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You Mad, Bro?
how a grow-ass man deals with anger
Questions answered in this episode:
- What is the nature of anger. What is it and why are men so prone to the struggle with anger?
- What biological and cognitive processes predispose us to anger?
- How can men be more aware of what’s happening with their anger and gain more control over this often destructive emotion?
- What are the actions that men need to take if they have a pattern of destructive anger?
Other topics discussed:
- Anger is a gift to protect us
- It has evolutionary value.
- The tribal man who could become angry survived.
- It remains with us through natural selection.
- All about the “fight or flight” response
- We can be tricked into believing there is a threat.
- The role of managing expectations in maintaining emotional regulation
- How incorrect interpretation of triggers create negative emotions and negative reactions
We’re wired for anger. It is protective. Jordan Peterson says that aggression is the default in males. It’s part of our wiring and our chemistry. Testosterone is the power hormone. But too often we get tricked into believing that there is threat when there is none. Today we’re going to discuss anger and how men can be more aware of what they’re feeling and have more control of an emotion that too often diminishes our actual power.
Brad Singletary (00:01:08):
Welcome back guys. Brad Singletary here. On my left. I have my buddy Taco Mike, welcome Mike. What up? Hey. So tonight we’re talking about anger. Before we get started, I just wanted to talk about the progress of our show. So we’ve been at this a little over a year and we’ve got, we’ve reached almost 10,000 downloads. Probably by the time this airs, we would reach 10,000. And you know, maybe that’s not we’re not up there at the highest level of you know, listeners. But we do have, we can tell that we have listeners all over the world and we’re just happy to be trying to make a difference for men where we believe that men improve their lives by engaging with the tribe to improve their actions, attitudes and attributes. Today we were talking about anger. We’re looking to answer these questions.
Brad Singletary (00:01:54):
What is the nature of anger? What is it and why are men so prone to the struggle with anger? What biological and cognitive processes predispose us to anger? How can men be more aware of what’s happening with their anger and gain more control over this often destructive emotion? And finally, what are the actions that men need to take if they have a pattern of destructive anger? So I work with men as a, as a therapist in a, in a coach and kind of a clinical setting. And I see this as a problem for so many men. And I think one of the biggest problems as they come in and they don’t really understand what’s happening, they know I have, have an anger problem, but they don’t know what they are experiencing. And so what I want to talk about first and Mike is just how anger is really.
Brad Singletary (00:02:43):
It’s designed in us. It’s a gift to relate to protect us. So anger is a, is a, it’s a motivating factor. It’s a response to a perceived threat. And if you think about the evolutionary value of anger, you know, in the time of the cave, the guy who could be angry survived, you know, when there was a bear attacking his family, that guy lived, or when someone from a rival tribe, you know, came to steal their food, the man who could become angry lived. And so that’s kind of naturally selected in us. And through our genetics and hormones and so forth. I just think this is a common thing for men, but it has had a purpose. It does have a purpose. And just want to validate that to begin with it. This is not an evil part of us sit. We can, we can turn it into that. But it really is a part of our nature and it does have a purpose.
Mike Spurgin (00:03:40):
I like to think about anger too in terms of like public service. I like to think about you know, love him or don’t love him. John McCain was somebody that I had a lot of respect for and one of the, one of the reasons why was just I remember studying him in his life one time and hearing about some of the things that he would get angry over and angry about and, and the way that he would defend people and would use that emotion of anger to sort of draw a line and say, I’m not going to let you cross this. I’m going to, I’m going to represent you and protect you. And that could be a coach. It could be a parent. You know, you could probably come up with a lot of times where somebody took a very aggressive defensive posture.
Mike Spurgin (00:04:28):
Maybe, maybe a spouse does that for each other out of loyalty, out of concern, safety. And so using anger as a tool, as a resource to defend and protect is, is huge and beautiful and wonderful. And like you say, that’s part of our survival, like that’s pre-wired in. It’s that is just by default an attribute and characteristic of a survivor. Animals that get angry when you invade their space. You or me, when we get angry, when somebody invades our space, like that’s keeping us safe, that’s keeping our family safe. So I would do the same thing that you did and I would say, you know, hats off to, to to a man who feels the emotion of anger and then even double hats off to the guy who knows how to control it and use it as a, as a resource and a tool. A lot of us don’t. I didn’t for years, so we’ll dive into that. But just to open this up right away and sort away to, to just shine a light on that, say that this is a, this is a tremendous resource that, that we have. I think that the male species has how useful and usable it is. But it’s like a hammer on toolbox. It’ll break anything that it hits if it if I don’t understand how powerful it is and how to use it.
Brad Singletary (00:05:41):
I was watching it, a TV preacher one time who talked about one of his little quips was that ‘anger is the birthplace of solutions’. Think about how many times and kind of the mechanical world, Mike, you’ve probably been frustrated by a thing and you’ve, Mike has invented stuff in case you guys didn’t know that Mike is like a, a creative mind. But how many times does that come out of anger? So anger is a birthplace of solution. I love that thought that it can help us, you know, defend those that need to be defended or whatever. And so when we talk about anger, where does it come in from in our bodies? I love the, the framework of the fight or flight response. So if anger perceives a threat, anger is a response to a perceived threat. Our sympathetic nervous system is activated, our body gets flooded with chemicals.
Brad Singletary (00:06:29):
Those are designed to energize us, adrenaline and all these different things are happening. The problem is that can be kind of addictive. If you think about the rush that comes when you’re on a good mad that’s a great state. That’s a great phrase. You use that. Yeah, it’s, it can be kind of a, it can be kind of a trip to feel all of that power. And if you picture someone who’s angry, they’re not laying on the ground on their back, they’re probably walking around, storming around, speaking at their highest volume. I mean there’s, there’s definitely some energy that comes with anger. And I think that’s where it becomes a problem for some men is because they’re there almost self-medicating with anger.
Mike Spurgin (00:07:08):
But the thing about anger, so, and you know anger too, sometimes people throw it around as a way to get respect. So if I don’t really, if I don’t really live a life that is respectable, that is to say, let’s say I live a life where people don’t value me for my character, my wisdom. You know what I bring to the table? I’ve got to seize that. So if I need you to respect me, like I don’t carry that presence. Let’s say, let’s say I’m a bit of a twerp or a weasel or whatever, and, and I, for whatever reason in this moment, like I want you to respect me. I may need to get angry to get you to do that, or at least to get your attention to demand. Like I’m demanding you to see me and to acknowledge me kind of a power play, right? Whole power play. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s true for a lot of us that that anger is this like wimp out way to like try to try to get attention and respect. It’s kind of a weasel way.
Brad Singletary (00:07:55):
It’s false control, right? So if we’re in the cave and the bear comes to us and we are activated, you know, to, to preserve ourselves, fight or flight means that our body’s energized to either fight the bear or runaway, flight, fight or flight. If I pull out a gun on you right now, Mike or I threatened someone, the same process is going to happen. So we’re energized to either run away or fight the fight. The threat, the problem is we can be in our, so often kind of tricked into believing that there’s a threat. Here’s how I know that have, have you ever watched, do you like scary movies? No, not at all. But if you watch them, you’ve seen them and you see this movie. My wife loves scary movies. I can’t, I have a hard time. I’ve, after 10 years, learned to learn to deal with it and pretend like I do.
