Anger Isn’t All Masculine: How to Keep in Control of Yourself

 I come to write in a voice that is here to both help those lost to themselves and those who are still in denial that they, a female, could have anger problems. The issue begins with the way society connotes the anger emotion. Naturally, anger must be because of high levels of testosterone, therefore why would a woman ever be subject to it? Yes, no matter how hard we try to deny it, we are still living in this Petrarchan society where women are expected to be as docile and fair as a doe and become this perfect muse for their male counterpart. It’s not in our genes to be angry. I want to call bullshit to those who think that anger is a truly masculine trait. Have they even watched the Jersey Shore?

    My problem with anger I can blame on many things, but deep down I know it is my own self that truly has the issue. I could say it’s because of my genes; I come from a particularly frank Hungarian line on my mother’s side and a rowdy, stereotypical Irish line on my father’s; both with their own issues of anger management. I could blame it on my environment; a town whose parents teach their children the ins and outs of cursing by elementary school and do not seem to care much the direction their child takes. In return, you get home exposure as well as school to angry behavior. I could even blame my time; the generation of over exposed, narcissistic people whose me-me-me attitude leaves them frustrated when they don’t get what they want. I could go on and on about the different effects of behavior but I would sound like my psychology textbook rather than take blame for myself.

 Which leads me to the first cliché step in any self-help journey: Take responsibility.

    You are a product of yourself and your situations. You have the power to change; difficulty and time are dependent per person. I kept denying my poor anger management through three boyfriends who I would love to apologize to for how fucked up I treated them looking back. It took a boy with the patience of Job, who watched my personality fluctuate from these levels of happy to angry in the matter of moments, to metaphorically slap me in the face with my anger (metaphorically highlighted). In a Socratic manner, he forced me to truly know myself, what causes my anger, and finding ways to treat it.

 Step-two: What are your triggers?

    I found that the worst thing to trigger me in all my cynical ways is happiness. While mine may be an abstract concept, triggers can be as detailed as hating the way someone breathes or chews, something I am also guilty of. I hated seeing people happy, especially in family or couple settings because I kept thinking about my unconventional family relationship which made the trio of us grow distant and cold at times. I hate seeing siblings with close-knit relationships because they had grown up together whereas mine has an entire generation between us. I never experienced the sibling, I only experienced the loneliness of sitting in my room on cold days and playing make believe with stuffed animals. It’s easier to be jealous of them for being close than to accept that everyone grows up different.

 Step-Three: Getting over your triggers and finding a calming hobby.

    This is where the effort and time really need to be addressed. The effort can be simple as owning a plant; I bought a succulent back in December and take care of it as if it were my own child. But that wasn’t enough for me. I found that a few rounds of solitaire at night, despite it draining my battery immensely, also got me ready for bed as well as de-stressing me from the day’s activities. The biggest help I have so far is the power of writing. Writing to write, or to release some past scenario that has been eating at you is beautiful as well as freeing. No one needs to read it and it doesn’t need to be published in a literary magazine. Write your feelings, write your thoughts, don’t suppress anything. It will fester like a bottle shaken and pop it's contents, leaving your floor sticky.

I should complete the cliché cycle by ending with step-four: Love yourself for who you are.

    I am going to be as tacky as possible because it’s fitting and is real advice. This may be one of the most overused self-help recommendations, but the truth of the matter is that you really need to love yourself otherwise you’ll be caught in a cycle of worries. You do not need to compare yourself to anyone, and certainly American “beauty” standards should have no place in your Instagram feed. If you want to work out, so be it, but know that each body has a different type and not everyone is going to look like Victoria's Secret models after two legs days. If you want to wear makeup, do what you want to do. Unless you have loads of money to spend of plastic surgery, you might not look like Kylie Jenner. That is okay. Strive to be your own role model, if you can’t look up to yourself, why would others? Find what is good about yourself and own that shit. Don’t let others opinions beat you down. It will take time, especially when your own enemy feeding you these expectations is yourself.