opinion

"The quality I find the ugliest in men."

I noticed it first in the car with an old boyfriend.

Someone cut him off.

Suddenly, his entire energy changed. The car became warmer. He swore and yelled, accessing rage with an ease that suggested it was never that far from the surface.

I wasn’t frightened, necessarily. I was uncomfortable. And I recognised that this was a behaviour I found supremely unattractive.

Since, I’ve dated many men who regularly lost their temper.

There’s something about watching someone who has completely lost control, behaving like a disgruntled child unable to process complex emotion, that makes you want to walk in the other direction.

Similar to sneezing far too loudly as I’m drifting off to sleep, wearing too much cheap body spray and liking 47 pictures of Instagram models everyday, anger, I find, is a real turn off.

On Thursday night, while playing some ridiculous game on The Bachelorette, contestant Paddy Colliar began punching Bill Goldsmith for trying to steal an item out of his circle.

Yeah. You probably had to be there.

Clare and Jessie Stephens debrief on the (gross) physical fight that took place this week on The Bachelorette. Post continues. 

The point is, Paddy ended up with a ripped shirt, staring at Bill with crazed intensity – the kind a man gets right before he kicks someone outside a nightclub at 2am.

As the fight progressed, Osher yelled out “cut it out,” worried that the men were going to seriously hurt each other.

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Ali was so unimpressed she sent Paddy home at the end of the episode.

He’s not, however, the only contestant that seems to have a propensity towards anger.

Charlie Newling is quick to raise his voice, lift his chin, stick his chest out and berate a guy if he feels at all threatened.

The interesting thing is, I’m not sure men know how much (most) women hate it.

Perhaps they’ve been socialised to think it’s endearing or sexy to see a man put his testosterone on display, or to ‘fight for her’ in the way heroes do in fairy tales.

Maybe they think a show of strength is hot, or anger makes them appear powerful and domineering.

Anger is, of course, a normal human emotion that is felt by women too. But it’s how one deals with it that says something about their character.

Being in the presence of anger doesn’t make women (or men) feel safe.

The emotions that underlie anger – hurt, grief, pain, embarrassment – are actually far more attractive, because they indicate something anger never does: vulnerability.

And vulnerability connects you to other people.

All anger does is make people avert their gaze, unsure of what to say or what to do.

If only more men knew that’s how so many women feel.

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