(This is an excerpt from my upcoming e-book tentatively titled “The Nice Guy’s Textbook:
On Love, Life, and Getting a Spine.” Coming soon and will be available at my site – www.phoenixmenscounseling.com.)
Anger and nice guys don’t mix. Because nice guys and stuff their emotions, it makes sense that both of their anger, too. nice guys get angry because their needs aren’t being met, but they’re not in the community that the people who make them angry. That’s the whole thing for nice guys: they’re not going to express their anger because it will lead to devastating to actually express the anger to the recipient. Instead, nice guys will swallow their anger, where it ends up mutating into much worse problems for the host nice guy.
So what happens to the anger when nice guy swallow it? A lot of things. Because the anger is not being communicated directly to the people that need here at, it stays put within a nice guy. But anger needs to come out in some way, and it often comes out through the forms of sarcasm, criticism, self-criticism, superiority, judgmentality, and on the other end of spectrum, rage and acting out physically.
A lot of nice guys are also smart guys. Smart guys being who they are often reside in their heads most of the time. The very skills and abilities that smart guys have used to create success in their lives, such as in their professional lives, are the worst skills to deal with anger. Smart guys also have the unique ability to intellectualize their anger, and this is another form of fermenting that anger loves. When I talk to guys who come in because they can’t deal with their anger, we always end up talking about how they try to “think their way out of their anger”, but it never works. I was asked them “so how is it worked for you up until this point?” These guys usually say, “well, not to good. on here and counseling now aren’t I?”
This tendency to intellectualize our anger is a real problem. We become hamsters in our own mental wheels, spinning ourselves into a mental oblivion. We also try to apply those same election will skills to solving our marriage and relationship problems, and those skills and tools are about not very successful to fixing those problems.
When nice guys get mad after having said “yes”, they tend to stuff that voice within them that really doesn’t want to say “yes”. By not saying ‘no’, these guys swallow what they really want because they’re too afraid that and they’ll be rejected by saying ‘no’. And this phenomenon plays out in all sorts of areas of the guy’s life: work, friendships, intimate relationships, within family relationships and on and on.
Stuffing anger is a real problem, because anger slowly builds up over time when it gets stuffed. Each incident of stuffing one’s anger and not saying no creates a compounding effect, where people to comes more difficult to say no and anger festers even more. Others may even notice that we where anger on our faces or in our behavior, and not know why. We may not even know why we’re angry, and not connect the dots to know that by not saying no to others when we don’t mean it, creates this cause-and-effect relationship.