As we explore how ANGER has impacted the lives of millions of children and adults who grew up with adversity in childhood, we must also look at how to cope with and channel that ANGER towards more positive outcomes.
Here, I want to also show that ANGER can be different for men and women, as well as highlight that no matter how ANGER is expressed, its causes need not impede one’s personal growth. The path towards fulfillment and full potential can be the same for both men and women.
Sometimes, however, it comes out in different ways depending on one’s gender
Of course, both men and women experience ANGER. Sometimes, however, it can come out in different ways, depending on one’s gender.
“Once some men’s anger ignites, it’s hard to stop, because it gets fueled by testosterone,” says Harvard neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine. “When a woman yells at a man who is angry, he knows she isn’t a real threat to him, so her anger just gets him more fired up. His anger is feeding on her anger and then back on his own.”
Anger provides a sense of immediate certainty
For both sexes, ANGER provides a sense of immediate certainty, dumping chemicals into the body that literally numb the pain. And for children of domestic violence, who’ve lived for so long with emotional and sometimes physical pain, ANGER is the default setting for emotional frustration.
When children are exposed to ANGER and violence, they learn to deal with perceived threats in kind. The brain’s job is to keep its owner alive by collecting and then using information, and the data being collected by these children while their brain is still developing is the violent, out-of-control, negative emotions and actions of the adults in their lives. These then become the templates for their lives as they get older.
Fortunately, these LIES the brain learns growing up with CDV, including ANGER, can be unlearned.
By living with violence in their home, children learn that violence is the accepted way to settle arguments. What they see, they do, either to others, or to themselves. When they recognize that ANGER is actually harmful to them – in some ways, as harmful as what they witnessed growing up – they can open up the door to change and begin to channel the strong energy from that ANGER into a something more constructive – into PASSION for more positive things. Applying this TRUTH to counter the LIE of ANGER is not easy, but it can be done – learning to control that ANGER by being more accepting, forgiving is part of the process towards emotional intelligence that in turn leads to HAPPINESS, despite one’s childhood.
I encourage you to share how ANGER has impacted you – in the past or even today – in the comments below. Do you see how it is a result of what you went through as a child? Do you ever tell yourself that ANGER is a wasteful emotion because in the end, it serves no benefit? Once you do, you are on the path to unlearning the LIE and applying the transformative TRUTH that can help change your life.
A detailed overview of the ANGER lie can be found in CHAPTER 4 (“Angry to Passionate”) of INVINCIBLE: The 10 Lies You Learn Growing Up With Domestic Violence, and the Truths to Set You Free.