Author Topic: Anger Management Book Recommendations  (Read 2535 times)

rdaneel0

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Anger Management Book Recommendations
« on: September 28, 2017, 07:08:58 AM »
Hi All!

I know this isn't finance related, but I really trust the folks on this forum and have gotten excellent guidance here in the past.

I'm wondering if any of you MMM-ers have recommendations for books that help with anger management (don't have to be specifically self-help).

I'm looking for something that is not new age NOT religious at all (none of this "just give it up to a higher power" stuff) but more scientific/objective/real world tips/explanations of why this happens. The more intellectual and less touchy feel the better.

Any/all recommendations welcome. Thank you!

(Context: This book is for a man, if that matters.) Thanks!

milliemchi

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Re: Anger Management Book Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2017, 01:55:11 PM »
Is it for "a man", or is it for you personally? If it's for somebody else, it probably won't help until they request it themselves.

I was researching this for someone else, but ultimately found it useful for myself (I didn't even realize I had an anger problem until I read the books). I read about 3 books to see which one was the most accessible for this person. I forget what they were, but they all were relatively the same. I'm sure 'anger management for dummies' was one. The main point is that anger is not energy that needs to be released, it is a feeling. So 'venting off anger' (kick tires, etc.), which used to be standard advice a long time ago, actually reinforces the feeling and doesn't help.  The best way to get rid of anger is to dissipate it via changes in thinking, which is achieved via CBT. I am a quick study, so after reading these 3 books I was done with anger, and 8+ years on have not had to deal with it at all. It was really liberating, and I didn't even know I needed it. I thought that as long as I don't act upon my anger inappropriately, it's not a problem, but it is possible (and to me preferable) to not feel angry in the first place.

Good luck!

MBot

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Re: Anger Management Book Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2017, 06:22:58 PM »
For what it's worth, Emotional Intelligence helped me the most to see how anger worked and control if in my own life. The original Daniel Goleman one that with all the studies that's a classic.

It's precisely a "why" book and far from a popular level how-to book. But knowing why things happened it truly helped me with understanding and changing patterns of anger. 

And while it's not religious at ALL, I was introduced to it first through a reference made to it in the "Heart Smart" series on podcast (which deal for with emotional management) through Woodland Hills Church/Greg Boyd. That was the last thing from a simplistic series though - quite grounded in research and science of the brain.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 10:41:45 PM by MBot »

Tass

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Re: Anger Management Book Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2017, 08:13:28 PM »
Lundy Bancroft's "Why Does He Do That?" is an excellent book on the psychology of abusive men, but it's (a) generally not geared toward the men themselves, and (b) not what you asked for. Anger management being different from abuse. Just thought I'd throw it out there in case someone could use it.

Thinkum

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Re: Anger Management Book Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2017, 08:40:33 PM »
Only book I would recommend is written with a religious slant. The authors do not tell you to leave it to God though, but talk about how we think the way we do and how to change that. The book is called the Anger Workbook. I am not religious, but if you look past that, this book is very insightful. Anger is not only the red faced, violence, yelling, etc that most people think. This was pretty surprising. The book asks you to answer a lot of questions to see what kind of anger you use in your life. It is worth a look. Good luck.

rdaneel0

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Re: Anger Management Book Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2017, 08:53:35 AM »
Thanks all, I'll look into some of these!

nickinak

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Re: Anger Management Book Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2017, 10:56:48 AM »
You said not new age and not religious---how about Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.  It's not strictly anger management but addresses the topic at least to some degree. The opening line "From my grandfather Verus I learned good morals and the government of my temper."  That seems relevant. 

 And it certainly isn't new age.

rdaneel0

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Re: Anger Management Book Recommendations
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2017, 02:53:48 PM »
You said not new age and not religious---how about Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.  It's not strictly anger management but addresses the topic at least to some degree. The opening line "From my grandfather Verus I learned good morals and the government of my temper."  That seems relevant. 

 And it certainly isn't new age.

Awesome! I actually think this would be right up his alley. Thank you!

doctor_octopus

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Re: Anger Management Book Recommendations
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2017, 05:50:41 PM »
Is it for "a man", or is it for you personally? If it's for somebody else, it probably won't help until they request it themselves.

I was researching this for someone else, but ultimately found it useful for myself (I didn't even realize I had an anger problem until I read the books). I read about 3 books to see which one was the most accessible for this person. I forget what they were, but they all were relatively the same. I'm sure 'anger management for dummies' was one. The main point is that anger is not energy that needs to be released, it is a feeling. So 'venting off anger' (kick tires, etc.), which used to be standard advice a long time ago, actually reinforces the feeling and doesn't help.  The best way to get rid of anger is to dissipate it via changes in thinking, which is achieved via CBT. I am a quick study, so after reading these 3 books I was done with anger, and 8+ years on have not had to deal with it at all. It was really liberating, and I didn't even know I needed it. I thought that as long as I don't act upon my anger inappropriately, it's not a problem, but it is possible (and to me preferable) to not feel angry in the first place.

Good luck!

That sounds kind of amazing. What books were these?!

milliemchi

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Re: Anger Management Book Recommendations
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2017, 10:18:57 PM »
Is it for "a man", or is it for you personally? If it's for somebody else, it probably won't help until they request it themselves.

I was researching this for someone else, but ultimately found it useful for myself (I didn't even realize I had an anger problem until I read the books). I read about 3 books to see which one was the most accessible for this person. I forget what they were, but they all were relatively the same. I'm sure 'anger management for dummies' was one. The main point is that anger is not energy that needs to be released, it is a feeling. So 'venting off anger' (kick tires, etc.), which used to be standard advice a long time ago, actually reinforces the feeling and doesn't help.  The best way to get rid of anger is to dissipate it via changes in thinking, which is achieved via CBT. I am a quick study, so after reading these 3 books I was done with anger, and 8+ years on have not had to deal with it at all. It was really liberating, and I didn't even know I needed it. I thought that as long as I don't act upon my anger inappropriately, it's not a problem, but it is possible (and to me preferable) to not feel angry in the first place.

