Luc Bouchard with Solve-Act Coaching Services. I've been a certified life skills coach for 22 years and I specialize in men's issues and how men distancing themselves emotionally from others. Welcome, today is this 34th day of the 72-day challenge, we're in week 5. The weekly theme is men keeping themselves emotionally safe, the daily focus is emotionality, and the topic is anger. The great distancing behavior.
Thank you for coming back and I appreciate you tuning in once again. I'm going to talk a fair amount about anger today. It's a bit of an extension of video 32, which was aired 2 days ago. Video 32 was about men and distancing behaviors. What I covered was that men engage in many different types of ways to keep themselves safe and to keep people distanced so they don't have an emotional connection with them because it's not a great place for them to be.
Generally, men aren't authentic with themselves, they can be authentic with others so they do the stuff that keeps people back. Some of those things that I covered are humor, sarcasm, being into intellects and really being able to argue a lot kind of that behavior, grandiosity, will-full ignorance, not admitting when they're wrong and always having to be right, and not accepting help.
Today I'm going to talk about how men keep themselves emotionally safe through their anger. I just want to first talk about the mechanisms of anger. We're going to get to the mechanisms, but what anger is about in a lot of ways. Anger, in my estimation, has got a bit of a bad rap. We hear a lot of about men needing to deal with their anger management or need to take anger management. It's in popular culture, we see it on sitcoms. What I think is often misunderstood about anger is how great of a motivator it is and how it helps people find their voice, especially for people who are struggling with their anger and anger is not okay because let's face it, a lot of people have issues with anger because they've been, a lot of negative anger has been imparted on them inappropriately. People are fearful of anger, because it has been used to hurt them quite a bit. There's been a lot of behaviors done towards them that have been dressed up in anger.
A. We have issues with anger.
B. We don't understand it.
C. We don't really see the upside to it in a lot of ways
When I used to teach anger management courses to men I would often talk about that anger is really a good thing if you know how to use it and when to use it. It's not okay when you are constantly falling back on it and that's your point of reference and how at a time and a place anger can be really quite good. I'll often say to men, "Don't get rid of your anger, just augment it with other stuff." One of the base misconceptions that I've found that people have with anger is that they think they need to be not angry. Anger management is not getting rid of your anger. Anger management is understanding when the time and the place is, how we get angry, why we get angry, and what happens when we get angry. Everything from what happens in the head to the physiological responses and all that kind of stuff. Really the point is keep your anger that should only be 1 way of many ways of handling social situations where you are not pleased or happy with something
Because men are socially sanctioned and its okay and we've been trained to deal with anger, being pissed off, being mad. Basically what it is, is that we haven't learned how to deal with the stuff that's propping that up, what's holding up those feelings. The other thing I find that people don't understand about anger is that anger is often considered to be a secondary emotion and that we don't actually feel anger first. We feel other stuff first, but because our intellect kicks over and we go to this place of .... We bypass that stuff, anger is where we go. What we generally feel before we feel anger is hurt or fear and mostly hurt. Because it's not okay to feel hurt and it's not okay to experience fear what we do is we go into this posturing. We go into this external stuff. That comes back to our conditioning and all the stuff I talk about
If we understood that anger is about our feelings of hurt and fear first and foremost and we know that, then that gives the mechanism to actually deal with it differently. If you just think that you're angry automatically, then what happens it that's the way you act, is anger automatic.
The things that are going on under the anger, besides the hurt and the fear are really about the vulnerable feelings we don't want to deal with. Those are shame, guilt, anxiety, fear, neediness. Those are what really are what we're trying to avoid when we get angry. We don't want to feel those. In a lot of way it's easier to deal with the anger than it is those things, because that's what we've been told
When it comes to the difference between men and women, if women exhibit typical male behaviours on how they deal with frustration or anger such as posturing or if they're forthright or if they're assertive to the point of being aggressive or if they are "in your face" as we would call it, then they're often seen as ball breaking bitches, which is curious. If men do those behaviours, that's just men being men. Conversely if men engage in behaviours that women are more socially sanctioned to do, such as crying, weeping, bitching, complaining, and depression then that's not okay. We both have our socially sanctioned behaviours and actions that we can do. Men can be angry and women can be crying. If we cross over that, then there's a lot of criticism around that.
Generally both that stuff, what women go through and what men go through are in a lot of ways that's the deeper emotions. When they're allowed to go to the more shame based stuff, that's more unpalatable than men are but we both have our ways of falsely handling stuff.
I just want to illustrate the point that anger is a defense mechanism, it's not meant to keep us safe. That's not necessarily a bad thing when we need to have it and we're threatened, but it's not really conducive to having healthy relationships with our children and our spouses and our friends. If your constantly going to anger when you are hurt or frustrated or scared, basically that keeps people out here. Who wants to deal with the anger? We've all had people in our life who are perpetually pissed off. Guess what? They're pretty lonely
The other thing that I really want to point out, and this may sound like a broken record to some of you, is that how we learn to deal with anger is how our parents dealt with it and specifically for men how our fathers dealt with anger if they were around. What was modeled to us, is really what we have learned to deal with our stuff. Even if we had stellar parents and fathers that were okay with anger and actually demonstrated anger in a good way, we also have the societal influence of how we see anger in everything from sports, to movies, to TV and sitcoms and all that kind of stuff. Anger is a very ... It's out there. You definitely see it. That's what we see more than the stuff that people don't want to deal with. Hockey would be pretty boring of guys talking about how they were frustrated with the other team winning and they had to go out and send in an enforcer or whatever you want to say.
We're reinforced all the time to go to anger than to deal with the emotions that we don't want to feel. The stuff that is kind of ugly and distasteful.
Here's that question guys and maybe you just want to turn off the video now. How do you deal with your anger? How are you engaged in anger. How friendly is anger to you? Are you considered to be an angry person? Are you pissed off? Is that a place you go to very quickly? Do you want to keep being that way? Do you want people to see you as being angry? Do you want your children to think of you and think "Oh yeah, dad was always angry"? You don't have to be. It's a choice. It really is. Its a choice to be angry, like its a choice to be confused or it's a choice to be willfully ignorant.
The more we're disconnected from our authentic selves, the more we compensate in other ways to deal with that stuff. What are you going to do about your anger? I know I've had to look at mine. I know I had a huge chip on my shoulder that sometimes raised it's ugly head. What do you want out of life and how do you want to live in your skin for the rest of your life? What do you want the latter part of your life to look like? Whatever time that comes to you, if that's 10 years from now or 20 years from now whatever that means. Really, think about it.
Luc Bouchard with Solve-Act Coaching Services. I've been a certified life skills coach and teaching anger management for a while. I thank you for watching this video and I hope you have a great day.
Take care and see you tomorrow for video 35.