Anger is a natural emotion that everyone experiences. However, everyone experiences it differently due to different perceptions. When it comes to anger, another difference that many people overlook is that of sex: men and women express anger differently. Most women become a lot more emotional than men, and thus act upon those emotions a lot differently than men would.
From childhood, girls are discouraged from expressing their anger outwardly and physically. Due to this and a number of other circumstances, they cannot form the anger in a positive way, and it is often misdirected in malicious ways such as passive-aggressive behavior. Among these examples are: silent treatment, gossip, and starting rumors about others. Because women are perceived in many societies to play the role of a caregiver, a nurturing person, and a loving individual, they are often socialized not to express their anger in a healthy way, without knowing that this is harmful to them.
Because society shapes many women this way, women keep angry feelings inside and turn them on themselves. This is where unhealthy behavior is formed and reinforced in the form of overeating, self inflicted pain and depression just to name a few.
However, some studies suggest that because women are socialized in a certain way with gender roles that shape their beliefs as they develop, they may be better suited than men to manage anger since they are not as rooted with aggression as men. One idea is that since women tend to talk out their anger with others and find solutions to their problems by discussing their concerns, they might be better at resolving their anger issues.
A woman’s anger might also be triggered by factors such as feeling powerless, seeing injustice, and the irresponsibility of other people. Some of the very well known triggers are interpersonal relationships, unfair treatment, harassment, and threat. It is important to remember that perception varies with everyone, and that men and women’s perception of situations, and those leading to anger, vary greatly.
At Anger Management 818, we have designed a helpful program covering Anger Management for Women. We have found that some women feel more comfortable when they are among other women in a group setting.
Silva Depanian, MFT Intern, currently facilitates a Women’s Anger Management group on Thursday evenings in our Pasadena location.