Angry young women?

COMMUNICATE It is vital to know the cause of anger

COMMUNICATE It is vital to know the cause of anger  

Each woman handles anger differently as it is a personality thing

When tempers fray, how does the fair sex handle it? Do women withdraw or spew venom? Do they remain in control or let their anger get the better of them?

Says Hannah John, a consultant: “I usually handle anger in two different ways. With my family, I just give vent to my feelings, and cool off. But if it’s something to do with office, I stay quiet and divert my attention by talking to school friends, and colleagues from other companies. Once we have compared notes, and my anger subsides, I come back and try to understand the situation. I am careful with words, when I am under pressure.”

In the case of Dr. Amullya, a paediatrician, it’s at the end of the day when the workload has taken its toll, and the family, that includes young children, clamours for attention and seeks help with school work that she is likely to lose her cool. “The family — my husband included — bears the brunt, as my irritation shows. My standing instructions are that I should be given a little time to de-stress and unwind, after which I am ready to work on all the important things.”

Says Sonal (name changed), an interior designer, who speaks her mind when angry: “If the situation demands, I do keep quiet, but I eventually tell it out.”

Nanditha, a home maker, says: “I don’t talk when I am angry with my husband. I just avoid him. If he wants something, I give that. I do not encourage any conversation, unless there is something important.”

Ask Dr. Vijay Nagaswami, author, psychiatrist and relationship consultant, if women are likely to clam up when angry, and he says: “Not all women clam up when they are angry. Women either tend to lash out, freeze out or declare time out. It is more a personality thing than a woman thing.”

When some women get angry, they stay angry. And, a cold war erupts. As in the case of Nanditha, who says: “The last time my husband and I had a tiff, I was angry for a month. If it’s my mistake I apologise. If it’s not, he has to make amends.”

Mini Ramesh Madhavan, who helps her husband in his designing and printing business says: “I usually just shout and then forget about it. But forgetting takes time. May be a day or so.” In that period, she remains silent for most part, she says.

Explaining how the reconciliation process happens and communication resumes, Dr. Nagaswami says: “More often than not, people can’t stay angry for long, since it creates a toxic environment at home. And, as is well known, the human being does instinctively choose pleasure over pain. So, resuming civility is easier than maintaining toxicity. However, if the issue is not addressed, after a few days of civility, a fresh eruption is bound to take place.”

While women battle through these volcanic eruptions in their head, do men, if they are the cause of the anger, understand it at all? Says Dr. Nagaswami: “Men, of course, understand it as anger, but realise that if they stay out of the way, and give the wife some time to cool off, everything will be fine. However, this is not really a good way to handle the issue, for, it obviates the possibility of discussing the cause of the anger.”

Offering sound suggestions to handle anger, Dr. Nagaswami says: “The best way to deal with conflicts is to talk through them and not around them. For this to happen, anger has to be communicated.”


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