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Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  24 reviews
"This landmark book" (San Francisco Chronicle) dispels the common myths about the causes and uses of anger— for example, that expressing anger is always good for you, that suppressing anger is always unhealthy, or that women have special "anger problems" that men do not. Dr. Carol Tavris expertly examines every facet of that fascinating emotion—from genetics to stress to t ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 15th 1989 by Touchstone (first published 1983)
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Sai Preetham " In the March towards Truth, anger, selfishness, hatred, etc, naturally give way, for otherwise, Truth would be impossible to attain. A man who is sw…more" In the March towards Truth, anger, selfishness, hatred, etc, naturally give way, for otherwise, Truth would be impossible to attain. A man who is swayed by passions may have intentions, maybe truthful in word, but he will never find Truth." - MAHATMA GANDHI

" To behave rightly, we ourselves should never lay a hand on our servants as long as our anger lasts…Things will truly seem different to us when we have quieted and cooled down " - MONTAIGNE(less)

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Certainly this book spoke to me as a therapist, someone who tries to help people who are dealing with strong feelings of all sorts but frequently anger. But it spoke to me on a personal level as well. I've been the unfortunate recipient of angry outbursts from people who seemed to believe that their feeling enraged justified their attacking me, and that their "need" to release their anger trumped my need for, well, basic respect and courtesy, to say the least. And over the course of my life, I'v ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Does expressing anger make you less angry? What is anger? Why do some situations make us angry and others don’t? What's angers function? These are just some of the questions Carol Tavris explores in her book Anger.

Tavris starts out by looking at our conflicting thoughts and perceptions about this emotion. Through studies and interviews, she shows us that anger is the result of biology, culture, and mind and body. She explores how our bodies respond to anger, and looks at the myths surrounding th
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the insights it offers about anger. It's more of a broad review of anger including physical, social, and cultural aspects of it. Carol Tavris debunks many popular myths about anger such as the well-known catharsis hypothesis. She takes the side of emotion regulation and taking responsibility for our actions rather than making excuses for anger and aggression. She argues that expressing every angry feeling might not be beneficial. Although it is not a self-help ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health, spirituality
Such a charming book from an author who has such a charming spirit! I love her sense of humor, and also the way she writes and words things. I wish she didn't stretch things too long, but she is still fun to listen to and never boring; it is that she processes things like a woman does, and in the detail God resides. Some of her views of the Bible gave me the impression that she, like many Americans, was raised by Christian fundamentalists and reacting against that angry God, as I myself do with ...more
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
First I want to state that this is not a self-help book. Instead, it is a compilation and analysis of the research on anger. The book was published in 1989, but the topics and references still seem relevant. I enjoyed the beginning chapters in which research studies and findings were presented, as well as the comparisons of social norms of anger in different cultures. Overall, it was an interesting read.
Apr 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
If you want to know the real deal about anger- this book will REVEAL all! :) Very insightful- talks about the social aspects of anger, which I had never thought about. It gave me a new and bigger perspective which I love to to get.
Dr. Deepak Rawat
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s somewhere between a psychology and self-help type, more inclined towards the first one. By being one, it gives an insight of “why” anger and that it’s like any other emotion, and this changes the whole perspective of anger.

Overall I liked the book. Key take away for me was to evaluate if it’s worth getting angry for which you are getting angry.

One thing which I found is that a large coverage is given to spouse/partner topics, as compared to many other anger raising topics. That’s where so
Aaron  Polish
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Its about feminists instead of anger, in which I highly say, no good. Still reading it but on the last chapter. Don't know why she has brought up women anger if both sexes gets angry. She seems to be studing more about how ladies cannot control their anger over men. I give this book thumbs down for jumping from what the title is supposed to be called. The last chapter was about angry kids, in which I'm single, so why would I care, good luck.
Braden Canfield
Nov 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
I read this while preparing a class on violence. This is an extremely well researched, comprehensive and useful book. I particularly appreciated her analysis of how the misinformation of Freud's theories and the misunderstanding of Darwin's theories affected our cultural views regarding how anger works. She also does a fine job of exploring cultural contexts.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredible! Explores anger and its expression in multiple contexts -- feminism, relationships/marriages, children, cultural expressions. A fantastic, illuminating book that debunks many of the commonly held views on anger and shows how it is not 'intrinsic' but defined by society and culture. Anybody interested in anger and agression, whether excess of or lack of, should read this.
Nina Bradley
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of the most comprehensive and illuminating books I've read on anger. This isn't self-help, but there is so much helpful information that it might as well be. I got this from the library and found myself over and over wanting to highlight passages. I resisted that urge, but I WILL be buying this book so I can mark up my own copy.
David Becker
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Really well-reasoned and original look at one of the basic human emotions. By thoroughly separating the feeling of anger from its expression, Tavris blows up a lot of common wisdom about the supposed danger of suppressing anger and comes up with common-sense guidelines for knowing what to do with your anger.
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mind, english
I have to read this book again and take notes this time. It is definitely enlightening and should be a must read to all of us. It seems that as grown-ups we have to be responsible people without having PMS or alcohol or whatever to blame for the fog that covers so conveniently our brains sometimes :)
Jun 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
in our culture that sees Anger as means to "Act out" and to "suck it up" this book shows that there are healthy ways to express that anger. After reading the first chapter of showing how other cultures see and feel about anger, i wondered how "civilized" we were
Sep 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
excellent book on the misconception of anger in society.
Allison Thurman
Jan 18, 2010 marked it as to-read
Aug 11, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: nonfiction
Quoted in "Quiet"
Greg Collver
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Pretty good book, easy to read. I enjoyed the casual reading until the last chapter "A Rage for Justice". Then I had to make a few notes (4 pages). A very good chapter!

Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked Tavris's conversational tone and ease of conveying the content. The chapter that I found the most helpful was the last one, "Rethinking Anger," but I appreciated the variety of topics in the book, such as the anthropological tour of expressions of anger in the chapter, "Uncivil Rites -- the Cultural Rules of Anger." What sent me to this book was a drive to teach myself how to "cool it" so I don't have to act like a fool and feel like one afterward; to be a more effective communicator wit ...more
Daniel Schulte
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a really good book. I've had it on my to-read list for years and I finally got around to reading it.
I was really happy that this book covers some of the early theories about what causes people to get angry. It covered the differences (or rather lack of differences) between men and women when it comes to anger. It also talked about anger in the context of social movements. In this case the book focused on the women's movement. I feel like I really learned a lot from this book and I highl
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you are looking to educate yourself about anger and not jut to quick fixes, this is a very useful book. I enjoyed the well-balanced mixture of self-help (do-don't) and the insight into the cause and effects on the subject.
I saw that in some comments it was mentioned as a hard read. In my opinion is by no means a complicated/hard read. I think it is the volume of information that requires more focus compared to some other self-help books.

I certainly enjoyed reading this book, learned a lot,
Bacon Sandwich
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book that has aged well over more than 3 decades. The author is a very good, fun writer. Excellent insights into anger, it's relation to Culture and expectations, and how to try to get at its root problems
Victoria Slotto
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read for my thesis in 1991
Ogi Ogas
Mar 01, 2012 rated it liked it
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Carol Tavris earned her Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary program in social psychology at the University of Michigan, and ever since has sought to bring research from the many fields of psychology to the public. She is author of The Mismeasure of Woman, which won the Distinguished Media Contribution Award from the American Association from Applied and Preventive Psychology, and the Heritage Publicati ...more

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