Good luck!

That sounds kind of amazing. What books were these?!

This was  several years ago, before I learned to take notes on the non-fiction books I read. It is very frustrating to read a book that has changed your life, and then forget which one it was, and also not remember clearly all the useful points. Now I've learned to treat them as textbooks, and I summarize chapters for reference, and write a short review so I know which ones I should return to or recommend.

So anyway, this was before all that, so I can't tell you which books they were. I went on Amazon and scrolled through the search results and nothing seems familiar. But I'm pretty sure Anger Management for Dummies was one. I also found Managing Anger with CBT For Dummies, which sounds right, and The Everything Guide to Anger management may also work, I'm not quite clear on that from the description/comments. Other books I looked into today dealt with relaxation, etc., but the real payback is in changing the perspective and the thoughts triggered by the situation, which is what CBT is all about. For example, if you get cut off in traffic, you can think that the guy is a jerk and get personally offended, or you can think that he is maybe running late for an important meeting and is distracted, so there is nothing personal. I like to think that they are probably no worse than me on my worst driving skill day, so there is an element of compassion, too. It's come useful in some difficult situations at work where I got insulted and/or yelled at and blamed for some catastrophes, but when I stepped back and saw it as their failing and not mine, I could skip anger and go into damage control mode, which is more effective if you're not emotional about it.

Of course, practice is key. You need to consciously force yourself into more useful (and often but not always more true) mode of thinking, until it becomes second nature - like playing an instrument. I was just lucky that I don't need as much practice as an average person. It helps to be flexible and motivated for improvement, which is why this does not work in people who don't think they are the problem.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 08:51:47 PM by milliemchi »

CU Tiger

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Re: Anger Management Book Recommendations
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2017, 08:31:58 PM »
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story
by Dan Harris

Not actually about anger management, but he was having panic attacks, and learned to meditate. I think some of what he found out/learned to do would help with anger.

Not religious, not even very woo-woo, just how meditation works and how it helps a lot of people deal with stress.

I enjoyed it.

milliemchi

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Re: Anger Management Book Recommendations
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2017, 10:38:53 PM »
Lundy Bancroft's "Why Does He Do That?" is an excellent book on the psychology of abusive men, but it's (a) generally not geared toward the men themselves, and (b) not what you asked for. Anger management being different from abuse. Just thought I'd throw it out there in case someone could use it.

I have started a new thread on analyzing the extensions of this book's theses.
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/'why-does-he-do-that'-philosophical-musings-on-gender-roles-etc/
This relates to anger to a large degree.

spokey doke

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Re: Anger Management Book Recommendations
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2017, 01:58:09 PM »
I think Buddhism/mindfulness ideas and practices can be a huge help (they have for me), along with counseling.

On the former, anger is seen as a form of suffering (for you, the angry person, and those around you), and Buddhism is all about alleviating suffering...thousands of years of how to do this effectively has brought us contemporary mindfulness meditation (among other variants).

My 3 favorites for a solid intro into the ideas and the practices are:

Thich Nhat Hanh: Being Peace
B. Gunarantana: Mindfulness in Plain English
Sharon Salzberg: Loving-kindness

doctor_octopus

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Re: Anger Management Book Recommendations
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2017, 08:44:43 PM »
I am unsure if this was mentioned already, but two things are extremely helpful.
The book "No More Mister Nice Guy" by Glover. It explains the psychology of the (man, usually) who is always "nice" but is prone to fits of rage and resentment. It gives a path through which one can understand their own toxic behaviors and why it happens, and how to assert oneself correctly and slowly change for the better.
The other is Self Authoring by Jordan Peterson.

Barring that, just tell the guy to take a week off work by himself to somewhere secluded, bring a notebook, and just have him ask himself what the hell he wants out of life and take small steps to achieving that. Self-talk is important and something almost nobody does anymore, and if you aren't a very good friend to yourself then how the hell are you going to be good for anybody? Wife, family, friends, exotic mistresses, etc?

dang1

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Re: Anger Management Book Recommendations
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2017, 09:51:57 PM »
The Art of War by Sun Tzu

carozy

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Re: Anger Management Book Recommendations
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2017, 09:55:11 PM »
I read some books about verbal abuse that helped me understand anger/people who are controlling.  They were by Patricia Evans.  She's a therapist and really understands the dynamics at play.

I also found the books by Carl Alasko, PhD, to be helpful.  They're about toxic emotions and are  insightful in terms of understanding what causes toxic emotions, how they flourish, and how to stop them.  The author is a therapist and had a great system for a couple to talk through issues without blame, and thus without needing to "manage" anger, because they could resolve their problems without bringing blame into it.  (He has a whole book about blame, because it is so toxic, insidious, subtle, and harmful to relationships.  He also shows how so often blame and anger are tied together/build upon one another.)

Patricia Evans and Carl Alasko -- their books are some of the most enlightening books I've ever read because they talk about the dynamics of verbal abuse and toxic talk and you can see it yourself so easily once it's pointed out to you, in so many situations, whether on a large scale or in your personal life.

I learned somewhere in these books that anger is often a lashing out that happens after someone has been hurt, or feels something is unjust.  Anger is a feeling ultimately that helps us know when things are unfair or wrong, a tool for understanding life, but it can so often be destructive and escalate to violence, especially when its basis is not in reality (irrational anger).