Why another book on anger? Although numerous books tell us how to deal with anger, none of them seems to work effectively and efficiently in most situations. These books generally support one of two positions. Some advise you to assume a passive, nonresistant attitude when you think others treat you unfairly. Such an attitude may give people the impression that you very much control yourself and the situation, but it hardly helps you achieve anything else.
Many people may assume that your passivity and acceptance of their “unfair” treatment means that you do not object to their treating you shabbily or unfairly. Therefore, they have no reason to stop their mistreatment. Your passivity will give others a green light, so to speak, to deal with you as they please.
On the other hand, a multitude of books advise you to openly and freely give vent to and fully express your feelings of anger and rage. They fail to indicate that when you express these feelings it will encourage others to return y’our resentment.
You can easily see that both of these approaches have many weak points and that neither of them succeeds in presenting an effective solution to the problem of anger. The solution?Epictetus, a remarkably wise Stoic philosopher, pointed out some two thousand years ago that you choose to overreact to the obnoxious behavior of others while you could more wisely choose to react differently.
“What disturbs people’s minds is not events but their judgments on events.”
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) has found that by following the age-old wisdom of many philosophers and by combining it with the most modern methods of psychotherapy, you can learn to reduce self-defeating, angry reactions and to live successfully with the feelings that you may still experience.
Can you do this by yourself? Yes, you definitely can—as Dr. Robert Harper and I particularly show in a previous book, A Guide to Rational Living. Here I will explain exactly how you can create your own philosophy of anger by consciously and unconsciously subscribing to absolutistic thinking and how, by changing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that underlie and accompany your rage, you can greatly reduce it. Through careful attention to REBT theory and practice, you can learn effectively to deal with your anger in a remarkably short period of time.
Table of Contents
1 – Must You Feel Angry?
2 – How You Create Your Own Anger: The ABCs of REBT
3 – The Insanity of Anger
4 – Looking for Self-Angering Philosophies
3 – Understanding Your Self-Angering Philosophies
6 – Disputing Your Self-Angering Philosophies
7 – Some Methods of Thinking Your Way out of Anger
8 – Some Methods of Feeling Your Way out of Anger
9 – Some Methods of Acting Your Way out of Anger Ю – More Rethinking About Your Anger
11 – Ripping Up Your Rationalizations for Remaining Angry
12 – More Ways of Overcoming Anger
13 – Accepting Yourself With Your Anger
14 – Postscript: How to Deal With International Terrorism
Appendix: Techniques for Disputing Irrational Beliefs (DIBS)
About the Authors
Anger: How to Live With and Without It by Albert Ellis, Ph.D.