The Angry Book
Introduction 1 BEGINNINGS Even the Saints Learning Let Freedom Ring Victims of Victims Two Big Blocks One Smaller Block 2 PERVERSIONS Putting It Down Putting It Off Putting It On Diluting It Freezing It 3 TWISTING IT: THE ASSORTED POISONS...
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Introduction 1 BEGINNINGS Even the Saints Learning Let Freedom Ring Victims of Victims Two Big Blocks One Smaller Block 2 PERVERSIONS Putting It Down Putting It Off Putting It On Diluting It Freezing It 3 TWISTING IT: THE ASSORTED POISONS Anxiety Depression Guilt, Overeating, Self-Imposed Starvation No Sleep and Sleep Sleep Tomorrow and Tomorrow: Chronic Anticipation, Obsessive Ruminating, Peculiar Thoughts Traps: Obsessions, Compulsions, Phobias "No, No, No! A Thousand Times No!" -- Denial Self-Sabotage Sweet, Sweet, Sweet, and the Blood Pressure Goes Up, Up, Up Talk, Talk, Talk, and No Talk Let's Pretend: Imitations of Anger Bullying Supersweet Talk Blatant Blasting Overworking, Oversexing, Overexercising Savers Subtle Sabotage "I'm with You" Half-Poisons "Don't Worry About Me" Easy Talk Auto Poison Telling the Truth Spread It Around "Someone Dies" Always Tired Joking and Boring Phony Peace "I'm So Sick" Forevermore Poison Poisons: Drugs Juice-Stewing Slush-Fund Explosions Short Circuits 4 UNTWISTING: PROPHYLAXIS AND ANTIDOTES What Is It? Black and White Feel and Tell Timing Who Anger Doesn't Kill Drop Dead! Forgive and Forget With or Without Justice Appropriate and Inappropriate By the Sex By Age Warm, Cold, and In-Between All or Nothing The Big Blow-Up To Be Angry and to Be Mad While the Storm Blows Angry Psychiatrists 5 TAKING A CHANCE ON ANGER Questions
Chapter 1 BEGINNINGS In this section I want to describe some general considerations as well as some of the beginnings or origins of angry troubles. Even the Saints I assume the saints were human. I assume you are not a saint. All human beings get angry -- and I'm sure the saints did, too. Feeling angry is a universal human phenomenon. It is as basic as feeling hungry, lonely, loving, or tired. The capacity to feel angry and to respond in some way to that feeling is in us from birth. Have you ever seen a newborn baby cry and scream and get red with rage? He does so usually in response to some increase in bodily tension or discomfort or frustration -- the need for food or relief from the stick of a diaper pin, for example. Of course adults have their "tensions," and these are often born of very intricate, labyrinthlike dynamics. Sometimes the routes leading to feelings of anger are so convoluted and circuitous that it takes enormous skill to discern their original source, or fountainhead.Butregardless of the reason for or the source of the anger or the relative ease or complexity in perceiving either the anger or its source -- everybody,but everybody,gets angry. As you will see later on, this may not always be apparent. But it is so! The only exceptions are those poor unfortunate people who suffer from one or another form of severe brain damage. Learning Those of us who are physiologically whole are born with the potential to feel and to express anger.Butthe things that make us angry and the ways we feel and the things we do when we are angry are not the same for all of us. The particular, individual ways in which we respond are learned. Generally, no one sits down and gives us lessons. We learn in more effective ways -- starting from the moment we are born. Children are extremely perceptive and absorb what goes on around them long before they can talk or even comprehend language. They are like finely tuned receivers that pick up much more than is merely said. They are receptive and attuned to every mood, feeling, and change that goes on in people around them. They are particularly affected by the way their parents, sisters, and brothers feel and act. Many young children respond to a mother's "mood" long before she herself is consciously aware of its existence. This applies particularly to her approval and disapproval of how the child feels and acts. Children do in fact "receive" and "record" what goes on around them, and they learn. They learn by doing over and over again -- by repetition -- and this doing is often initiated by imitation. They also learn by identification with a parent or relative. They learn by experimenting and testing, that is, by doing and then observing parental response to their actions. Of course all this applies to emotions and how the parents emote and respond to the child's feelings, especially the feeling -- and expression -- of anger. Let Freedom Ring Health is relative. There is no such thing as an absolute state of health or sickness. Everyone's physical, mental, and emotional condition is a combination of both. When health is preponderant, we are fortunate indeed -- as we are when the emotional climate in which we were brought up, in which we live, and which we provide for our children promotes health. A healthy emotional climate is first one in which all the emotions -- especially anger -- are given ample play and freedom. This is an atmosphere in which there is no dearth of emotional output or exchange. There is no emotional vacuum, nor does one kind of emotional display exist to the exclusion of others. In this atmosphere emotional output is appropriate and consistent. In this atmosphere it iseasyto know what people feel. It is especially easy to know when they are angry. This is so because feelings -- all kinds -- are accepted and the conveying of how one feels is accepted openly
Don't get even -- get mad, and get over it ^When your love life is boring, maybe you don't fight enough? When sex leaves a person cold, is frozen anger the problem? If you work too much, eat too much, drink too much, is it because you are afraid to get mad? Did you ever think of your anger as something constructive?^When you lose your temper honestly, it can be good for you. In this perennially bestselling book, eminent psychiatrist and bestselling author Dr. Theodore Isaac Rubin shows how one of the most powerful human emotions can change your life. Suppressed or twisted anger can lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia, psychosomatic illness, alcoholism, frigidity, impotence, and downright misery. But understanding and releasing anger can lead to greater health, happiness, and emotional wholeness.^Let Dr. Rubin show you how to be what you are: a human being.^
Rubin, a practicing psychiatrist with more than thirty years of experience, is the former president of the American Institute for Psychoanalysis.