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PMS & PMDD Anger Management Techniques & Tips For Women
by Dr. Daniel J. Heller
You may have read about anger control and anger management techniques–but did you know that most of these were created for men? We believe it's so important to recognize that women's anger is different from men's anger , so we're presenting special anger management techniques and 8 tips especially for women, in recognition of the unique way that women feel and express anger. Not only do women have their own style of managing anger, but different women, at different ages and stages in their lives, and from widely varying backgrounds, must have anger management tools that can be adapted to their unique needs. Of course, PMS anger and PMDD anger only happen to women, and deserve special consideration of their own. Up to now, though, there is almost no research into anger management that addresses PMS anger, and the effect of hormones on feeling and expressing anger, specifically.
We've already discussed some anger management basics for women that focus on understanding anger and the difference between healthy and unhealthy ways of dealing with anger. This article continues to explore the subject of women's anger, and effective ways women can deal with anger issues.
Overall, men's anger tends to be more irrational, and is often associated with aggression and aggressive behavior. Women's anger is very different from this. It's not that women are always rational or are never aggressive. But women's anger has different triggers, and is usually expressed in a very different way, from men's anger.
Feelings of powerlessness are the biggest anger trigger for women. Feeling ignored, minimized, discounted, or not taken seriously gives rise to a sense of impotence and powerlessness that leads to anger. Of course, anger is a rational and normal response in such situations. In some cases, simply being denied the opportunity to express anger creates lasting effects.
Violations of basic values, including disrespectful treatment, and the feeling that you aren't honored and valued, is another common anger trigger for women. Again, anger is a rational response to these feelings.
Lack of reciprocity in intimate relationships: Women want to feel and see that the people they care for, care for them. Whether from a romantic partner, a friend, a child, or a family member, women need to know that their feelings are more or less mutual–and that this be shown in actions and behavior. If you are always the one doing the work around the house, remembering birthdays and anniversaries, making the sacrifices and compromises, showing all the affection and love–after a while, of course this will make you mad! Many women believe it is their role to do more to sustain the relationship, and after a while that leads to resentment and eventually anger.
Simply making the distinction between women's anger and men's anger is not enough. Different women, of different ages, in different cultural settings, with different life focuses will have different anger challenges and anger issues.
For instance, a single working woman in her early 20s will have different concerns than a stay-at-home mom in her early 40s, and both will have very different ways of dealing with anger, and different anger triggers. An African-American or other minority woman who experiences racial discrimination has to deal with feelings of powerlessness and feeling disrespected, giving rise to feelings of anger and impotence. In some cultures, including much of mainstream America, it's considered unseemly for women to show any signs of anger at all.
To understand and manage your anger, you have to navigate the specific challenges in your life, and create methods that work for your unique situation. You could call it a "personalized anger management system."
You can find a healthy way to manage anger and deal with intense emotions. Although it may take some work and struggle, over time it will yield benefits for you and lead to healthier relationships.