you from giving your best.

If you answer YES to any of these questions then it is probably time to take a good hard look at yourself and your behaviour. Nothing is scarier than a man who doesn’t know why he is angry.

6 Things to consider for better anger control:

1. Are you surrounding yourself with the wrong people?

You will never get ahead or break bad habits if you are running with a crowd that is constantly trying to one up one another or encourage each other to do stupid reckless acts. I am not suggesting you to ditch your good friends, but I do think it’s smart to consider whether your friends always act in your best interests.Likewise listen to their language and make a distinction between words that promote healthy thinking or words that bring others down.Instead, look for like-minded people who appreciate you for who you are even if you can’t be doing some of the things you did in the past.

2. Do you have an “as soon as…” mentality?

This is the downfall of many. There is always had an excuse for why you can’t get your anger under control.

  • As soon as the holidays are over, I’ll do an anger course.
  • As soon as I get a better paying job, I’ll stop being angry.
  • As soon as she stops arguing with me I’ll stop getting angry.
  • As soon as I get the respect I deserve the sooner I will quit shouting.
  • As soon as the kids start doing what I say I’ll start being calmer.

The timing will never be perfect. Smart anger management is like dieting and exercise. You will always find a reason to put it off. Waiting for the stars to align is a sure-fire way to remain an angry man indefinitely.

Remember that learning to control your anger and ultimately behave in a more productive way requires starting now with the view that this is a ‘work in progress’. There is no magic bullet, or blinding light that will take your anger away. You must commit to making the positive changes that are necessary to have a life free of anger outbursts.

3. Do you have a character flaw?

Let’s get right down to it; you may be an angry man and you may stay angry all your life because you are simply too lazy, too weak or too self-indulgent. Perhaps you even like the idea that you can intimidate people through fear and anger.Ouch. Right!Please keep in mind that I’ve sat across from many an angry man. So I’m not judging; I’m just making an observation. Some men think that being the angry man and using intimidating and threatening words means they have the power. Sorry, but thinking that is ‘power,’ is anything but power.

For many, their character flaws are self-indulgence, weakness and self-pity. They have a hard time saying no to themselves when they could so easily justify their anger with the idea that “everyone gets angry at times.”

4. Are you making excuses and playing the Blame-Game?

We want to think our anger is the result of forces outside ourselves – the extended family, the lousy economy, the job situation, the partner not respecting you, the kids shouting back. However, at the end of the day, we need to take responsibility for our own actions.I am talking to you as a respectable working man. You take responsibility for your income, your career prospects, and your social obligations. So why not take responsibility for your anger outbursts? We need to acknowledge our part in the tension in the home. The fact is maybe, just maybe, if you lived with the belief that you are ultimately responsible for your own behaviour, you might just create an environment where together you can weather life’s storms a little better.

5. Is your anger hiding something?

Chances are good that the anger you display is covering up for something in your private life. Perhaps something happened in your earlier formative years that brings a feeling of shame. There could be any number of things that are stuck just below the surface and just because you get violently angry doesn’t mean you know what it is that is hidden.

6. Are you a man of ‘Justice’?

Most of us know right from wrong but we can still get caught doing things that shouldn’t be done. For example, not sticking to the road rules, the speed limit to be more precise. Getting away with stuff that should be punishable. Do you find yourself coming to the defense of others even if you don’t know them? Do you hate seeing injustice and that gets you all fired up? Sometimes this can be mistaken for depression. As you become increasingly powerless in the face of injustice you start to retreat into yourself and hate the world. Under the mild mannered surface is a raging inferno, ready to blow as the slightest sign of unfair treatment.

If you can identify with any of these then you should probably be seeking some help. Even if it is just to get a ‘check up’. Remember that anger can and will wreak your relationship guaranteed.

Not only will you reek havoc on your family but you will be teaching your children to do the same. They will either become the aggressor or the victim with no middle ground.

Don’t let shame prevent you from seeking the help you need. You and your family deserve a better future.

Until next time. God Bless.