Let’s just talk this out

Samantha Worgull

Anger. It is such a broad topic, but it has a certain aspect that everyone could agree on: it comes from feelings of unhappiness.

What you intend to do with those feelings tends to differ depending on your gender.

“Gender differences in dealing with anger have to do with two important aspects: socialization and biological differences,” associate psychology professor John Updegraff said.

To put it in to basic terms, men and women’s brains are made differently, but that is old news.

Men tend to process better in the left hemisphere of the brain while women tend to process equally well between the two hemispheres.

This means men approach problem solving from a task-oriented perspective while women solve problems more creatively and with feelings while communicating.

“When I get angry, I usually call my aunt and we will talk through it, and when I get off the phone I feel better,” Noelle Hannon, sophomore speech pathology major, said. “I also write poetry when I’m mad.”

Using a creative outlet is a good way to handle your anger, because sometimes being angry can stress you out. Stress can be difficult to cope with, specifically for males, Updegraff said.

“Typically, males deal with stress by using a more fight-or-flight approach,” he said. “Women will cope with stress by seeking social support.”

“I usually end up talking to my friends,” Lori Remaker, freshman middle childhood education, said. “Sometimes I like to look up quotes online as well.”

Men tend to rely on themselves to deal with their anger, which may be a result of a reaction to social norms. It is more appropriate for men to express anger, Updegraff said. Not all men express their anger though.

“On the whole, I typically hold my anger in,” Phil Gardner, graduate student of information architecture knowledge management, said. “I used to play my drum set too (when he was angry), but I haven’t for a while.”

For women, it is more appropriate, based on society’s traditions, to be lady-like and not express anger. But for both genders, it is important to ask yourself, is getting angry really worth it?

“I see things in black and white,” senior marketing major Dennis Pierson said. “You have to base your anger on degrees, and then decide if it’s really worth getting angry over.”

Without a doubt, college students have a lot to be angry about—just look at how much we are paying to go to school—but there’s ways to deal with your anger, whether you’re male or female. We all share the same issues, whether it’s that bad grade you got on a paper or backstabbing friends. Decide if it’s worth it before you get stressed out and angry.

You can contact Samantha Worgull at [email protected].