The Surprising Purpose of Anger - Beyond Anger Management: Finding the Gift


How much do I want to read more? 8/10

Great. I love this idea that anger is a warning, and we should go to its roots: what's the unfulfilled need beneath?


to shift from the idea that anger is something to be suppressed.
Instead, anger is a gift, challenging us to connect to the unmet needs that have triggered this reaction.

A Brief Introduction to NVC

why some of us respond violently—and some of us compassionately—in similar situations:

NVC focuses attention on whether people's needs are being fulfilled, and if not, what can be done to fulfill these needs.
It shows us how to express ourselves in ways that increase the likelihood others will willingly contribute to our well being.
how to receive the messages of others so we are willingly to contribute to their wellbeing.

Anger and NVC

NVC shows us how to use anger as an alarm that tells us we are thinking in ways that are not likely to get our needs met. not going to be very constructive for anyone.

repress and deny it, often leads us to express it in ways that can be very dangerous to ourselves and others.
serial killers: “He was always such a nice person. I never heard him raise his voice. He never seemed to be angry at anyone.”

some have advocated cultivating or “venting” of anger without understanding its roots and transforming it. for example, beating pillows.
in fact leave the participants more susceptible to express their anger later in ways that are dangerous to themselves and others.

what is going on within us when we are angry, to be able to get at the need—which is the root of anger—and then fulfill that need.
anger as similar to the warning light on the dashboard of a car—it's giving you useful information about what the engine needs.
You'd want to slow down the car and figure out what the light's trying to tell you.

It Works Even If Only One Person Applies It

In other words, NVC works, even if only one person applies it.
if I can keep my attention on anger as a warning, no matter how the other person is communicating, we remain connected.


Steps to Handling Our Anger