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WOMAN’S ANGER


BACKGROUND


Men typically see women as "more emotional"; but this cloaks, I think, the deeper fact that women more consciously embrace our shared emotional capacities, and are quicker to activate natural feelings–for instance, "crying at the drop of a hat."

They are, I conclude, less emotionally repressed than men, and consequently more alert to feelings, both their own as well as those of others, including fear and anger, sympathy and concern.

But relevant here is the observation that women typically "get mad" quicker than emotionally repressed men. Paradoxically, however, women are also more in control of their feelings in the sense of being better able to reveal or conceal what they feel "appropriately," that is, in light of their goals at the time, e.g., to act nice when feasible, even while hating another person, or, to care for children even when deeply upset about them.

Furthermore, being more emotionally contained, they become more skillful in expressing, even acting-out emotions in service of personal goals–a skill men rarely acquire. They can, that is, use emotions judicially, far better than most men ever learn to do.

Women are also capable of immense angry outbursts and exercising huge powers generated by this emotion in certain conditions. Even though commonly kept under control, these vast forces may be activated, e.g., when their children or their marriage is threatened, or finally, when personally threatened with being totally out of control. This ability is recognized in such conventional wisdom as: "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned," that is, when her security in marriage is threatened, or in unusual bursts of power in emergency situations.

Another observation: Because females typically identify themselves with being nice and caring, rather than deeply angry, they tend to repress such awareness and project their un-embraced feelings onto others, especially men and/or circumstances–that is, to blame their hostile emotions on outside "causes."

But, paradoxically again, just as women may more quickly feel anger, they are also quicker to move on afterward when it has become openly embraced. After a "tantrum," for example, they may "get over it" rapidly, soon acting as though it never happened.

However, when powerful anger is strongly repressed rather than expressed and "acted-out," women are also capable of "keeping a grudge" for years, even a life time, that is, of "remembering" an offense (assumed cause of anger) "forever," like proverbial elephants.

Overall, I speculate that female anger may be the most repressed of all natural feelings except sexual passions.


Now to typical male situations:

Men are commonly vulnerable to all female emotions, exaggerated by our personal repressions, but especially to female anger. We may be blindly moved by it, first because being more emotionally repressed ourselves, and consequently less attuned to our own feelings, we are more likely to project and "see" anger "reflected" as it were, in females.

But mostly this is because we commonly learn as small boys to read and react to mother's anger when it is crucially important for our own survival and satisfaction in early life, e.g., first in availability and quality of milk, and later for permission to do what we want to. Then, typically, this early "wisdom" is repressed and unconsciously projected onto other females, especially those we "fall in love with" and/or marry. Thereafter we tend to resurrect the same patterns we learned with our mothers for trying to get and keep her "good graces" which are critical for well being in early stages of life.

Blindly we tend to resurrect and project early learning onto all females, especially those we care for. We become, as it were, super-sensitive to signs of displeasure in a mate's eyes (reminiscent of "Mother's Frown"). Commonly we are unconsciously moved by and immediately, without thinking, resurrect survival modes learned early in life, for example, by quickly changing to "being nice," stopping whatever we were doing at the time, going into a "what will it take to please you?" mode, assuming blame and/or "trying to fix" whatever the problem seems to be.

In summary: Normally sensible men are apt to have irrational reactions to any signs of female displeasure, especially overt anger–or so I confess about myself and project onto "men in general."

I analyze that some 10% of these motivations may be natural and realistic, born from gene-driven attention to sexual availability; but that leaves 90% to be based on blind psychological reactions rooted in early repressions and learned habits, mostly dysfunctional in present life.


WISER RESPONSES TO WOMAN'S ANGER


– Don't rush to blame yourself and/or to try to fix what seems to be the cause of female anger.


– Expect projection from females who typically repress angry feelings in favor of blaming them on outside "causes."


– Avoid reacting with learned patterns while you collect your senses, that is, try to remain sensible.


–Stay present, on your Green Spot, in your emotional skin, as though, unmoved by her anger, in order to convey stand-ability, especially when she apparently can't.


– Analyze sharply, that is, "look for (think about)" possible personal causes of her own, e.g., feeling overwhelmed at the time, out of control, rather than assuming you are the cause.


– Major on: staying present with rather than doing something about her anger, especially "taking the blame for" it.


– If actions seem reasonably called for, as in changing circumstances, including yourself, delay doing anything immediately, lest you unwittingly be "raisin' ass" in the process, inviting further blame and encouraging irresponsibility for her own emotions.


– But best in the long run: Learn to acknowledge, become conscious of your own emotions, especially anger, so as to contain it as a gift of Mother Nature, almost as essential for survival as the urge to breathe, rather than denying/projecting externally–as females are inclined to do. Then, the more aware you become of your own emotions, and consequently more emotionally contained, the more easily you will be able to accept, stand with, and act responsibly with a woman's out-of-control anger.


– Beware of attempting to appease a woman's wrath; it can become an escalating, lifetime job, with no chance of other than temporary success.




Anger is a psychological reaction to the natural emotion of fear, evolved into our genes as a source of power for effecting survival instincts, that is, mobilizing us for quick action ("fight/flight") aimed at staying alive. Typically, fear/anger is expressed in aggression aimed at destroying (or running from) a perceived threat to existence.

Anger is rooted in fear naturally arising at any perception associated with threat to survival. Literally, fear is deep brain, amygdala-based learning aimed at staying alive. Anger/aggression is a re-action to the real emotion of fear; that is, less of a literal "feeling" than a learned reaction to a bodily emotion.