Brad Singletary (00:08:48):
That’s your version of a chick flick is like, she wants me to watch a slasher scary. Yeah, seriously. The horror films. And so I just, I enjoy the time to lay there beside her or sit beside her. So think about those movies though. You, you have a physical response in your body and you know, this is some CGI bullshit that’s on, on the computer. It’s Hollywood. It’s two dimensional on the screen. Like, logically, you know that, you know, but why do you, why does your heartbeat, why do you jump when there’s so we can be, we can be tricked into believing that there’s a threat. And I think that’s what happens all the time. Not about safety threats. Rarely is there someone coming at us trying to, you know, th they’re pulling a gun or they’re trying to, you know, steal our children and those kinds of things.
Brad Singletary (00:09:31):
But I think what we feel threatened is our, you know, our ego strength, we’re, our pride is being threatened. Our sense of manhood or some kind of you know, ego centered issue. We think there’s a threat. So this is activated in our body and now the sun, our heart’s pounding just because someone told us to F off or someone was rude at to us at the grocery store or, or the traffic, it makes us believe we can easily be tricked into thinking that there’s a threat. So we’re now we’re all activated. Physiologies up, heart’s pounding, the blood’s pumping. And that creates a problem because it’s the same kind of process at what happened as if someone had pulled a gun on you as if this, you know, there there’s some survival instinct, some, some fight that needed to happen. So we often are misperceiving threats when there really are none. What kind of, what kind of things are threatened Mike? Like when you think about anger in the typical situation, again, not survival or a danger situation, the kinds of things that make men angry, what is being threatened? What are they being, what are they made to believe is at risk?
Mike Spurgin (00:10:46):
That’s a really good question. I think a lot of, a lot of anger typically is preservation. So I’m angry cause they need to preserve something. Any protect something, which is that natural instinct. It can be fooled and it can be tricked and living in this sort of like suburban lifestyle. A man doesn’t have physical threats. Typically. Generally I get in my car and go to work and come home. Nothing in that is physically threatening. I’m not fighting for survival, nor am I defending you and you’re in your survival. So what, what a typical guy tends to do though is because we’re still wired with testosterone, we’re still competitive. We’re still, we still have the same. We still have the same physiology that are, that are caveman brothers, our ancestors did. It’s very easy to then I guess be tricked or to read into life situations, normal life situations in that suburban context that are not life threatening.
Mike Spurgin (00:11:51):
So like I get an email and the email is bad news or something I don’t want to hear or the boss comes in and he tells me I didn’t do a good job on the Jones’ report and I really need to tighten it up and whatever. And so we have all these things that come at us and because I’m not really, I’m not really, I’m not I’m not running through the forest with the spear trying to chase the chase a deer for the next meal. Like I’m not doing the kinds of things that, that my, that are pre-wired into me that my human body evolved in and was created to do. I’m going to like, I’m going to presuppose incorrectly that these other things are, are threats to my, my, my physical safety or like the safety of my tribe. And so I will just sort of overthink or over grand eyes that email or this, this quarterly report or, you know, I’ll look at some story in the news and my stock is down, whatever it is.
Mike Spurgin (00:12:47):
Like I’m going to probably the car breaks down. There’s so many things that are going to come at me that I’m going to, I’m gonna incorrectly. I, I’m gonna falsely interpret as this physical threat because in the Savannah I did have physical threats. There were, there were branches that would crack and it was probably a tiger. And so when that would happen, my cortisol would go up and serve. That’s like my, my, when that happens, my brain is flooded. Like my, my prefrontal cortex, my frontal lobe is turned off. So like my executive functioning is turned off because now I’m going to go into fight or flight. And so as soon as that happens, my, my pupils dilate, you know my, my body is flooded with energy to use to burn calories that I’m going to burn immediately if I need to run or fight or whatever.
Mike Spurgin (00:13:40):
And so none of that, none of that though is going to happen because I’m still sitting at my desk still looking at this spreadsheet, but all of those under the fluorescent lights under the floor, some lights, right? But my body is preparing me to murder you because you’re this physical threat. It’s preparing me to choke out this tiger and none of that’s going to happen. I’m just going to continue to sit at my desk and I’m going to continue to read this email and all of that stuff is going to go up. And so now, now I’m like pre adrenaline. Everything is in fight or flight mode, but I don’t burn any of that off. It’s like a residual thing that we once needed, no longer need that anymore. It doesn’t have, we don’t need it the same way we did and generations pass hundreds, thousands of years.
Mike Spurgin (00:14:24):
We didn’t, we needed to fight. We don’t need to fight that way anymore. It’s still coursing through our veins, the chemistry to be able to do that. And there’s nowhere to put it. Yeah, 100%. And so one of the weird tricks of like biology is that there’s a couple of ways you can burn that off. And how we would do that organically is we would, we would run up, run up a Hill or we would climb up a tree or whatever. And so through physical exertion, just through muscle energy, we would burn out that cortisol and that adrenaline and we would spend it out naturally in the way it’s supposed to. Like that’s how the the, the human machine was made. But we’re not doing that. And so one of the classic ways to do that, that that is completely self-destructive is to have sort of an anger moment this explosive like burst out.
Mike Spurgin (00:15:17):
And we do that with this weird combination of like cortisol and adrenaline, but also frustration. Maybe we’re frustrated at this real situation, this phone call I just got that pissed me off. But I’m also like over amping that because again, I was pre prepared to fight a bear and I’m not going to fight a bear. I’m going to fight my boss or I’m going to find my wife or I’m going to fight the guy in traffic who cut me off. So if I’m living in this chronically heightened state of like pre-fight, it takes very little to sort of tip me over the edge because I’m just living in this chronic low level state of pre explosion, half cocked all the time, all the time, all the time. And so the reality is is that Oh, and there’s one other one too. So that’s one way to sort of bleed out that that energy.
Mike Spurgin (00:16:11):
The other one is dopamine. If I get a big wash of dopamine that has this like artificially floats like junk food, it’s like this huge mouthful of cotton candy. So if I can, if I can just hyper love with dopamine, it’ll sort of like tamp down and calm down. All of that cortisol that I’m, that I’m just sort of saturated in. But it’s this really fake a potato chip kind of kind of satiation. And so if I’ve got some great turn twos that I know will give me dopamine straight away, then I’m going to like pull the trigger on those all the time. And so if I’m constantly living in this like, you know, pre adrenaline zone, I need a lot there. That’s very unsettling in the mind. It’s vague. He creates a lot of anxiety and tension. And so if I can just jump out of my day and grab some dove me and so maybe I need to go and do some risky behavior.
Mike Spurgin (00:17:04):
Maybe I need a gamble. Maybe I need to jump in some porn. Maybe I need to jump into you know, Booze will do that for me. There’s all kinds of ways. There’s all kinds of ways. Again, it’s cotton candy, it’s, it’s fake food. But I might be using, I might be stuck, I might be stuck in biology. I might be stuck looping this a cycle so often, so many of us are just like stuck in this loop and we have no frickin concept or idea that we’re in it and then no way to get out of it. We’re completely helpless to it over and over and over.
Brad Singletary (00:17:38):
Sounds like awareness is a big part of that. You know, we just don’t even understand where we’re at. We don’t, we don’t know what it is. We don’t know the needs of our body. We don’t know. I love this, this kind of anthropological context that you’re talking about here, but we don’t know what’s happened with our body. We don’t, we have no idea where our thoughts are. So we have these internal like vulnerabilities. You’re talking about hormonal things and kind of the needs that we have to expend this energy. I want to talk a little bit about the cognitive part. So earlier you mentioned interpretation and, and I, I talk about really two things and maybe we can just play off this w you know, with each other as we talk about these. But, so I want to talk about two things that I see getting men in trouble with their anger in terms of their thoughts and how they process what’s happening of the ancient philosopher Epictetus who said people are not disturbed by things, but by the view which they take of them. It’s not the thing that’s upsetting you, it’s what you think that means.
