Anger Management Stereotypes
What type of people do you assume go to anger management counseling?
Thanks to Hollywood you probably have some stereotypes in mind. Perhaps you imagine a room full of angry people ready to explode.
Over the years that I’ve helped people struggling with anger I’ve found there are some similarities among the men and women that I help.
A lot of the men that walk through my door are people who might be labeled “nice guys.” You’ve probably met these types of men, or perhaps you feel like this type of person. I’m the type of person who could probably be labeled a “nice guy.”
It might surprise you that a lot of these men come to counseling feeling like they struggle with anger.
Anger Management for Nice Guys
What do I mean when use the phrase “nice guys?”
You probably know someone that you might describe as a nice guy. A nice guy is someone you can’t imagine getting angry.
Some of the characteristics of a nice guy might be described as gentle, kind, soft spoken, or easy going.
These might not be the qualities you would expect for someone going to anger management.
We’re going to explore some of the reasons nice guys often feel like they struggle to control their anger, and how anger management can help.
5 Reasons Nice Guys Struggle With Anger
1) Stuffing your anger: Perhaps the most common reason a nice guy struggles with anger is because you stuff your anger. When you’re upset about something you don’t let it show. You hold it in.
2) Don’t like feeling out of control: One of the reasons for stuffing your anger is that you don’t like to feel out of control. Anger can feel intense and it’s not an emotion you’re comfortable expressing.
3) Fear of conflict: Many nice guys fear conflict or don’t feel comfortable confronting people. This fear of conflict often leads to avoiding conflict or once again stuffing your anger.
4) Modeling healthy anger: You’ve probably learned how to express (or not express) your anger. You might not have seen anger modeled in a healthy way. Often times nice guys grew up in homes where they didn’t see conflict, or conflict was often very intense or aggressive.
5) Lacking healthy boundaries: A nice guy might struggle with setting healthy boundaries. If you lack boundaries you might feel like people take advantage of you or “walk all over you.”
Developing Anger Skills For Nice Guys
Often times nice guys describe their anger like a volcano. You hold in your anger and it builds and builds, until you can’t hold it in anymore.
When you reach this boiling point your anger erupts like a volcano. It can be very intense and it can cause a lot of damage.
In anger management you learn the skills that are necessary to express anger in healthy and comfortable ways.
Learning how to be assertive can be important. You can learn how to become comfortable with conflict or confrontation in your life.
If you often feel like a “nice guy” and you struggle with anger, you’ll probably find that you’re not alone.
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