Quite reasonably, when fear is evoked for whatever reason, we turn quickly to look for external causes in order to speedily eliminate threats to life, as by aggressively destroying a threatening force, or quickly getting away from it. Many such reactions have become genetically ingrained also, as in, withdrawing from pain (e.g., a hand in fire), or other "knee-jerk" reactions to perceived danger.

But as soon as time for "thinking" becomes possible–that is, a small gap appears between bodily reactions and mental attention, it seems that the psychic process of repression/projection also tends to become operative. We not only react physically, aimed at survival, but we also begin quickly to project sources of power–that is, to conceive "causes" and place "blame" for our own internal reactions. We psychically move from: "I am afraid" to "You (or it) made me angry," that is, from embraced fear/anger/aggression to some projected outside "cause" for this natural feeling.

Consequently, I see anger as a psychological reaction, rather than a literal emotion, because I think that experience and "learning"–even deep-brain, limbic system, amygdala based knowledge ("thinking") enter into the shapes and content of anger itself. We naturally (genetically) "feel" fear whenever life seems threatened, and power for action is generated thereby; but we, in effect, "learn" our personal ways of reacting with what we later learn to call anger.

In summary, fear is, I conclude, natural–that is, a genetically ingrained capacity aimed at personal survival, even as are urges to breathe and eat; but anger, even though typically seen as a "feeling," is more literally a personal, learned reaction to the true emotion of fear. Given that fear inherently generates power to move, and that such actions may properly be seen as aggressive (either active, as in "fighting," or passive, as in "fleeing"), we may note that fear and aggression are inherently connected and therefore inevitable when personal threat is perceived.

But anger and aggression are not synonymous. One may feel anger without acting aggressively, or, be aggressive without anger. Animals, I speculate from how they appear, are often aggressive in protecting themselves from danger, or in quest of food/resources for survival; but, as best I can tell, they are not angry at their enemies and/or victims. After events of defense or attack in service of self-survival are over, they quickly return to "being themselves," apparently without projecting "cause" and/or "blame" for whatever has occurred.  

I conclude then, that fear/aggression (either active or passive) is entirely natural, but anger (including blame and revenge) is learned, that is, acquired as a mode of coping/expressing real emotions of fear. Consequently, typical results of anger, such as, blaming outside-of-self causes (other persons and/or circumstances), making enemies of assumed causes, creating internal stress by repressed awareness, and/or seeking revenge against those blamed (trying to "get even"), are all psychological phenomena not inherent in natural humanity.

They all result, I conclude, from personal repression of one of our most natural human emotions, a grand gift of Mother Nature elegantly aimed at survival and enhanced satisfactions in this inherently dangerous world we are graced to be born into as "higher" animals.

Were it not for, or in absence of, psychic repression, we humans would properly and consciously acknowledge, accept, affirm, and sensibly activate inherited capacities for feeling fear whenever personal threat is perceived; but we would not, as "lower" creatures apparently don't, engage in blaming what we feel on outside causes, especially other people; or creating enemies to bear the weight of projected emotions; or perverting natural aggression into psychic anger; or wasting precious, limited, life-energies in fruitless attempts at revenge against those we assume to be the cause of what we naturally feel.

Instead, acknowledging and accepting natural fear as a gift needed for successful survival, even as feeling pain, we would use powers generated thereby, our aggressive urges, along with added gifts of potential consciousness, for wisely confronting real dangers, avoiding repression/projection, and constantly striving to create evermore satisfactory circumstances for pleasurable living, including improving relationships with those we care for.


In terms of grammar, these challenges may be "seen" as: moving from "getting mad at" to "being angry with," while acting sensibly without projection onto others–that is, wisely moving in response to perceived threat (whether real, like wild animals, or imagined, like ghosts), rather than assuming impotence and being dictated by outside causes.

This means correcting the commonly missed error of at versus with–that is, accepting the wisdom and embraced power of genetic drives for personal survival, as operative in fear whenever threat is perceived, owning, as it were, the gift and embracing powers initiated by fear, rather than denying and giving away personal forces generated by one's own natural emotions. Or, stated negatively, reversing the typical move from with to at, by withdrawing projected blame/cause and embracing this internal gift.


Conclusion: The more completely one comes to acknowledge/embrace natural fear, the more capable he becomes for standing present with projected anger of others, without "taking it personally," thereby facilitating the same possibility in others, by "saying," in effect, "See, I can stand anger and yet act responsibly; perhaps you can too."


Final note: Acknowledged and embraced anger is naturally short-lived, passing quickly, allowing one to profit wisely from its emotional base; but, contrarily, denied/repressed anger can be extended for years, even a lifetime, as in, remaining unconsciously mad at one's mother for not actually being the goddess one imagined in the beginning.


ADVICE


Get angry with not at a woman


Anger with means in her presence, rather than blindly projecting onto her as the actual cause of your emotions. Perhaps your projection is based in a dark dream of her as a goddess capable of making you happy and/or whole. You may well be mad about the death of such an illusion; but better to be responsible for your own broken dream than to project on a woman as the actual cause.

Mad at is generally a cover for mad with, that is, a blind projection of anger. But the projection of cause is accompanied by loss of personal power. Thus one de-powers himself when he comes to believe that another causes or "makes me" mad.

Consequently, a smarter man may "get mad" with a woman, but, owing his own anger, he carefully avoids projecting what he feels onto or at her. And, if smart phases into wise, he recognizes similar female temptations, de-codes them in mind's eye, avoids falling for a woman's anger projections, and continues to stand with her at such a time.


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