Fear of anger is just as preventative for growth as is anger itself. For men, a lot of times being afraid of their anger and the effects of playing out their anger makes their mental health worse off.
Many men I speak to are afraid of the damaging effects of their anger on other people. They are simply afraid of unleashing what they think will be destructive anger onto their mates, partners, co-workers or family, so they muzzle it. Men are known to stuff their anger, suppress it, mute it or fail to communicate it. This creates a host of problems. The anger is in their, building up over time like a pressure cooker, and needs a release valve to depressurize it.
So, without a good valve, the anger gets mutated. It comes out as sideswipes, quips, sarcasm or criticism. It is worn on the sleeve and becomes part of one’s personality structure. It becomes “who we are,” and we forget or simply don’t have a clue about how to deal with it effectively, for fear that we’ll do it ineffectively and be rejected by others for our rageful behavior.
We get afraid of our own anger, but the reality is that anger is a normal and natural force that needs expression just like the other feelings that we experience, such as sadness, pain, happiness, etc. But, somehow along the way, either by cultural forces or gender expectations or both, we as men learned to stuff that natural force that is anger. We hid it, and stopped its organic and expressive flow.
So, learning to express our anger in a healthy way is a must, to find better mental health and more open and happier relationships. Learning to simply say “I’m angry about this,” or “I’m angry at you” are acceptable and non-violent ways to express yourself. It’s difficult to do, because we’re usually fixated on the person that caused us to be angry, and subsequently spend all of our time and psychic energy damning them and their actions that caused us to be angry. Taking responsibility for our own anger is a must, and we must learn to get better in touch with our own anger, so that it does not drive us into the ground and run our lives.