Brad Singletary (00:18:40):
But I think before the trigger happens, before something comes on to make it Sanger the email you mentioned or the comment by the wife or whatever the kid does at home, we have these expectations, these selfish demands of what we believe is supposed to be going on. There’s just these generalized global thoughts that we have about how it’s supposed to go. And Albert Ellis, who was one of the early psychologists who talked about cognitive therapy and his was rational emotive behavior therapy. But anyway, he used the word that, I love this word because it’s easy to remember, but he talked about musterbation and musterbation of course a play on the word masturbation. But he, he says that’s the, those are the musts that we have in our, in our minds. These are somewhat unconscious. So maybe the idea that I must never be challenged.
Brad Singletary (00:19:38):
I must never be inconvenienced, you know people must treat me fairly. We have these rules, these kind of programmed rules that w we, I don’t even know where they come from. Our upbringing, maybe early experiences. We’re not even really aware of this stuff, but we have these internal demands that I must get what I want. Basically, that’s the, that is the primary unrealistic expectation underlying all that I must get what I want. I must be respected. I must be respected. So there’s all these musts that w so that’s what happens first. That’s what happens before we ever encounter the disrespect. We walk around with the belief that I must be respected and that comes along and there’s a clash of reality and the selfish demand. And then the next part of it, we have to, we do this so quickly, 0.2 seconds behind the scene under the surface, an unconscious interpretation of what is this about?
Brad Singletary (00:20:37):
What does this mean? What does it say about me? What’s going on here? What does this really indicate about me? It’s a self evaluation. So the person who I don’t know doesn’t return your tools or cuts you off in traffic or the, you know, you get slighted in some way. We have to interpret that, right? We’re ha, we’re kind of trying to make sense of this thing that has happened, this triggering thing coming in from external and someone just said or did this thing and now my anger comes because of what I interpret it to me and interpretation you. Speaking of that, you speak Spanish right now. Oh, whatever. Now I don’t, it’s crazy. I spent so much time Mexican, I had speaks. I thought you were fluent. I wish I was. And yo, anyway, interpretation when we talk about language, all right, if I am speaking only English and I go to Mexico with you on one of the taco tours, hopefully there’s someone who can interpret that for me and translate what an interpretation is, is taking some unfamiliar thing, this unfamiliar language and making it into something familiar and that’s what we’re doing all the time.
Brad Singletary (00:21:53):
We’re trying to figure out what does this mean? What does it, how do I, how does this compare to what I know and we’re interpreting it and it’s happening so fast out of the scene. So someone, we see a friend in the, in the grocery store and they don’t acknowledge us and we get our, we get butt hurt about it because we think it means something. You mean something. So interpretation follows the trigger. Expectation proceeds the trigger and that’s what, that’s what’s getting us in trouble in terms of our thoughts, anger. This is, we’re not talking about the physical demand for exertion like you were like we mentioned before. To me, this is my understanding of of anger. The problem is what we expect and demand of people as we walk around in daily life, things should be easy. It should all be smooth and simple.
Brad Singletary (00:22:43):
I must get what I want. And then after something happens, we sort of turn the judgment sometimes to ourselves. Well they, they, they must not care about me. They don’t respect me. That’s what this means. This means that I’m going to lose my job and I’m not going to make it as a provider and no one’s going to want me if this, if she treated me this way, then I’ll always be lonely and, and it’s going to mean that I’m a nothing and I’m a no one and I’m a loser. So before the trigger happens, sorry I’m rambling here. I’ll turn it back over to you here in a second. So before something happens, this is what I see and doesn’t want to see in the guys that I’ve worked with before. Something happens. We have this King baby demanding musterbation that I must always come out on top and things should be easy for me after the bad thing happens.
Brad Singletary (00:23:34):
The triggering event, we sort of melt down into this poor me victim hood of I’m a worthless loser and our emotions come from that thought. I’m a worthless idiot. That no one respects. And that’s why I know I’m angry. That’s why I have to respond. And then the behavior that follows that is acting out. I’m going to shout, I’m going to be violent, I’m going to, I’m going to withdraw. Maybe I’m going to be disrespectful in return. That’s how I see the kind of the cognitive flow of anger before and after the thing happens. We have thoughts about what we think it all means. Take it away. Dude,
Mike Spurgin (00:24:16):
I typed all that and I’ve got your book coming out published in the end of the month. We get that at Barnes and noble, whatever books, bookstores still exist. The thing that I did take away from that for me was I was visualizing this volcano and everything you said was like the lava dome just building up, building up and at the top of it’s that little, you know, just a little circle of like where that love is going to shoot out. But when that, before that happens, like there’s tremors, there’s earthquakes, there’s all these like signs and indicators that that’s going to happen that’s going to blow their earthquake going to happen. So this dude is just a simmering, like that dude is every dude, first of all, first of all, that dude is every dude and all of these like made up stories that he’s gotten his head about like who he is and how he represents in his world and the, the respect and admiration that he gets or doesn’t get, whatever.
Mike Spurgin (00:25:07):
Like all that’s just a made up story that he’s creating all on his own. It’s this whole universe, this whole construct that like, it’s a house of cards too because he’s the one who sees it. No one else, no one else. And, and you know what’s amazing too is like, it’s so narcissistic and it’s so self-serving. It’s so self aggrandizing. Nobody else spends that much time thinking about his perception of how, how, how I’m viewed back. So that is to say he’s got this whole story in his head about what mean, not saying high does or doesn’t mean, I’m just trying to figure out what the fricking bread is. Is it in 10 or 11 like, Oh Hey Joe, what up? And then like, dammit, where’s the hot dog buns? Okay. So I’ve spent 0.0 seconds thinking about not only him but then how his reverse perception back from him to me is in mind to him.
Mike Spurgin (00:25:59):
Like none of it, none of it’s in my orbit. I got, I got no energy and no space for any of that, but it’s bins you out for an hour and then you go like, you know, murder a puppy. Like none of that. None of that matters. But, but so I guess, I guess what always is entertaining is the futility of thought loops. That just the pointlessness of, of thinking. There’s great people out there that any of us can like grab ahold of an and, and tap into Eckhart totally is a good one. There’s any, any number of people who basically have great, great views. I’m going to say his name wrong. He’s a Vietnamese tick con tick. Not hon. I, I can’t say it either, but if I saw it I would know who, Oh man, it’s three. It’s three words and I’ve almost not gotten close.
Mike Spurgin (00:26:54):
We’ll look it up and put it in. We’ll put it in the thing. But anyway, some of you will know who I’m talking about. There’s plenty of people out there who will basically really do a good job of kind of shepherd doing, shepherding you along the journey of like getting over your fricking self. An alpha. This is, this is kind of a thought. I have an alpha understands that he is perceived in all kinds of ways from all kinds of people and some of those are going to be good and bad and he doesn’t carry their wish way. Doesn’t matter if you like me or don’t like me. What matters is that I feel safe and secure and confident and like who I am. Like I know that these hands can do things. I know that I, I know that I have bring value to my life, to my world.
