04/07/2017 by Kevin Campbell 0 Comments
Men and Emotions: Anger
Emotions are perceived in western culture as irrational, disruptive, childish, irresponsible and uncomfortable. They occur when a person is overwhelmed, not themselves, not in their right mind and not behaving like an adult. To be a successful man in society one is to control their emotions, not let them out, and think things through rationally.
For most men what this translates into is that emotions are bad, that it is not manly to express them and that logic prevails. This leads to a suppression of emotions, a controlling of them so that the man continues to be socially acceptable and is not at risk of losing his reputation and his strength. This result is the shaming of emotional expression.
Men like woman are humans. They have the ability to feel and express emotions as much as women do. As children both boys and girls freely express themselves without much repercussions. What tends to happen to the boys though is that they begin to learn that there is a difference between them and the girls in emotional expression. That is, to cry is ok for girls, but not so much for boys and that being angry is more normal for boys than for girls. This small distinction takes root and expands into adolescents and adulthood, where the pains of sadness, guilt, shame, loneliness and depression are buried inside and all that is expressed is anger and rage.
The emotion of anger is the single most identified emotion that is connected with men. It has become a defining characteristic of men that is also associated with violence, aggression, dominance, conflict, shame, isolation, depression and suicide. That is quite the leap, but for a good reason. Like stated above men are human. They have a wide spectrum of emotion just like women. They feel a variety of emotions, even though they might not know what that emotion is. Most men though don’t know how to express the emotions they are feeling, or feel shame at having such emotions. Shame is a crippling emotion that grips many men. It holds them back, and prevents them from stepping into their true selves. The shame of emotional expression can be devastating for both the man and those close to him. When a man is ashamed of his feelings, he is scared to express himself, and will instead choose anger. This anger protects him and gives him a release of sorts for the time being. It doesn’t though address the underlying issue and the actual feeling that he is unwilling to express.
Emotions are not weak, they are not irrational, they are not childish and they are not unmanly. They are our inherent right to be expressed. Even when our culture may see things one way, we as men as human beings have been given the gift of emotional expression that has strength and power flowing through it. It is not shameful for a man to cry. That vulnerability is more powerful than any muscle or gun. It is our power of honesty, responsibility and trust, both in ourselves and those we love.
Anger is not bad of itself, and it is not the only emotion men have. To be in the Mature Masculine, men need to face what is preventing them from being in their full expression. What the fear and the shame of emotional expression is. To allow other emotions, not just anger, to be expressed with someone you trust, in a healthy responsible way.
This is the way of the Mature Masculine Man