I.A.M.: A Common Sense Guide to Coping with Anger

I.A.M.: A Common Sense Guide to Coping with Anger

I.A.M.: A Common Sense Guide to Coping with Anger

I.A.M.: A Common Sense Guide to Coping with Anger

Synopsis

Fein demonstrates a functional theory of anger, which posits that anger can and must be used socially, rather than merely expressed. Fein introduces Integrated Anger Management (IAM) and explains the steps in socializing the emotion: assuring safety, achieving incremental tolerance of anger, evaluating anger's message and judging the means used to accomplish its end, relinquishing goals if necessary, and effectively using the energy of emotion to achieve realistic goals. Included are specific applications, such as the place of anger in families and in the workplace.

Excerpt

Although it may not be written in a very personal style, this is a very personal book. It chronicles decades of discovery and disillusionment. Anger has long been a problem for me, as it was for my father before me. It is an emotion that I have both experienced and hated. Over the years it has cost me a great deal of pain and denied me much happiness. What follows is a distillation of what I have learned, and I proffer it in the hope that it may save others from some of the grief I have had to endure.

Perhaps I had best begin by explaining that my father was a very angry man. Even on his death bed, his teeth were clenched in rage and fury gurgled up through his throat. He hated the agony of dying, but his anger was so constant that he could not peaceably loosen his grip on life. Not long before he died, I sat by his side while he grasped my arm with all his remaining strength. I felt then, and I feel now, that he was imploring me to finish work that he had left undone. And as I looked into his eyes, I promised him that I would. Part of what I had in mind was solving the riddle of his anger. How could it have been controlled? What might he have done differently?

Despite the intensity and pervasiveness of his rage, my father was deeply troubled by his anger. It was always with him, but he detested the fact that sometimes he could not control it. I remember him chasing me about when I was a small boy and trapping me under his bed or in the corner by the front hallway. His eyes seemed to bulge out of their sockets, and his temples rhythmically throbbed, as he vowed he would kill me unless I immediately did his bidding. I could also see that his fists were clenched, not in preparation to . . .

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