Women Manage Anger Differently Than Men. Here's Why

When Taylor Swift surprise released her album "Folklore," there was one song that really resonated with fans because of the societal undertones it addressed. As Swift perfectly explained in her song "Mad Woman" from her eighth studio album, "no one likes a mad woman." While song lyrics can often be metaphorical, Swift actually touches on many of the stigmas surroundings women's emotions. Often, people put men and women in specific categories of what is deemed appropriate when it comes to emotional expression. This can cause men and women to react differently based on what they believe is normal or acceptable.

While anger is a universal emotion that all genders feel at some point, the way that anger is managed and then expressed can vary wildly depending on cultural conditioning. According to Psychology Today, anger is often categorized as the opposite of feminine, making it especially abnormal or undesirable to see a woman address conflict while in a heightened emotional state.

Interestingly, women are often made to feel like being agreeable or keeping the peace is the norm, which can make any other reaction seem wrong or incorrect. Unfortunately, this can cause women to express their anger less healthily.

Women release their anger in subtle ways

Since addressing confrontation head-on can feel extra challenging, women often find more nuanced ways of expressing their rage. Even if their anger is justified, it's painfully easy for women's emotions to be dismissed as "hormonal" or to simply call them crazy. Due to this social construct, it's common to view anger as an unjust emotion in women. This can be especially hard for those who feel like their feelings are never validated.

Therefore, women's anger is frequently expressed through various passive-aggressive tendencies. Psychologist and author Irene S. Levine explained to Elite Daily that conflict avoidance can be universal, but choosing not to be argumentative is something women gravitate toward. Levine goes on to describe how many of these tendencies are internalized from childhood because girls are typically raised to be sweet, kind, and appeasing.

It can be easy for women themselves to view their anger as hostile because they've grown to understand femininity as nurturing. This can lead to confusion on how to manage anger, causing it to come out in evasive or distorted ways like silent treatments, gossip, or confusing text messages.

How to express anger in a healthy way

As with most emotions, there are healthy and unhealthy ways to express them. Learning how to articulate feelings in a calm but clear manner can actually improve your relationships because you are prioritizing open communication. Hiding how you're feeling only causes tension to build up, which will lead to discontentment within yourself.

Trying to find the right language for discussing gender and exploring how it plays into anger can be overwhelming. Societally, it has long been accepted that men can show anger overtly or even be aggressive about their irritation, while women tend to internalize their more "negative" emotions. According to PsychCentral, the way different genders express anger has a lot to do with how they were raised, the school they attended, who their friends were, and what they consumed through the media.

These factors largely influence why and how women manage anger differently than men. However, validating anger and understanding why certain feelings are occurring will not only bring self-awareness for everyone, but will hopefully help women understand that they can express themselves without losing their femininity too.