The Secret Reason Men Get Angry With Women Over “Nothing” ~by David DeAngelo
Tell me if this sounds at all familiar…
You’re having a pleasant time with your partner when, seemingly out of nowhere, she says or does something “small”… nothing, really… that triggers a sudden rush of upset feelings in you.
Maybe even outright anger.
You get triggered and angry, then your sudden rush of upset sometimes makes you lash out, coming back at her with a counterattack before you know what’s happening.
But have you ever stopped to wonder… what’s really going on here?
If there’s already damage or distance within a relationship, it makes some sense. You’re probably ALWAYS in attack mode, feeling defensive or on-edge. But otherwise…
Why Does This Sometimes Happen In A Happy, Healthy Relationship?
At one of my live programs, a participant shared that he sometimes “went off” on his unsuspecting girlfriend when she made even small criticisms of him.
We dug deeply into this one because (shocker…) it turns out that this is something a LOT of guys deal with at one time or another, including yours truly…
How will we react when our partner taps into something deep inside us that “triggers” us, igniting sudden emotions we’re not equipped to handle?
In my own past relationships, I had a particular “button” that was triggered when a woman interrupted me in the middle of saying or doing something, or when she jumped to disagree with me without really hearing me out.
This stuff made me respond in a very primal, emotional way.
Instead of simply telling her, “Hold on, you need you to let me finish and hear me right now,” I launched right into anger, blame, and frustration.
Upon closer inspection, it was a reaction that was easy to recognize from another time and place in my life…
It was how I reacted as a KID!
The more I thought about it, the more sense it made…
As boys, we have no clue how to understand and process emotions and deal with them in the moment. As we grow up, if we still don’t learn how to do it, our childhood reactions carry over into how we deal with similar situations when they come up in our present.
If Mom never let us finish a thought or Dad felt like nothing we did was good enough, we keep reacting in the same immature ways as when those issues were first created.
When I asked my audience member what memories his girlfriend’s criticism triggered in him, he recalled being raised by an uncle who was so controlling and critical, my guy finally had to rebel and leave.
For me, tracking my childhood memories led to the root of my “interruption” trigger… the “I’ve-got-this” way my Dad handled my input and suggestions, often cutting me off and jumping in with corrections.
Sure enough, years later, these same reactions were leaking into our relationships with women.
But, now that we know where all this is coming from, here’s the real question:
What Can We Do To Stop Getting “Triggered”?
IMPORTANT: I’m not a psychologist or therapist, so make sure to check with a professional if you have serious psychological issues. What I’m sharing here is a simple visualization that has worked for me.
This is huge.
Most men never stop to identify what we’re feeling in any given moment…
So put a name to it. Even better, say it out loud: “I feel angry.” “I feel frustrated.” “I feel helpless.”
Then trace that feeling directly into your past. Find the childhood event that made such an impression on you, that really imprinted on you, and see if you can zero in on the cause
Really revisit how you reacted back then – then replace that negative “imprint” with a more positive one: imagine how things would have gone differently if you’d been able to react calmly, maturely, without fear and hurt.
This re-imagining literally causes a “shift” in our mind, body, and emotions … a shift that translates into how we respond when the same trigger comes up in our relationships today.
Suddenly, instead of getting reflexively angry without knowing why, we’re calm with understanding. We’re at peace with feeling prepared.
And then that’s how we respond to our partner, short-circuiting a destructive downward spiral and replacing it with understanding and connection.