Mike Spurgin (00:27:33):
I know that I’m an important variable to the people in my life. If I don’t know that, then I need to work that out. I need to figure that out. I need it. I need to, I need to get a handle on that. And that’s okay. And I have compassion for people that don’t. And that’s a thing and that’s what you do. You know that’s like why your door is open is because sometimes that’s, that can be a disconnect and people don’t understand that. And there are ways and resources that people can get in touch with that. But let’s say that’s not you. Let’s say that you were just an average Joe Schmo Joe Schmoe. Okay. But getting stuck in thought loops, narcissistic thought loops that put you at the center of not only your universe but my universe too. Like why you gotta bring me into why you got to bring me into your, your thought loops.
Mike Spurgin (00:28:16):
Like what, what, what businesses that of mind that I didn’t say hi to you when I was headed to get some ketchup. Like, that’s, I don’t give a shit and that you looped me into like an hour of anger over that. Like freaking I get over yourself. So when dudes, when dudes roll with a ton of pent up frustration and anger caught up in, in cyclical thought loops that are just really narcissistic, self-serving, and pointless, that’s that that needs to get on that, that spring needs to get on sprung. Sadly though, a lot of us on spring, it unsprung it [inaudible] in ways that are super harmful to ourselves and other people and that’s, that is where anger goes off the rails and that’s where anger really we weaponize it. It’s disused. It’s used incorrectly. It’s used falsely. So when we use it to serve and protect ourselves in fake ways, you did a great job of explaining that earlier when when we use anger to protect our family, our tribe, our resources, things that are valuable and worthy to be protected.
Mike Spurgin (00:29:28):
Anger is the, is the tool in the box to get ahold of. But when I use anger to protect like my position, my posture, my ego, or to manipulate you or to control like I’m attic, I’m out of control, I’m out of control. And if I recognize that in myself, I need to check, check myself. I need to put myself in, in the timeout box. I need to check myself, I need to get, I need to get that worked out. I need to get somebody into my life talking at me, looking at me and telling me I need to, I need to, I need to stand down and get my shit together and work that out. And anger can be a really great tool and a resource in somebody’s life, but it can also wreck their lives and wreck the lives of the people that are in that, around them.
Mike Spurgin (00:30:20):
So I’m super glad you picked this topic. This is this is a huge one. I’m glad this is an early topic in the, in this first season cause I think we could probably spend a lot more time going back and revisiting this and slicing it down. And you know, maybe taking a specific angle or concept of this and like, really yeah, maybe we have a series jam and into that for sure. So how can we be more aware of it? You know, we w this is something that’s so common to all of us. How do we, how do we start to get control of it? When you have guys in here that have anger issues, do you have a, not a template, but do you have a general toolkit of resources that you line out for them and say, look, we’re gonna, we’re gonna start here and then we’re gonna bring you to here.
Mike Spurgin (00:31:13):
Like how do you step somebody through that? I want them to first kind of describe the process for me. You know, like what, what’s happening? What, what are, what are, I’d want them to tell me. I want them to unpack the boxes of that, you know, where did this begin? How did this, how does this happen in the typical situation? And that tells me a lot about how ready they are to, to kind of really move forward and make change if they’re still blaming others and they’re still trying to change other people in control. That the external stuff, I know they’re not ready in terms of tools and resources. Hang on, let me just, just say that’s addictive behavior. What’s that? That’s 100% addicted behavior. So you’ve got a guy who’s like spinning out on Boozer weed or pills or whatever. And then you know, you try to have a realistic conversation about how destructive his behaviors is and he can’t see it.
Mike Spurgin (00:32:01):
It’s somebody else’s fault. I don’t over-drink I don’t over do this. It’s not like my wife thinks it’s a problem and I don’t think it’s a problem. Not ready, not ready, not ready. And so you just got to see, you just got to like love on them and say, all right dude, well when you are ready, I’ll be here. And then you go visit him in jail and, and you like, you know, pick him up from help drive him to the impound yard to get his car. Like you just do those things until he’s ready. So what you just said is this is a guy in addictive cycle and he’s not ready to like break it. Yeah. I had a client much like that. He was we’re, we just got him through his second divorce.
Brad Singletary (00:32:40):
But the first wife kind of described him as she said it was like a movie where the guy’s running after the girl with a gun saying, come back, come back, he’s got the gun and he’s waving the gun around and he’s trying to threaten her to come back to him. And obviously that didn’t work. And anyway, so, so for me, I don’t know, one of the things that I, you’re right, this is such a broad topic and so common that we’re going to have to break this down into smaller pieces. But as we’re working through this here, I think one of the things that help that can help men with their, with their anger is we talked about this I think in another episode about reading the gauges. Meaning if this is assuming they can acknowledge it, they can, they can take responsibility for their anger and they’re ready to really move forward through, you know, through some growth here.
Brad Singletary (00:33:30):
They have to see it happening. I asked men sometimes, all right, where does it happen in your body when you’re dealing with anger? Where do you feel it in your body? And some times they just kind of have no idea. Some will say, Aw man, I sweat my hands, clench my, my T a grip my teeth. You know, I feel it in my heart or my chest feels like my blood is hot and I, and, and they can really kind of describe what’s going on with the gauges, what’s on the instrument panel, what, what are the indicators that you’re about to have a problem when they can’t see that it’s a matter of insight and like you’re saying that they’re not really ready or they need to focus on that. Sometimes I try to get them to an angry place in front of me. Oh really?
Brad Singletary (00:34:15):
Yeah. Shaw. One word. Describe. Yeah, so I want them to take an observer. He did what she did. Oh no, that was, that’s what happened to you. Like dad really haven’t taken back to that place and just kind of see it happen. You know, their face starts to get red and you see, wow. Yeah. You really, yeah. You crossed up here. Your, you know, your, your body language shifted here. You know, I notice you’re, unless you’re sweating a little bit or you have a, you know, you, you’re expressing some tension in your body right now. So they’re not really aware of what’s happening. So I would say read the gauges. Know, knowing you know, what’s happening in your state, your physical state. That’s an important maybe first step for me. You know, as I, as I worked with people, not first step, I don’t know what my steps are. But another thought here is to any, anything about that, about kind of recognizing the moment of anger as people are trying to change their anger. Like how do you catch yourself getting to the point of anger? Any thoughts or tips on how men can see themselves escalating?
Mike Spurgin (00:35:17):
Yeah, I think that’s a good question. I think that it is helpful to get to create a sense of who you are because if your self-worth isn’t, if it, if I don’t require you to respect me to acknowledge me, like if I don’t put demands on you that you don’t know her there and then when you’ve violate those, that’s what makes me angry is like when you violate all these rules that I’ve created preservation, right? You’re not, you’re not keeping my status the same or or whatever the thing I’m entitled to the same. Is that what you’re yes, 100%. And so if I figured out the fallacy of all that, and this is, this is self work, this is self work is called work. The word work is in there for a reason. So if I can figure that stuff out, then I’m not going to be, you know, another great book here too, or another thinker on this is the book is the four agreements.
Mike Spurgin (00:36:18):
Oh yes. I love it. The four agreements. And so that’s a great resource for a dude who is, who thinks the world is about him. Things people are about him did for dude. You know, if you know somebody or this is you who believes that you’re owed anything by anybody in any way, then you need to read the four agreements because nobody owes you shit. No fricking person in your life owes you a damn thing. They don’t know you. A Pat on the back. They don’t owe you nothing. Respect, admiration, not one damn thing and nothing, no nothing. Nobody owes you anything. And, and if you think that anybody needs or is required to give you anything, you’re a hollow, empty person because you’re looking outwardly for like all this, what is it? Validation, respect, love words. Pat on the back. If any of that’s happening, like I’m nothing.
