Good and Angry - Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness

How much do I want to read more? 7/10

This guy is a counselor, and I find myself in that he's trying to be compassionate for both parties, loving them for who they are, understanding their point, their anger, their roots, and from their try to connect.
I was doing that during my parent's arguments. Maybe I could have become a counselor.

This book handle Anger in subtles way. The author did a lot of counseling with lots of people, and we can feel the experience.
Anger is subtle to notice and this book can help to identify our own, although we may not see it as anger at first.


it’s mild—frustrations, complaining, irritation.
it’s buried—hidden from conscious awareness, painted over with pleasantries, anesthetized by distractions, busyness, or mind-altering substances.

it is hard to sort out the good from the bad in anger.
anger is not a problem to solve. It’s a human capacity—like sex, happiness, and sorrow.

Three Suggestions

Using your pen and highlighter will help you to notice, stop, and consider so that you can respond.
pay close attention whenever you find yourself thinking, but what about … ? The But-What-Abouts—BWAs—are very important. They are the places you collide with what I write.

Section 1 - Our Experience

The next three chapters aim to give you a feel for the destructiveness of anger and for its constructive potential.

Chapter 1 - Angry People

For many years I didn’t think I had an anger problem. I found angry people puzzling and a bit intimidating.
My interest in anger has grown as I have come to realize that I too am part of the problem of anger, not simply an observer or victim of others’ anger.

Domestic Gunslingers

ugly words escalated into domestic World War III.

It sure would be nice to have some help cleaning up.” I lowered the magazine two inches closer to my face and buried my nose in my reading.
I realized, I’m angry, though I hadn’t said a word. But inside I was saying plenty: It’s been a long day. I need a break. If only she’d asked more nicely. I don’t feel like doing it now. We could do it tomorrow. Go away and don’t bother me. Why is this happening to me? But amazingly, sanity also intruded: You’re angry. Love is patient, but you’re being impatient right now. Love is kind. You’re being unkind. Love gives. You’re being selfish. Your withdrawal is a form of hate.
I came to my senses and got up.

A gunfight is one way to cut another person off and protect your turf.

The Volcano

Her rage seethed continually, barely controllable, on the edge of exploding.

When a little thing pushes your buttons, it says something big about the buttons inside you. When I moved that magazine closer to my nose, it didn’t take any forethought. I just did it. If a moment of sanity had not arrested me and gotten me up off the couch, then that small grievance—and 10,000 more sure to follow—could have worked inside me to destroy our marriage. Bad anger doesn’t just go away. It festers over a lifetime. And good, constructive, problem-solving anger—like mercy—doesn’t just happen. It must be cultivated over a lifetime.

The Iceberg

Eventually we got past the monosyllabic, awkward silence phase. As Jimmy opened up a bit, he told story after story about how he’d been mistreated by his family, classmates, teachers… He gave a detailed recitation of all the injustice, unfairness, betrayal, disappointment, offense, and plain old stupidity committed against him.

he spoke in an unvarying monotone. His emotions were flatline. He sounded like he was reading from a telemarketing script. This dull litany of grievance was scarier than outright anger.
It was more “premeditated, cold-blooded murder” than “crime of passion.”
Jimmy lived in a universe that featured him.
Every person, event, place, and object existed only to the degree that it affected his pleasure or displeasure.
Here was anger in the genocidal mode: efficient, decided.

Distance and indifference don’t look like anger on the surface, but when you poke at it, the anger will come out.

The Morass, the Misery . . . and the Possibility of Hope

I felt angry at the mom. She was abusing her son. I felt angry at the boy. He was tormenting his mom. I felt angry at whatever background evils made this woman’s life such a dark, hellish nightmare.
I didn’t hate that mother and child. I cared, however powerless I was to intervene. I was angry—I hated what they were doing—in such a way that I wanted to help. I wished I could protect them, give them mercy, and help them change. It was one of those too-rare moments when anger seemed motivated by love, not self-interest. But the good intention went nowhere that day. I couldn’t think of how to make a connection.

She can never deal constructively with her kid being a brat when she half-resents his very existence and has no hope for her own.

“If only we could bind up what is so broken.” It animated some sort of redemptive impulse: “How can what is now so wrong be made right again?”

People Like You and Me

I can get irritated when someone is guilty of disturbing the peace of my personal comfort and convenience. Or at incompetent customer service. Or when someone doesn’t take the time to understand me accurately.

Anger is meant to be laced with mercy and loving intent.
Have you ever experienced someone else who got mad in a way that actually brought good? It sometimes happens.

There are times when you, like me, have the opposite problem. You really ought to get upset, but you don’t.
you don’t care enough to care. You aren’t wired to pay attention and react. You ignore or shrug off things that are wrong and ought to be tackled.
In an odd way, absence of appropriate outrage is also an anger problem.

Chapter 2 - Do You Have a Serious Problem with Anger?

Here is the sweet paradox in how God works. He blesses those who admit that they need help.
The sanity of honest humility finds mercy, life, peace, and strength. By contrast, saying we don’t need help keeps us stuck on that hamster wheel of making excuses and blaming others.

Chapter 3 - How Does That Shoe Fit?

This chapter will look at six common reactions to the hard statement that we all have an anger problem.
Each reaction expresses something of what makes anger so confusing.
In real life, anger most often comes mixed up. That mix-up makes it hard to define exactly what the problem is.