Real Authentic Men – Emotional Control

When you get upset what do you do?  Do you curse, scream, shout, and throw things?  Do you start berating other people? Do you cry, sob, or lose control of yourself?  Do you flip people the bird?  Would your actions be defined as over the top or are they just accepted by others? Do any of these describe your actions?

I wouldn’t say any of those actions are ok in fact I would call them over the top and out of control.  I am not sure why people think it’s ok to act this way. I have seen lots of people in different settings act like this for far to long.  When I was growing up my sister and I used to get in fights, scream and yell at each other, call each other horrible names and on some occasions pick up some type of weapon-like device and chase each other around the room.  We usually did this when our parents weren’t around.  The times we screamed and yelled at each other and called each other names, we were told to stop, but never really given any reason why we shouldn’t do this.

When I was a young kid and I would get in trouble, I would get spanked out of anger by my parents and then dismissed to go to my room.  When this would occur I would think it was the end of the world for me, I thought I was going to lose everything.  This made me even madder and I would go into my room and destroy it.  I would tear things off the walls, rip things up and throw everything in the middle of the floor.  I used to shove everything in front of my bedroom door so my parents couldn’t come in.  I felt like I was losing everything anyway so I might as well take care of it myself.  Only later after I calmed down would I clean things up and turn my room back into the immaculate condition it once had been.  My parents never explained how wrong my actions were, over time as I outgrew those actions but turned to more harmful things.

Growing up when my Dad was home or around I watched as he got mad and upset, screamed and yelled, cussed and threw tools, or other items for something as simple as hitting his thumb with a hammer.  When this would occur my mom and sister and I would just stand there looking at him as he did this.  Then we would continue doing whatever it was we were working on and nothing was ever said or spoken about it.  I saw his own mother do something similar a couple of times, but my Grandfather took her aside; spoke with her and when he finished she was crying, quiet and subdued.  No one ever dared to call my Dad on his stuff.  A couple of years ago when I was home I saw these actions once again demonstrated by my Dad.  He was working on a project for my Grandma for her birthday and things weren’t going well.  I was there with a couple of my kids, my sister was there with her kids, we were standing around trying to help and things weren’t gong well.  Suddenly words, tools and a tool belt were flying around.  It was shocking to say the least and we stood there watching it happen, more in shock than anything else.  My mom took a couple of the kids and went in the house.  What an awesome experience for all the grandkids to see.

I have seen instances of this happen in various jobs I have had over the years.  Not so much over the top behaviors like throwing things, but when people have gotten upset they start throwing out f-bombs and talking badly about others.  There have been times I have gotten caught up in this, but for the most part I just really never feel ok with this type of behavior.  I rarely if ever use any type of profanity and it’s pretty rare that I will talk badly about another person.  I just don’t see this as a way to treat others.  I often wonder why or how this makes people feel better.  Does it make you feel better to put someone else down so that you feel superior.  Perhaps that’s why, I’m often confused by the actions of others.

I think the last time I really lost it was a few years ago when one of my closest friends was sentenced to prison for rape for 10 years.  I sat through the trial with his family and friends and saw our justice system at work.  He had one of the best lawyers in town and our hope was that he would get off and the jury would see it was not how it had been made out to be.  Getting the call and finding out he had been found guilty was absolutely devastating.  I went into my bedroom and screamed, I cried, I yelled at the top of my lungs and I beat my fists on my bed.  I just lost it and for about 20 minutes I just wasn’t able to pull myself back together.  I don’t think I have cried that hard in a really long time.

I believe in following the “Golden Rule” and I don’t think you’re ever to old not to do this.  I believe as a man and someone who wants to be authentic you need to be in control of yourself in all areas.  Practicing self-control also means your emotions.  I don’t think it’s any harder for men to get our emotions under control.  While we are not generally emotionally led, God has still given us the same emotions as women.  We don’t operate on just 1 or 2 emotions, but many and I believe as a man you need to really figure out what your emotions are and be able to name them as well as keeping them in check.

It is a poor example to set to your children, co-workers and others that you can’t be responsible for your own emotions and responses.  Whenever you display your angry or upset you can scream, curse, throw things, and talk badly about others, you’re demonstrating your inability to be in control of these things.  Being a real man means you identify what it is you’re feeling and deal with it correctly in a responsible manner.  The best thing you can do is keep them in control and in check.  Maybe you need to talk to someone or just spend some time by yourself, but better to do those things then to demonstrate you can’t control yourself to those around you.

How do you handle emotions?


About Chris Goforth

West Coast Hipster Ninja husband and Papa- allowing Jesus to impact every aspect of my life while raising 6 kids, taking photos, being outdoors & playing Settles of Catan. View all posts by Chris Goforth

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