Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Surprising Purpose of Anger: Beyond Anger Management: Finding the Gift” as Want to Read:
The Surprising Purpose of Anger: Beyond Anger Management: Finding the Gift
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  475 ratings  ·  45 reviews
You can feel it when it hits you. Your face flushes and your vision narrows. Your heartbeat increases as judgmental thoughts flood your mind. Your anger has been triggered, and you're about to say or do something that will likely make it worse.

You have an alternative. By practicing the Nonviolent Communication (NVC) process you can use that anger to serve a specific, life
Paperback, 48 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by PuddleDancer Press (first published 2005)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Surprising Purpose of Anger, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Surprising Purpose of Anger

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  475 ratings  ·  45 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Surprising Purpose of Anger: Beyond Anger Management: Finding the Gift
Jul 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anybody
Shelves: teeter-library
Ah, Dr. Rosenberg. I wish someone had pointed me towards you LONG ago. Alas, I am extremely grateful for your work. If anyone reads this review, I highly recommend reading his original book Non-Violent Communication (also you can YouTube 'rosenberg san francisco' and get a 3 hour lecture/conference that he gave that is amazing and sums the book up quite well). ...more
Rosie Nguyễn
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
A useful and practical guide on the reasons behind anger. And how we can express anger in a way that not to hurt others and meanwhile increase the chance for our needs to be met. Sure, easier said than done, and it may takes a long time to practice. But it's worth a try (maybe two, or three). ...more
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read (and loved) Nonviolent Communication. It revolutionized my disagreements with my spouse and have is a new language to help us get unstuck in sons long-standing disagreements. This book never gave a convincing argument for the benefits of anger and ends up feeling more like anger is not a valuable emotion (though he explicitly says the opposite). I still love Marshal Rosenberg's approach, it just doesn't seem meaty enough here. ...more
Mark Manderson
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm finding the material Dr Rosenberg puts out is incredible. The premise of this book:
The stimulus or trigger of our anger is not the cause of our anger. Simply be clear what the stimulus is but not to mix it up with judgements or evaluation.
4 Steps in Managing Anger:

- OBSERVATIONS: Identify the stimulus of anger without confusing it with the evaluation.
- FEELINGS: Identify the internal image or judgment that is making us angry.
- NEEDS: Transform the judgemental image into the need that it is e
Vladimir Tarasov
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: communication
The essence of the NVC principles makes me feel contradictory. From the one hand they represents the gentle and non-violent way of communication the very need of the person, but from the other, the power to change things, to change people way of thinking arises from the strong feelings.

Knowing the fact that strong unpleasant feelings have the other background than just emotions will help me to improve myself.
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is short book but in brief it explains the reason we get angry is due to our unmet needs, and if we try to communicate in anger, failure is guaranteed. Author teaches to explore more deeper within us to find the root cause of anger or the sponsoring thought that arouse those feeling. He believes in healing and not repressing anger. I recommend.
Yes yes yes.
If we could all learn to use anger as a warning signal of needs not met and communicate these needs with responsibility and honesty and respect for ourselves and the other, then... the world would be a different and more peaceful place.
If this was taught to kids all over then we could take this world to another level. A better level.
Easier said than done.

In my own life, I have been dealt personality types that make this process damn near impossible. I have expressed my needs, as the book states, have even empathized with other parties and they just don't get it. And they never will so, I have given up.
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All anger is expression of unmet needs. It goes like this: need, judgement, anger. If you get to the core of the need, you take away the blame of others to which need of yours is not being met. There is a chance if you explain this to other person, he might hear you out and meet it, if not try to get to the bottom of his unmet needs that prevents him from meeting yours. A lot of patience is needed. When you get angry, don't react right away, but take time and analyze what is the trigger behind t ...more
چهاد بدوي
- There is always, between the trigger and the anger, some thought process that is going on.
- Fully expressing the anger means not that I just express these deep feelings behind it, but to have this person get it.
"it's not enough to just pour that out. I need them to get it; I need them to hear it, empathically."
- I'm not saying that it is wrong to judge people . . . what's important is to be conscious that it's that judgment that makes us angry.
- Use the words “I feel because I . . .” to remi
Pat Swanson
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
Many of the self-help books I've read have a pamphlet's worth of important content spread across an entire book. For those books, I only find that out most of the way through reading it, resulting in a lot of wasted time.

This isn't one of those books. This short work (explicitly called a 'booklet' in the description) spends just the right amount of time to impart some useful practices without belaboring the point. Rosenberg manages to explain what anger's really about, and using a few examples,
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful and transformative. This was my first book about the Non Violent Communication. This was quick to read. A compact package of information which was easy to relate and compare to my own life patterns, emotions and thoughts.

Only thing I disagree is a need to get another to get it. Currently I believe if I need an another person to get it, it is me who needs to get it. More importantly my transformation and freedom doesn't depend on anyone else.