Mike Spurgin (00:37:23):
I’m a empty, I’m a, I’m a, I’m a empty snail shell with no snail inside of it. So you know, this idea that the world owes me anything is a complete and utter that’s probably at the heart. It for a ton of us who are like chronically angry. It’s huge. It’s really big. I would say it’s for self-disclosure. I would say that was probably a big part of like years of my own sort of smoldering color of anger was that I believed I created this whole construct that I needed. Like, yeah, it was required. I needed you, I needed you to act in a certain way towards me. And when you didn’t, then I was pissed. I was angry because you weren’t performing like you know what is w those carnival monkeys, the grinder, the guy, he’s like dance from a dance dance monkey. So when you didn’t dance for me right then I’m fricking do you know I’m going to hate you and I’m going to, I’m going to be angry about that King baby.
Mike Spurgin (00:38:21):
Right? That’s, that’s the yes. You’re the King of the world.
Brad Singletary (00:38:24):
King baby. I caught myself one time when I moved to Vegas, there was all this construction was happening during that housing boom and all that and on the roads and I had to drive to the other side of town every at like 5:00 PM I remember banging on the steering wheel and I literally said out loud, don’t these people know I have somewhere to be, you know, there’s a million people to me or whatever it is here and don’t they know I’m running late. I just, I am. I was embarrassed to hear myself say that out loud cause I, I anyway, feeling like we’re special. That’s something that you talk about a lot where you are not special, not special. You are not special. You’re not special. It’s funny because as kids, you know, we kind of get, you know, some people think they’re loving us by telling us those things and this may be a wrong message.
Mike Spurgin (00:39:09):
Maybe we need to realize you’re not really entitled to anything. You are not special. Your story isn’t special. Get over yourself. And I love how much you talk about that Mike. I, you know, that came to me through hard lessons and I don’t know if anybody ever said that to me. Maybe I started saying that to myself. We are completely unique and completely special when it comes to like our higher power that that’s the only exception. Like the only person in the, in the universe, in the, and the galaxy that, that I believe we are ultimately special to endlessly is our higher power. Everyone else fails us and we fail them. So we’re not continually special to anybody else. It doesn’t even matter. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t care. You can believe you’re always special to your mom and your dad and your kids and your spouse and whatever, and that, you know, poke holes in that.
Mike Spurgin (00:40:04):
It may be, it may be true and I’m, I’m talking smack and that’s fine, but I think that the only person, the only entity, the only, the only, the only real what am I trying to say? A person, I guess I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m going to use that word is our higher power. Everything else is just temporary and fleeting. And so trying to go around and to suck from you any value or worth to prop myself up like I’m an idiot. I’m a total stone-cold idiot. It never works to live. Never actually happens. Right? That never actually, there may be some temporary, you know, praise or some, there may be something to is cotton candy. There’s never any actual value that comes from that. That doesn’t work. You’re never really become more because of someone met yourself as demand. It doesn’t do anything for you.
Mike Spurgin (00:40:56):
And I am a fool every day that I continue to live a life to think that, that it does work. So as soon as I can get out of that Headspace, the sooner I can get out of that, the better off my life is going to be in the lives of everyone that I’m involved in. And, and again, there’s lots of people who will tell you and help guide you. And these are all flavors, right? So Eckhart Tolle he’s a flavor. Take hot and on. I know I’m getting it wrong as a flavor. I think the four agreements is essential, but there’s other people and other teachers and speakers and you could find somebody in your church. Maybe your pastor is that kinda guy. Maybe your, your, you know, your grandma LaRue is that kind of lady. Like there’s plenty of people. Here’s the thing, there’s plenty of people in your life right now who, who can guide you and coach you out of your own self.
Mike Spurgin (00:41:44):
You’re, we’re just, I’m ignoring them cause I, I’m not ready to go back to that. I’m not ready. I need to be broken. I am broken down. One more step I need to hit my bottom and anger is an addiction and and and anybody who says otherwise is delusional. We’re idiots if we don’t think that you know, my own anger is, is addictive and is a loop that is a self destructive as any pill or any other activity or behavior that I can, I can get involved in. In fact, it’s probably more so in fact my radical misbehavior may be a result of this chronic King baby anger syndrome that I get stuck into. So these things all plug into each other. That’s, these are extension cords. You ever go into somewhere and you see somebody who’s got the two plugs in the wall but then there’s a four plug plugging into that and then there’s a F there’s a multi plug plugged into the extension cord on the thing and the power strip and whatever and the thing is going to burst into flames any second.
Mike Spurgin (00:42:40):
Now, that is how a ton of us live our lives and it’s going to burst into flames or it might already be inflamed, but as some hammer, actually electricity is still flowing through like one or two of those. So the circuits are still working over there and as long as the light is on, I think I’m okay. The rest of it is is charred and in flames. But I look over there and the lamp in the corner is still on. So it’s must be working like I’m drinking the Koolaid, I’m believing my own con cause I can see the one light over there still on. So blah blah, blah. All of that to say when a guy, when when a dude wakes up, pulls the curtain up and sees like what a house of cards he’s built for himself. I’ve done this, I’ve done this myself.
Mike Spurgin (00:43:26):
Then that’s like that first crack in the, in the, in the armor, this really shotty armor that I’ve thrown on in myself to protect myself. Like the vulnerability that I’m the real whoever it is inside of here that I’m trying to protect with all this posturing. And all this anger, like when I can just look at all that and say that is, that is a catastrophic waste of resources and energy to try to maintain. Like I have to pour in so much effort and energy to maintain that. If I could just look at that and say, okay, I’m done. I’m over it. I’m tired. I can’t continue to do this anymore and start to drop that down and I find some way to get like flood the void of that with love and compassion. It’s going to dissolve at all and it’s gonna go away and I will be, I will be reborn like I will become a new person. I might need tons of resource. Like I might be S I might be a puddle on the floor when this hits like this, the existential crisis that happens when all of this hits can be huge, but when it does, there’s this rebirth that happens on the other side of that that that is worth, it’s worth the pain to get there. You mentioned some vulnerability,
Brad Singletary (00:44:32):
And I don’t know if you’ve, I’m sure you’ve heard the thought, you know, anger is the bodyguard of sadness and those kinds of things. And I just wonder what your thoughts are on that. Like is there an underlying, is there some own underlying vulnerability with that? One of our early Instagram posts, I had a picture of one of these like medieval, you know, a shield of a night or something like that. And it said pretending to be a Savage won’t heal that hole, that hole in your heart. Oh. And I just wonder your thoughts on, you know, do you think underlying anger is really sadness or fear? You know, about my worth as a man and that type of thing. What is the, what is the, what is the real touchy stuff that I try to protect? What am I guarding with anger? What am I, what am I trying to, what am I actually trying to protect?
Mike Spurgin (00:45:29):
Well, the is, yes. Well that was a great show tonight. Everybody, the everybody’s got to do the self work and figure that out on their own because there’s some, there’s some track that goes back. There’s some thread that goes from where you are now to where you’ve been and something connects you back to the, the first bit of lava that started to come up. That’s, that’s did you know, and this is fascinating, did you know that Idaho and Montana and Wyoming and parts of Northern Utah are, are sitting on top, they’re floating on top of like maybe the largest sort of lava dome on the planet. Wow. The, the crust there and the my, my, the, I am giving no stats and statistics. So please poke holes in this, get a national geographic and then please shower the comments with like the correct data points on all this.
