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Anger: Taming a Powerful Emotion Paperback – June 1, 2015
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"Gary Chapman, best known for 5 Love Languages, will now be known for his superb book on Anger. All of us deal with anger. Anger can be thrown outward on everybody and everything or pushed inward mostly doing inner damage but eventually seeping out sideways and doing damage to others as well. Boundaries are crossed, relationships damaged and enormous stress wreck havoc within and throughout our lives. Chapman reveals the how and the why and more importantly the what now and where do I go in practical ways to tame this emotion. This should be in every small group, Sunday school, or Wed night study starting up this fall. Bravo!!"
Reviewed by David Sellers, Net Galley, Jun 8, 2015
"In a world where anger is largely glorified and we all have come to accept it as not only a part of life, but a means to protect oneself, Mr. Chapman has clearly highlighted the way out of the cage this self destructive emotion holds so many of us in. Rather than ignoring it, this book shows you how to recognize it, deal with it, and no longer be controlled by it or our situations. Though this book does teach you about anger, it also frees yourself to enjoy the rest of your life."
Reviewed by Christopher Havens, Net Galley, Jul 15, 2015
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As someone who falls into the latter category, I still think this is a good read and some of the practicals were helpful. I liked and have used the 5-step processes Dr Chapman presents for handling the two types of anger (essentially, justified and unjustified anger). And yet, that 5 step process is best played out in a near-perfect scenario. If you throw in young emotional children, a wife who is afraid of upsetting you because of your past behavior, a typical lifestyle of a busy family, or even a partner that isn't completely loving and rational, then things don't work out as nicely.
I also appreciated Dr Chapman's stance on what anger is - not a sin to run far far away from, but rather a red-light telling you that something isn't right and you need to find out what that is and make peace with it. I find this is a healthy perspective on facing and working through anger. One option that Dr Chapman offers for working through anger is to "give it to God." I understand what he is trying to say there, but I wish he would flesh this concept out a bit more. It felt like this was something you do when all else fails and you have no where else to go - i.e. just "pray it away and you'll be fine." I suppose this is one more clue that this book was written for a more reasonable balanced and loving audience rather than those who have deeper issues to uncover.
For those like me, I'd like to recommend another book that has helped me greatly: Why Can't I Change?: How to Conquer Your Self-Desctructive Patterns. All the best to those in their life-long journey to be more like Jesus.
I dedicated to reading the forward and 1st chapter before sitting this one down. It's getting donated to a church or library now because it actually BEGAN to enrage me that I'd wasted my time and money on such a book. From what I understand from the author is that if you don't believe in God then you cannot work through your anger. This is flawed and bad life advice. Everyone deserves to control their anger, not just Christians.
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There are some bits and pieces of useful advice in there but you'll probably find those in any book about anger without all those religious tenets and the guilt-tripping. Because the only "good" and valid anger Christians are allowed to feel according to this book is when a (moral) wrong, a sin (yes, the author uses the word “sin”) has been committed against them or against someone else. Any anger that arises because of any other reason is "bad” or “distorted” anger (i.e. you are doing something wrong/you don't have a right to feel angry). That is so not helpful.
"The 5 Love Languages" by the same author were an interesting and helpful read. This book went straight into the waste bin.
Now I can tame this powerful emotion of Anger, thanks to you.