IN 2021, we saw and read cases of people ending their partner’s lives because of marital dispute that resulted due to one partner being unfaithful.
Another case was that of a man who was arrested for allegedly slashing his wife’s private parts after he found her chatting with a neigbbour when he went home for Lunch.
It also extended to women pouring hot water or cooking oil on their spouses in the heat of a domestic dispute.
The jealousy and anger shown saw young girls and boys resorting to suicide because they could not contain the pressure and shame of being damped by their partners.
Much more was the hunger in some homes that saw men who vented their anger over their spouses when they could not find a meal after a long days work.
These and many stories were reported on how partners reacted when their spouses were found in an unpleasant act or failed to resolve conflicts that rose due to domestic disputes.
We all know what anger is, and in most of our times as we interact, we have all experienced and felt it in annoyance or reacted in outburst.
Scholars have described anger as a normal, healthy emotion, neither good nor bad. Like any emotion, it conveys a message, telling you that a situation is upsetting, unjust, or threatening.
However, that message never has a chance to be conveyed and while it is perfectly normal to feel angry when you have been mistreated or wronged, anger becomes a problem when you express it in a way that harms yourself or others.
Across the world, stakeholders have harnessed the power of the media to help raise awareness by demanding an end to violence against others.
So much has happened that feels like there is little progress when it comes to ensuring the right of women and girls to live free from Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
However, the unequal power dynamics between men and women, that has resulted in Gender Based Violence (GBV) which also affects men is said to have hit the hardest on the marginalised people in society.
Some traditional marriage teachings in African societies have also been critiqued for teachings that are patriarchal and contribute to anger that perpetuates gendered violence.
This act of GBV that manifests from unresolved anger for some people is said to be caused by an underlying disorder, such as alcoholism or depression.
For instance, studies show that anger itself is not considered a disorder; anger is a known symptom of several mental health conditions.
A former student of Psychology observes that if one grew up in a violent environment, they tend to think that dealing with your feelings in a physically aggressive way is the only way.
Chimwemwe Shaba said that children, who grow up in disorganised home environment, might have a difficult time controlling anger and are more likely to act out violently.
Mr Shaba, who describes this state as a “cycle of violence”, believes that in addressing the scourge of GBV in the community, counselors and other stakeholders must take time to observe the anger exhibited in people which is at the root of GBV and has been identified in shattering families and traumatising the community.
“We have people in our communities who have not come out of their past painful experiences and involve themselves in relationships before they completely heal,” he said.
Mr Shaba adds, “Also we are living in times were people are going through political, social challenges such as divorce, unemployment, rejection, chronic illnesses and many others that people need to come to terms with, for us to have a violent free community.”
He said it was difficult to change the perception of GBV and child abuse being reported until people understand the root cause of the perpetrators’ anger.
“It is only a deeply angry person that will choose to inflict physical and emotional pain on another person,” he said.
Mr Shaba said, while it is true that suppressing and ignoring anger is unhealthy, venting it out is also not a solution, as anger is not something you have to let out in an aggressive way in order to achieve something.
He also observed that, while getting angry is normal, never getting angry is not healthy but what is important is for people to manage their anger as they socialise with others.
“Even as we interact with others, anger will come out regardless of how hard you try to suppress it down but what we need are the skills to manage it. Despite the concept of seeking help when conflict arises being a new act in our culture, we have seen people who are training to resolve conflicts and help people manage their anger compared to the traditional way that we were accustomed to,” he said
Studies show that the best way to go about it when one is angry is not to suppress it, but rather to understand the message behind the emotion and express it in a healthy way without losing control.
Further, in doing so, you will not only feel better but, also be more likely to get your needs met, and be in a better position to manage conflict in your life which will also strengthen your interaction with others.
Mr Shaba has implored all parents and guardians to take interest in how their children interact with their siblings and friends even in the midst of a new development of help in counseling programms which have proliferated in our schools, work places, churches as this will help address the problem at an early stage.
He said the last general elections saw some candidates who thought being angry would earn them respect.
Mr Shaba said people in supervisory positions must realise that respect doesn’t come from bullying or despising others.
At times some people may be afraid of you, but they won’t respect you if you can’t control yourself or handle opposing viewpoints.
Likewise, in relationships some men abuse their power, to exert control and influence to manage their homes effectively hence, these are the conflicts children and spouses have in some homes.
He said the many challenges that come along in relationships may find one in a position that he or she cannot always control the situation, but one can control how he or she express his or her anger.
Similarly, Mr Shaba said people in relationships must learn to communicate their feelings without being verbally or physically abusive even if someone offends them as the results of their response.
It is therefore important as citizens interact, they must observe violent behaviors in people and as signs that lead with verbal threats or relatively minor incidents over time can involve physical harm.
As psychologists would advise, if you observe that your anger leads to being hostile or violent behavior, it is important to find help that will put you on a path to recovery and lead you to ways that will control your feelings and actions positively. firstname.lastname@example.org