Mike Spurgin (00:46:27):
But here’s the takeaway. Here’s the visualization. It is true that there is a huge ginormous lava. Don’t let’s just say that it’s the biggest in the world. And let’s just say that the crust there is the thinnest. So that means the lava is the closest to potentially breaking through and bubbling through. You’ve got this huge number of people and geography that’s sitting over the top of like this incredibly dangerous situation. And what’s it gonna take to like set that off? There was an earthquake in Utah just this week. That’s because this thing is so seismically half active and so dangerous.
Mike Spurgin (00:47:08):
I might be that exact kind of person that tracks back somewhere. So why I guess you look at like Yellowstone’s got the geysers and all this stuff and there’s plenty of evidence on the surface as to what’s going on underneath. So I’m probably living a life where there’s lots of giveaways, lots of tells, lots of evidence that there’s something crazy going on and to, to to what you just brought up that goes back somewhere. That where I am now is a result of where I was yesterday and the week before and the month before somewhere it’s sort of started somewhere. It sort of began your job because I can see your name on the door. People knock on your door and they want to come in this room and they want to get fixed. They want to get over. I’m going to turn this question to you because maybe you have more insight than, than I probably do about it. What is it about the journey and the process of like talking it out, working it out, going back, how much do you get in a time machine and go back? Do you go back to a guide? Do you have a guy here? And he’s like, Oh yeah, I figured out when I was eight years old, somebody laughed at me when I was on the jungle jam. And then from there, you know, now
Brad Singletary (00:48:21):
That you’re exactly right because earlier I was talking about interpretation. So something happens, we have to interpret it. We’re self evaluating, Oh, this guy’s talking shit to me. W w and what does this mean about me? It means I’m weak and if I’m weak, if I’m a weak man and I can’t, I can’t defend myself and I get punked in front of all these other guys and these things happen to me. I must be, you know, not very valuable as a man and I must be really a worthless, you know, kind of an idiot. I’m a, I’m a
Mike Spurgin (00:48:50):
I’m not good. I’m a nothing. So do you sit with guys who can go back to a moment in time where they can capture that? Yeah,
Brad Singletary (00:48:55):
Cause I, cause if, if we’re saying the interpretation is taking unfamiliar things and making it familiar I go back to when was the first time you ever thought you were a worthless failure? And I hear things like, Oh, you know, when I was six years old, my dad was backing the car out of the driveway and I opened the door while he’s backing the car out of the driveway and the car, the car door hits the side of the garage and it crushes the bricks on the garage and it ruins the door. And my dad beats me and tells me I’m the stupidest person that ever lived. And I’m six years old. So I don’t spend a lot of time really kind of necessarily trying to reprocess, reprocess that trauma. But just to say, okay, so that there’s a beginning, there’s a thought before that time you would never have thought that you a worthless failure of a human being who didn’t deserve to be alive.
Brad Singletary (00:49:53):
But now there’s a seed planted and there’s these other little experiences that come that start to shape this belief. I like the example to talk about one time I was driving out in the country with my, my oldest who was two years old at the time and he sees this horse out in the field and he’s, this horse is kind of a fond color, like the color of this couch here. And my son points out to the horse, he’s two years old, he points out to the horse and he says, Ozzie, now Ozzie is our, is our boxer, our dog at home similar. And he’s pointing to this, to this horse. And he says the name of our dog. Well, in his little brain, he’s just taking the unfamiliar, filtering it through what’s familiar and what’s familiar is four legged animals live at home with me.
Brad Singletary (00:50:42):
They’re Brown, they’re dogs. Their name is Ozzy. And he’s doing this little process, and that’s kind of how we learn. And so, but he’s dead wrong. He did right. It doesn’t mean that that’s, that’s not a, that’s not a dog. It’s not our dog. His name’s not Ozzy. And he was wrong, but we do that kind of interpretation all the time. So something happens, some triggering thing happens. And if I’ve always believed that I was a dumb ass or a weak person, or not good enough or not, not, not the kind of, you know, man that I should be, or someone that would, you know, make my father proud or what it might, whatever it may be, I see those things everywhere. It’s a confirmation bias. And so I say, look, here’s another person who’s pushing my worthless button and look what they did to me again now.
Brad Singletary (00:51:26):
And so now I have to be angry to protect my ego. I gotta protect my value as a person. And so yeah, I do think there’s a source of it in some kind of loss. A lot of times there’s trauma, but the trauma often is like what? I think again, what I think it means about me. So it wasn’t this terrible thing that happened. My dad beat me for opening the car door as it backed out of the garage. One of the most depressed and angry men I ever worked with was that case there. But anyway, yeah, do think somewhere we get the notion that we’re not okay and then we keep these things keep happening, get fired from a job, got cheated on, failed in some endeavor, you know, with the life or money or business or whatever happens. And we just keep believing we’re not okay.
Brad Singletary (00:52:17):
And that’s what that ad, the evidence, here’s more. See, I always knew it and, and that’s what we’re trying to protect is, is our, is our, our sense of worthlessness. And I think we all have that to some degree until we’ve really done the work and evolved and realize there’s nothing worthless about us at all. We may, we’re not special. That’s different than humility, but to believe that we don’t, we don’t have any value or that we’re not. Okay. We’ve got to learn to be okay with ourselves. W anyway. Yeah, I think, I think that’s the vulnerability that underlies anger and aggression. So many times. Think about the guy who gets mad that someone is checking out his girl. So you’re walking through the movie theater deadline, you see it. So the guy, he’s, he’s got his cute girl, the eye candy on his arm and he notices some other dude checking her out and he wants to fight her, fight him.
Brad Singletary (00:53:13):
He wants to fight, he wants to fight the dude for, for checking out his girl because he feels a threat. He feels that someone’s trying to take something and then if he doesn’t do this, if he doesn’t fight him, that would mean he’s weak. And that would mean somewhat whatever he is is an insecure person. So really I, I’m talking out loud as I talk through my thoughts here, but maybe insecurity. That’s a big part of the whole, the thing that drives anger and where does security come from? And so what I’ve had people do is kind of re-interpret okay, get the expectations right and then what is your worth and where does your worth come from? And when your worth come from your income, does your worth come from your physique? You know, does your worth come from some success in your life? Nah.
Brad Singletary (00:54:00):
It come from that. And does it change if you’ve been some benevolent person who helps the old lady across the street, you know, does that, what does that, what is that? What creates words? Where does it come from? And it’s a very kind of spiritual question maybe about who are you, you talked about this earlier about identity and the failure of a solid identity sometimes underlies things like anger. But if I know who I am and I know what my potential is and I know what my strengths are and I accept myself as human with radical, you know, self-acceptance. I haven’t just triggered a whole lot less, you know, I don’t need to defend, I don’t need to defend my ego. I’m cool. I’m cool with who I am. So I don’t know. I’d say that those are some of my, my thoughts about anger.
Brad Singletary (00:54:54):
I want to just talk, we’ve got a few minutes left here, but I wanted to talk about in the moment of anger. So you’re starting to get angry. You’re feeling it now and this is a whole process. We know people may need help, but in the moment I want to talk about language. So the things you’re saying, I think you’re really good at this, Mike. I think you’re really good at slowing yourself down. You’ve talked about this in other episodes. You with me on just like, how do I talk myself through a moment? I’m, I’m escalating. I’m feeling the anger come. You are so good at this stuff. Or you’ve given examples, I’m assuming. Well, I’m assuming this is, this is about your, what you’ve learned, but what do you say? How do you talk yourself through bubbling anger? That lava started to crack up through the crust.