I will probably ponder this more: other perso
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Root of Anger

The one thing that has been holding me back the most from finding my Zen, is my anger. This was an extremely mind opening way to consider the root of anger. It has been impossible & make me feel horrible thinking that anger was unnatural and repressible. It's about showing down and getting in touch with our deepest emotions. I've felt so angry with this unfair world and life, but this has given me hope that there is more than just being angry all the time.
Peter Harris
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just reread this short NVC book. It's always great to be reminded of the violence in everyday language and the pitfalls of some of our thinking. A positive spin on how to use frustration and anger to our benefit and the benefit of others, without suppressing our feelings. ...more
Cherie Zhou
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 二零一七
A straight to the point and well structured small book. Very helpful.
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love Marshall, love the important distinction between anger (valid but unproductive) and other productive emotions.
Billie Schramm
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Extremely accessible and not another "just breathe" approach to anger management. Definitely worth the short time it takes to read. ...more
هستی خداکرمی
It's a nice useful book, but gets a little boring towards the end as it repeats the same concept over and over again. ...more
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Indeed surprising. Goes along with Non-violent communication, can be read before the main book I guess.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it liked it
I love this author but I wish he’d written actual books instead of publishing transcripts of workshops
Lettore da Corriera
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
It gaves you a good job to do after reading
Iris Rocha
Mar 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Liked it a lot because it helped me understand my anger in a way I'd never did before. The writing was a bit repetitive but I guess repetition is a good way to understand a new concept. ...more
Claire Ballard
Mar 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great book on the topic of anger management! I've recommended that book to many friends! The book is helpful to everyone! ...more
I came across self-awareness and needs when we had a three months training on Business Relational needs at work and how to build your self-awareness of your needs and the needs of the others so most of the ideas and terms discussed in this booklet was very familiar and was very easy for me to connect to them.

Marshal Rosenberg is trying to communicate to us that through non-violent communication (NVC) we can understand anger and turn these feelings into constructive actions rather than suppress t
Ashraf Bashir
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
I love this book, instead of the impossible methodology which is very popular now, which says: "do not express your anger, and do your best to avoid it coming out of you", which is clearly proven to be impossible, the book uses a different idea, it is redirecting this feeling and mapping it to a different feeling, and dude, go on express your feeling clearly.

I tried this method two days ago, and wow! it does really work! very easy, very practical and leads to awesome results. The only point whic
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This tiny booklet is packed with inspiration. although it refers to NVC many times, it's perfectly understandable write-up any upfront knowledge of the process. The examples used throughout the book ate powerful and so are the takeaways. Bottom line: listen to your anger well enough and you will meet your needs and connect to them. My key learnings:
1. Amy thinking that is in your head that involves the word "should" is violence provoking.
2. even if you don't say judgements out loud, your eyes
Rahnee Patrick
From Concepts to the Concrete

This book deserves five stars because its outcome will change my approach to communicating my thoughts, differences, etc. Further, compassion is critical for the utmost nonviolent direct action and other social change methods. The reading is essential for anyone who is angry enough to community organize and wants to increase their communication skills so that interpersonal dialogue reflects the values for which you fight for social change.
The examples and anecdotes
Alexandria Skinner
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a very brief and easy to read synopsis of Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication (NVC), and applying NVC theory to understanding the feeling of anger and what to do about it. This book gives concrete steps that will help the reader go beyond "anger management," instead developing a deeper understanding of the root causes of anger and then giving positive tools to help the reader channel those emotions into positive, more helpful responses. I highly recommend this book, especially for peopl ...more
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Short book you can use as a reminder of a very basic issues regarding anger: It often stems from a particular kind of appraisal (which can be changed) and it's direct expression is often destructive but if you use it as an alarm, it serves really well to direct you to the heart of the matter, which is typically an unmet need. I find this to be quite consistent with some essential insights/ideas regarding emotions in psychological science, as well as my understanding of human motivation. Many peo ...more
Ria Chia
Jun 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
It is unfortunate that brilliant ideas can often be marred by underdeveloped writing techniques. I'm no writer myself but I would appreciate texts that could help me better understand the concepts that are laid out. Some of them could also do with more explanation, mentions of research etc. that would help reinforce and drive these ideas home.

That said, Marshall B. Rosenberg will gift you a valuable and empathising set of lens to view the world (and yourself) with.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Das Sams und der blaue Drache
  • Ein Sams zu viel
  • Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All
  • The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be
  • Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming
  • The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet
  • The Cancer Code
  • The Case for Keto: Rethinking Weight Control and the Science and Practice of Low-Carb/High-Fat Eating
  • Burgundy
  • Moi les hommes, je les déteste
  • Parità in pillole
  • The Art of Possibility
  • I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf
  • Stillness Speaks
  • Inspektor Takeda und der leise Tod (Inspektor Takeda ermittelt, #2)
  • Pequeno Manual Antirracista
  • Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom
  • A Vida Invisível de Eurídice Gusmão
See similar books…
Marshall Rosenberg was an American psychologist and the creator of Nonviolent Communication, a communication process that helps people to exchange the information necessary to resolve conflicts and differences peacefully. He was the founder and Director of Educational Services for the Center for Nonviolent Communication, an international non-profit organization.

In 1961, Rosenberg received his Ph.D

News & Interviews

Oh hey, we're nearly halfway through 2021! We can't really believe it either... Traditionally, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial...
68 likes · 11 comments