Men in anger management find it difficult to listen. They find it difficult to listen to others and they find it difficult to listen to what’s going on inside themselves. They are busy, thinking and wanting some action. Talking gives them a rush, doings things give them a rush. The dopamine circuits get turned on. Listening does none of that. When listening occurs the listener gives up control, when talking, interrupting or shouting the speaker keeps control. Listening is very un-narcissistic, which again for many of our clients that is difficult.
The irony is that the listener keeps control. If it is listening to someone else they keep control by being aware of where the other is coming from, and if they are not clear they can ask. Any asking of questions implies some control. If it is listening to themselves i.e. their feelings not their words then the know what is going on inside themselves. Again most clients have little idea of how they feel, consequently they make bad decisions which get them into trouble. They make decisions on how they ‘think’. Often how they think is determined by acting on their feelings which they don’t have any conscious knowledge of. Listening requires curiosity. Curiosity provides knowledge and knowledge gives you power.
It is confusing, but the bottom line is there is more power in listening than meets the eye. Angry men don’t listen and they have little power. Smart people listen, they get curious, ask Einstein.