In the past few days, I have been reading a book called Overcoming Hurts & Anger (How to Identify and Cope with Negative Emotions) by psychiatrist Dwight L. Carlson M.D. The book was published in 1981, so it is not hot off the press, and there are many references in it to the Christian Bible, which generally took place sometime before 1981 ;P
Nevertheless, the most important thing about books is how they affect our life and how much useful information we find in them, and this book turns out to be quite useful to me. By writing about it here, I hope to make it useful for you too.
Here’s a quick summary of the key ideas in the book:
- Anger is the result of unresolved emotions, like frustration, disappointment and rejection. When negative emotions are dealt with, anger does not develop
- Anger builds up in layers. We are all creatures of habit and relive our patterns every day. Any dysfunctional situation we encounter is likely to take place again and again, each time adding another layer to what the book calls our “unresolved anger fund”
- Regular tantrums, even violent outbursts involving breaking things, are not the same as resolution. They are a desperate attempt to get attention that may lead to resolution, but they resolve nothing. In fact, as you might expect, they make things worse and even worsen the violent person’s feeling of self-esteem, safety and human connection
Read more about how to overcome your anger…