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Letting Go of Anger: a review

Letting Go of Anger by Ronald T. Potter-Efron and Patricia S. Potter-Efron
Letting Go of Anger by Ronald T. Potter-Efron and Patricia S. Potter-Efron
New Harbinger Publications, 2nd ed., 2006

Letting Go of Anger: The Eleven Most Common Anger Styles & What to Do About Them by Ronald T. Potter-Efron, MSW, Ph.D. and Patricia S. Potter-Efron, MS, the 2nd edition, is a great book to read if you find yourself angry and you are not really sure how to control it anymore. Knowing your anger style helps you gain better self control. I stumbled across it at Half Price Books in Lexington, KY and it’s been worth the $8 I paid for it. I turned to this book because I feared that my anger (stemming from grief) might take over control of my life if I didn’t do something about it. I was finding myself in a real heart place that needed some anger management control and quick.

I really liked how the Potter-Effrons organized this book because in the beginning, you take a yes/no quiz to form theories as to what your anger style is before you read, and then as you read, you can go back to the quiz and see which style describes you most. After reading this book, I now know that there are masked anger styles, explosive anger styles, and chronic anger styles. The eleven styles the writers chose are:

Masked Anger Styles:
Anger Avoidance - exactly what you think it means: avoiding anger
Sneaky Anger - passive aggressive type of anger
Anger Turned Inward - taking the feeling of anger and turning it on yourself

Explosive Anger Styles:
Sudden Anger - impulsive anger, not knowing the gun is loaded
Shame-based Anger - use blame game trying to get rid of shame
Deliberate Anger - planned/controlled anger type
Excitatory Anger -addicted to intensity of angry feelings

Chronic Anger Styles:
Habitual Hostility - habit-forming, trapped in anger
Fear-based Anger - jealous anger, feels threatened by others
Moral Anger - crusading type of anger
Resentment/Hate - hardened, unforgiving anger

Of the styles, I found the style Habitual Hostility to be the most intriguing because I would’ve never thought anger could become a habit. I also didn’t think anger could be planned like with Deliberate Anger. The least shocking styles were the top two styles I call my own, Anger Turned Inward and Resentment/Hate just because the symptoms are familiar to me. Reading Letting Go of Anger was easy; actually “letting go” is really difficult but necessary to move forward.

Interesting Links:

NAMA: National Anger Management Association
Anger Alternatives, Inc.
Anger Styles are Learned


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