Mike Spurgin (00:55:53):
I think it’s helpful. This is what I talked to a lot of guys about. [inaudible] You, you covered like self-worth. I’m a piece of shit. I’m pieces of garbage and this new piece of evidence just adds to that. And so it builds this inventory of like how much of a, you know idiot, I am. There’s anger inward, there’s anger, outward anger. Is this really, it’s a fire that burns. It’s always burning. It’s just one more log. This new thing that happens, just another gasoline soak log that I just throw in this far, that’s always there burning. So I’ve had some experiences in my life that had exposed all of that and it put me in a place where I need to, I need to understand that, that, that there is a fire. And, and I, I also had this kind of realization years ago that I don’t need to put the fire out like there, that fire can be useful.
Mike Spurgin (00:56:49):
I just need to know what, what else to burn with that fire. I’m not going to burn the whole forest down now. I’m not going to burn the village. But there’s plenty of uses for that, for a little bit of fire. And so one of the things that I have to do on self-talk is if a new piece of evidence, I don’t even want to say new, so let me kind of scratch that. If a, if a, if in this moment a piece of evidence shows up that says, you know, I’ve screwed something up, something I’ve touched has fallen apart, whatever. Just kind of going along with that idea, that theme, what I do not do is take that as a piece of evidence to throw on, on that fire because that is, it doesn’t belong there. It has no business going over to that little, the little, the, the, the candle that I burned on the counter of anger.
Mike Spurgin (00:57:41):
Cause sometimes I’m gonna need that anger. But that is a whole separate indistinct thing. And so this piece of evidence that came in to me today that, you know, I screwed something up. I have this thing up that doesn’t have to go where anger is that little fire. I protect it, I separate it, I understand what it is and what it’s used for. And then I’m judicious and I’m careful so that when a new thing comes in, I have to validate where it goes. And almost always it never goes to anger. What we’re, so then there’s this like new piece of understanding and learning that I need to do. Well then where does it go? What do I do with it? It has to go somewhere. It exists. It’s not nothing. It’s a thing. Like I really did screw that up. That’s a thing. I’m not going to be able to dance out of that.
Mike Spurgin (00:58:28):
Like I need a deal. There are consequences. This is a thing. So what I’ve done is I’ve built sort of a a category doors. Is it door number one, door number two, door number three. Like where does it go, where do I walk this to? And I’ve just got all kinds of categories. It needs to go an education. It needs to go in. As you can, I love the education, meaning I’m learning something from this or what do you mean? Yeah. Like I just spent, so here’s the, here’s a great example is there’s something, sometimes I’ll do something and I’ll cost me money. It is, I screwed something up and it’s going to cost me money. And I just say to myself, well that was a $400 education right there. I could go to college and spend thousands of dollars to be taught things, right.
Mike Spurgin (00:59:12):
So nobody let me see like this, very few of us are going to be like disappointed in money that we spend on ourselves to a class. You know, I want to a new thing. So I’m going to go to class, I’m gonna spend $1,000 for a seminar where somebody’s going to teach me all these lessons. Okay. Who’s gonna like be mad at that. So I just lost $400 cause they screwed something up that just taught me a whole bunch of stuff. I just took a $400 course. That’s amazing. So if I can, if I can take this thing that just happened and figure out where to, where to go with it, you know, I got the steaming pile of shit in my hands. Which door do I walk in to wash it off? What’s door number three? Door number three is education. I just learned a very valuable lesson from this.
Mike Spurgin (00:59:54):
And again, it’s not anger. So anger is still sitting over there on the counter, the little candle burning, like none of this is going to go near it cause it’s not angered. This doesn’t need to go to anger. This needs to go somewhere else. And I need to figure out in my own brain where it’s going to go. That’s what I’m talking about. So it may be, it may be education, it may be contrition, it may be like I don’t know if I want to use the word repentance or say remorse. So sometimes I’ll do something and I’ll have something up and I need to, you know, I need to suck it up. Like, I need to get humble, I need to go apologize, I need to eat, eat some humility here. And so it needs to go there. There’s all kinds of places it can go.
Brad Singletary (01:00:36):
I’m curious if you, I’m sorry to cut you off. I’m curious if you literally visualize those doors and kind of like labeling, you know, a name on the door or some kind of, is that, is that a process that you do? You’re, you’re, you’re working through this, like what is this and what door do I walk it to? I love how you said that earlier.
Mike Spurgin (01:00:53):
What did it impress you? If I said yes, then yes, I love it.
Brad Singletary (01:00:57):
I’m in our visual, right? We, those things can be very helpful. I like it.
Mike Spurgin (01:01:00):
It maybe I do, maybe I don’t, I’m not quite sure of how I do that, but, but I do have a very strong sense that there, there is a, nothing’s black and white. There’s not one repository of everything. Each thing is a new shade. Each thing’s a new experience. And so I might have to, you know, sometimes things will happen and it’s a new thing. And I’ve got to create like a new place for it to go. And maybe it’s the one and only time that it’s ever going to go there and that it’s fine, whatever. Just make enough doors, make enough polices for it to go. But I had to sit down and work that through and all of those places, they’re their own thing and they’re not anger unless it needs to go to anger and that would be its own thing. And so maybe, maybe all I’m doing here is maybe like what you said, I’m slowing my role, I’m taking a deep breath and I’m trying to process through what it is and where it goes instead of the laser.
Mike Spurgin (01:02:00):
It’s a lazy default and I did that for years. It’s a lazy default to take every injustice or slight or bad news or bad happening or mistake or whatever. And then just to run to anger, just to run to the fire. Vanger just throw this on there. That’s lazy as so lazy. I did it. Did it for years. It’s just, it’s a big dumb hammer. It’s a lazy, lazy, lazy thing to do. It’s spiritually lazy, intellectually lazy, emotionally late. Everything about it is just, it’s just a lazy cop out. But I, and I ran that. I ran that program for years and years, so now I’ve got this new program like I just described and to my feeling, the way I feel about it seems to be serving me really, really well. And so I’m going to continue doing unless I learn of some different way or somebody suggest to me a different way or a more enlightened or enhanced way. But that’s how I roll.
Brad Singletary (01:02:56):
I love it, man. You’re, you’re talking about labeling, putting it out, you know, which door does this go behind? I love the imagery of that. I think that’s important as we’re processing our feelings is, is give it a name, give it a, maybe it’s not anger at all. Maybe it’s fear. I have an exercise that I do with couples sometimes and they literally go back and forth and talk about the things that they’re afraid of and they just will go for five minutes repeating one after the other taking turns. I’m afraid this, I’m afraid that and so much of our fear or so much of our anger is fear, disappointment. It’s something else we got a name at. Some people talk about anger is a secondary emotion. It’s really something else. Maybe there’s some sense of loss. Maybe there’s this, there’s a, maybe you’re annoyed, you know, maybe you’re frustrated with yourself and it turns into, it turns into anger.
Brad Singletary (01:03:45):
We’re going to wrap up here in a few minutes, but if someone is dealing with anger and it’s become destructive, I have certainly had that in my life. I’ve replaced a few doors. I have had too many negative things to talk about publicly here about my own anger. I’ve had to work on that. If a man is dealing with, you know, a pattern of anger where it’s affecting their, their life, their relationship, their jobs, sometimes they’re their connection with their kids. What should he do? How does he, how does he, he’s hearing this right now and he says, this is me. These guys are talking about me and I need, I need to begin a process of healing. I’ve recognized that today is my moment. I see this. What do I do from here?
