Anger is often associated with conflict. We are made to believe that harmony must be maintained at all times. If harmony is considered normal, then automatically conflict is seen as abnormal. And how does conflict arise? Of course, as a result of this “negative” emotion called anger.
But is anger really that negative? Does it not help us be vocal against injustice, motivate us to reach our goals, solve problems, gain control, and of course, to maintain a sense of self. Then why is it that both men and women are told to steer clear of anger? This is a thought to ponder.
Other than that, we should also think about how do we see angry men and women? Angry men are seen as masculine and desirable whereas angry women are quick to be labeled as difficult and bossy. Why is the treatment not the same? Where and when did this narrative become normal and accepted? Does it depend on how angry they both get and their expression of anger?
We will find out in this article.
Learn all the differences between male anger vs. female anger. Read ahead to find if are men angrier than women or are women angrier than men and the difference between their expressions.
Are Men Angrier than Women?
Are men angrier than women? What do you think? What comes to your mind when you think of anger? Is it an angry man being physically abusive towards a woman? Is it him thrashing furniture around in a fit of anger? Many people are likely to think this when asked what comes to their mind when they think of anger.
It is because we subconsciously consume such information. It is true that men are more abusive and get aggressive when angry, but that is different from whether they are angrier than women? Yes, they have an “angrier” expression, but recent research has consistently found that women experience anger as frequently and as intensely as men. Men are just more likely to express it overtly while women choose a more covert expression of anger.
The Difference Between Male Vs. Female Anger Expression
When we do the comparison of male vs. female anger, we come to realize that the biggest similarity between the two is that both get angry almost the same. Sure, there are individual differences. Some women generally have a cooler disposition and they don’t get worked up easily. Similarly, some men need huge reasons to get furious. However, on average, the frequency of men and women having anger issues is the same.
In a study conducted by the psychologist, Raymond DiGiuseppe, it was found that differences in men’s and women’s total anger scores were not significant. The main difference lay in the way they experienced anger. Specifically, men scored higher on physical aggression, passive aggression, and experiences of impulsively dealing with their anger. They also more often had a revenge motive for their anger and scored higher on coercing other people.
Women, on the other hand, were found to be angry longer, more resentful, and less likely to express their anger, compared with men. DiGuiseppe found that women used indirect aggression. This means that they often set their minds not to speak to some people ever again during their anger.
Understand why there is this difference in expression. It is because boys are told from an early age that they need to cry on little things and express their emotions like a man. Expressing anger with physical and aggressive gestures is considered “masculine” and “manly.” So, even when they express anger in playgrounds, it is through the clenching of fists and physical confrontations.
Girls, however, are taught that it is unladylike to be loud, scream in anger, or use fists to fight. Research shows that women suffer greater consequences than men when they express their anger outwardly. Parents give them a more severe punishment from an early age if they act out in anger. Hence, they learn to express their anger in a covert manner from an early age.
You can see that these differences are shown in almost all moves and shows. Men, whether the hero or the villain, are always ready to fight. Women express their anger in a passive-aggressive manner i.e., through snark replies and mean gossip.
How Long the Anger Lasts of Men Vs. Women?
There is no exact time duration. It depends on individual to individual and the reason they are angry. If it is something outrageous then of course, they remain angry for days until their anger subsides or they get a genuine apology.
Sometimes it also depends on who you are angry with. If it is your spouse, your mom, or your sibling, how long can you remain angry? People tend to unbottle their feelings, rant, and get back to normal. However, if it is your boss or a colleague who has angered you, then you may remain decent but harbor anger in your heart for a long duration.
Recent studies do show that the frequency and intensity of anger decrease with age. A study showed that although men are still more likely to be aggressive and women are still more likely to have longer episodes of anger.
How Different Genders Overcome Their Anger?
Anger is something that will remain there. You can’t expect to magically never be angry again. Neither should that be your goal because that is extremely unrealistic. Your goal should be to manage anger and express it in a healthy manner. Here are some ways that both men and women can do so:
- Be Assertive Without Being Confrontational
- Use “I” Statements
- Add Humour to Defuse Anger
- Do Physical Exercises
- Enroll in Anger Management Course
1 – Be Assertive Without Being Confrontational
Has your partner’s words hurt you? Did you feel offended by something they did before your family and friends? Do you feel they cannot maintain a healthy work-life balance, and your relationship is affected? There are so many undesirable things that will come up when you are in a relationship.
You can’t deal with every conflict with anger. The key to dealing with anger in a relationship is to be assertive without being confrontational. You can talk about these even more severe topics without risking your relationship. Maintain your cool, be assertive, and listen to understand instead of just responding.
Playing blame games and making the other person feel guilty about something they did will not help. So, choose appropriate communication over confrontation and solve all problems.
2 – Use “I” Statements
Remove yourself from the situation whenever you feel angry. After you have calmed down and fought the temptation of screaming or breaking something. When you feel that you are in the mental headspace where you can maturely express your anger, have a conversation like a decent and mature adult.
While talking, make sure to use “I” statements instead of “you” statements as that shifts attention to the action of the other person instead of it remaining on how it made you feel. So, if you are angry that the other person humiliated or wronged you, say that “I felt embarrassed and hurt” instead of saying that “you always poke fun at me in front of our friends.”
All this while, fight your battle. If you are a man with violent tendencies, stay calm and never resort to abuse and violence. If you are a woman who expresses anger through taunts, try not to do that and talk in a straightforward manner.
3 – Add Humour to Diffuse Anger
There could be several causes of anger. When two people work or live together, it is bound to cause miscommunication and misunderstandings. When you feel a tiny misunderstanding is being blown up, just add a little humor to diffuse the situation and bring things back to normal.
4 – Do Physical Exercises
Incorporating physical activities or just 15 minutes into your daily routine can make a huge impact on how you deal with anger as a man or woman.
Exercise releases happy hormones, which automatically reduce the chances of you losing your calm. When you do get angry, exercise for a few minutes, and voila! Your anger is going to diffuse as your body sweats.
5 – Enroll in Anger Management Course
Is it that you have tried ways of controlling anger but nothing works? If there is nothing that you do that seems to help then you should consider taking anger management classes.
There are several anger-related courses that are designed by experts that can help you recognize your triggers and help master anger. Online anger management classes provide people with the tools and techniques they need to properly manage their anger. More than 10,000 customers have already taken our course.
In this blog, we shed light on women’s anger vs. men’s anger. We discussed if women are angrier than men and the frequency and duration of their anger.
We also discussed their angry expressions. Men are more aggressive and overly expressive of their anger, while women express anger in a passive-aggressive manner. This is a result of what these men and women are taught from a young age.
Both these expressions are not healthy. So, we shared some ways of the best ways to manage and express anger. We suggest that both men and women should take a time out when they feel angry. They must return after they have calmed down and talk about what is upsetting them in a decent and mature manner, as the goal is to resolve problems and not to suppress anger at all costs.