Mike Spurgin (01:04:32):
You just nailed it. Call uncle, wave the white flag. And figure out if you, if a guy needs to like get plugged in with you or some other shrink, maybe he needs to get into a men’s group, some sort of therapy program. Get into 12 step. Do something that begins to like cut that, cut that string back. You know, I, we kind of talked about that earlier. Like take, begin the journey, begin the work, start to do the work of like pulling the power out of this thing. You take away the power of the monster and the monster shrinks down to like a little mouse hides behind the couch. I want to shrink down this fire. I want this, this, my F. This is, maybe I read this somewhere, but the, the fire of anger should be no more than a candle, right? And so that’s that visualization like inside of me, anger should burn no more intensely than just a little flame of a little candle. If it’s, if it’s, if it’s not, then something’s wrong. Something’s broke, I’m broke, I’m broke down and I need and I need to wave a white flag and gets, get some resources in here. So that’s probably what I would say about it. What do you, what do you think for either for yourself personally or what do you suggest to somebody who stumbles into the door?
Brad Singletary (01:05:57):
Well, I guess if they’re, excuse me, if they’re here, they’re already doing that. Sometimes they’re here about a relationship issue or they’re say they’re depressed or they’re lonely or whatever, and anger that’s there. They haven’t acknowledged that yet as the, as the other thing that’s producing misery in their life. But yeah, I would just say if, if they can acknowledge it and say, I have a problem and then kind of tell on themselves I was hurting. I don’t know if it was you or someone else. I heard somebody talking about 12 step the other day about, it’s a place to go to tell on myself. And I just loved that idea that you have to go and, you know, take off the take off the camouflage and, and expose what you, what you are, what you’ve done and really come to terms with the exact nature of your wrongs.
Brad Singletary (01:06:44):
You know, that whole model to me is just a beautiful, you know, path of recovery. And I think you do need a tribe. You may need a therapist, you may need your pastor, you may need to talk to a family member. You may need God, you may need a doctor, you may need medication. I don’t know exactly what you may need. But to open the door and say, here I am and I have a problem with this. You just keep asking questions and you’ll, you’ll, you’ll be led to that. If you need some resources, you know, we can always give that for reach out to myself or Mike or through the a alpha quorum social media pages would, we can get you pointed in the right direction on some of that stuff. But I th I think we you know, I hope we’ve shared some things that may help with perspective tonight. Any final thoughts on just anger, managing that, dealing with it? Key points. Take home points,
Mike Spurgin (01:07:39):
Dude. I dunno, you’ve done a beautiful job. So I have like summarizing what all this stuff is. I would, I would here’s what I would say. A guy gets injured on the football field and you know what all the other players do is they get, they stand, two dudes stand beside him and then he props hips, arms over their shoulders and they carry them over to the side. I would say if you, I’m speaking, we’ve talked a lot about the dude who’s angry. I would say this to the dudes who aren’t angry. All right. And then are looking at their buddies or their friends. So I do the, I do a couple of Facebook groups and that’s like, that’s ridiculous. People on their, there’s people popping out and crack and wise and, and, and it’s funny that sometimes I’ll see a comment from a guy and I’ll just detect like that’s a dude who is so freaking angry and I’ll have a sense of sometimes to message them privately and say, Hey dude, you know, kind of an asshole thing that you just said and posted.
Mike Spurgin (01:08:37):
But okay, like what’s up? What you know, what’s going on with you? There’s something up here, you know, you want to talk, are you good? What’s going on? And I’ll be damned if a lot of times a guy will just like quickly all of that posturing and all of that bluster is savagery. Yeah, it’s gone. It goes away. And he’s like, yeah, my girlfriend just left a couple of days ago and I’m frigging looking at like the barrel of a, of a gun every night. And so often the role of a friend being an alpha friend is a legit thing. Like we’ve, we’ve talked about the dude who’s angry and some of us are that guy, but then some of us are the alpha friend and you’ve got a buddy and he’s a pain in the ass. All of us have that friend total pain in the ass, terrible friend, terrible person appear on angry as hell all the time that that guy, that dude is calling out that dude send in signal after signal have to signal and yeah, he’s difficult to be around.
Mike Spurgin (01:09:39):
But if we, if, if I can like step into that and walk into that, this guy, this guy, I might be the only, I might be the last dude that this guy has not turned off and turned away. Like maybe this guy’s on some kind of suicide mission where he is trying to and as soon as he drives me away then he’ll go kill himself. Like there are dudes out, I know these guys you do too. And they’re like, as soon as I drive away the last person in my life, then I’ll go kill myself. We know those guys. I know those guys. So what I would say to an alphas, don’t be, don’t be offended, don’t give up. Don’t take it personally, don’t take it personally. And this goes like this, kind of brings it full circle is if, if you become alpha, if you figure your shit out and you become square and sane and, and whole and sound so that you can be the guy who, who rushes onto the field, the dudes God is busted ankle like, like grab him by the shoulders and help get that dude off the field.
Mike Spurgin (01:10:45):
Help sit him down. Let’s get the medic over. So we may be any one of these players in this drama, right? And so, so to finish out, I would say to to those dudes who are out there, who are capable of running out on the field, capable of being a friend, to the guy who should not have any friends, right? This dude who’s driving everybody away. Don’t be offended. Don’t give up. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t take anything at face value. This, this, this idiot. You know, like offends you. Don’t be offended. Don’t be mad. Don’t, don’t think that he’s attacking you. He’s really attacking himself. He’s internal, he’s in misery, he’s in pain. He’s, he’s, he’s on a suicide mission. And I mean to say that both completely literally, but also just generally metaphorically like he’s just trying to, you know, agitate everyone out of his life so he can continue his cycle of like maximum openness. He could be that guy or he could be straight up. Like as soon as this dude tells me to F off, I’ll go shotgun myself. Like there’s those guys. Do we know them? So I guess, I guess my final statement is be alpha, be supportive, be long suffering, be endlessly patient with, with the idiots in your life because you may very well be the last idiot that they have and you very well may save their life. Wow. That’s such a powerful thought.
Brad Singletary (01:12:12):
I’m glad you ended on that because we did spend a lot of time talking about the person dealing with it, but there’s a bunch of alphas listening to this show. They’re already there. They’ve already done the healing. That’s why this appeals to them because it validates the work they’ve already done. Mike taco. Mike, I got to tell you, you’re one of those dudes I get, I get goosebumps when I listen to what you share because you’ve done the freaking work. I know you’re not perfect. I’ve heard some things from your wife. She’s, she occasionally will will. We’ll bust you out on a couple things, but dude, I have tremendous respect for the journey that you’ve been on for 10 15 years. I don’t even know the number, but I’m really glad that you mentioned that about propping up your friend. That’s what an alpha does.
Brad Singletary (01:13:03):
He’s so solid already that he can do that. You’ve been that for me. You’ve walked me, you taken me off the ledge, man. You’ve shared things with me. You were, you had such a spirit of discernment that you knew the kind of thing I needed. You spoke some truth to me and you’ve helped me and that’s you’re, you’re just a great example that we’re going to wrap up the show. You guys, thank you for being with us. This is an honor and a privilege and a, we hope that you’ll join us again in the future. Alpha