‘Never Get Angry Again’ by David J. Lieberman: Book Review
Never Get Angry Again is a practical how-to book on Anger Management that is easy to read, has very little scientific jargon, and comes straight to the point of how to help an individual having anger issues. The book is divided into two parts, and it is with a purpose. The first part deals with the theory of ‘anger’. It concentrates on why people get angry, why anxious people tend to have anger issues, and how in psychology, it is the ‘Ego’ factor that prompts a person to get angry. Lieberman expertly discusses the theory and then moves on to the second part, which deals with the ‘practical’: using specific techniques not used before to help control one’s anger. Still, better than that – to eliminate anger. I gave this book five stars on Goodreads because it has seriously helped me personally in anger management and is great therapy, especially for those who have anger issues because of work.
I have always had anger issues. I have generally been an ‘angry’ person for the greater part of my life. I tried my very best to control my anger. However, I realized that since the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, my anger issues had increased to such a debilitating and disturbing extent that every Monday evening after Mass, I would start letting off steam. Thankfully, I am a diarist and realized that there was a weekly pattern to my anger bursts. So, I decided to seek anger management help towards the end of April 2021. I bought two anger management books on Amazon Kindle, and one of them was the book I’m reviewing today: Never Get Angry Again by David J. Lieberman. I have gained a new positive way of looking at my anger issues and life in general that not only has my anger bursts stopped, but I have started becoming a calmer person. Therefore, I highly recommend this book to all readers out there who are looking for a good book on Anger Management.
The book comes straight to the point where Lieberman mentions categorically that to eliminate anger from one’s life, one should see the context, or perspective, or situation that angers a person. We as rational individuals can then see the situation for what it really is rather than what our ‘Egos’ dictate to us. Thus, this book helps one redraw boundaries, quash personality conflicts, and navigate complex relationships to maintain or reclaim one’s sanity and eradicate the breeding ground for anger and frustration. Lieberman is clear; when a person is angry, it means he is close to losing his sanity – which in this book is indicative that a person is losing the ability to see, accept, and respond to his world, which is indeed a loss of nothing else but perspective.
The book analyzes the stages of grief: denial, anger, depression, and acceptance. The first three stages are ‘ego’ based, and only when we loosen the ego’s grip can we move towards acceptance, the last stage in this group. Lieberman takes time to explain the problem with the ‘Ego’ side to our personalities that makes us into the angry and frustrated people we become. We must not skip reading it because it’s not the situations that make us angry, but the meaning that we attach to it, and that meaning is always based on one thing: how we feel about ourselves. Precise control is actuated when we rise above our nature and exercise self-control by seeing things from another perspective.
Thus, we must focus on not the ‘ego’ but the ‘soul’ of our personality. The more one lives in accord with the ‘soul’, the less he or she needs the drug of anger to make him or her feel alive. Lieberman is adamant, and I agree with him, that the moment one has perspective and empathy to see the context of another person’s reality, one can eliminate anger from one’s behavioral mechanism. It is sometimes important for us to realize that we don’t have a ‘soul’, but instead, we are a ‘soul’ and have a body. Therefore, we must feed the soul with positivity and not the ego.
It is indeed true that Lieberman gives a Biblical and an almost Christian spiritual angle to this book. He quotes from the Wisdom Books of the Bible to highlight the core pointers mentioned by King Solomon to lead an anger-free life. I was at first taken aback by it, but the point is, it works. I, therefore, don’t want the reader to be discouraged when these religious elements are introduced in the book. Instead, evaluate them for their worth. I am thrilled that there is minimal scientific jargon in this how-to book. I wanted a book that came to the point immediately, and I got it. Lieberman rightly mentions that if all the other anger management books had worked before, we would still not be searching for more books in this regard.
For example, the common anger management technique of the past to control one’s anger was to either exercise vigorously or punch a pillow or a punching bag. Lieberman proves conclusively in this book that these methods are useless in controlling one’s anger. Instead, they excite one so much that it gears a person towards getting angrier and, where gyming is concerned, even leads to death due to heart failure. Instead of this, one can quickly diffuse positive controlling hormones in the body through specific breathing exercises mentioned in the book and certain postures like the ‘Wonder Woman’ posture that one can adopt to control one’s anger. These exercises must be used daily, not only when one is angry. Thus, these breathing exercises and postures help one control or eliminate one’s anger even before a crisis when the ‘Ego’ is trying to take over one’s sanity.
Certain ‘Visualization’ processes are also adopted in this book to help a person overcome bouts of anger. Meditation for a short period is recommended, and, thankfully, one does not have to sit in a lotus position to do the meditations suggested in this book; just a comfortable chair with legs firmly on the ground and hands resting on armrests of the chair or one’s thighs will do. One method which helped me a lot in my anger management goals was the ‘gratitude journal’ where I could in an artistic way note down at least ten things I was grateful for on an everyday basis. Also, journaling my anger and my gratitude patterns and achievements in a written form have been exceedingly rewarding. Gratitude helps eliminate anger because, where gratitude is concerned, one expects nothing but learns to appreciate everything. We must realize that when we look for ways to say thanks instead of indulging what may be our more natural impulse to complain, we break down the neutral net of anger, frustration, and resentment. Gratitude puts our focus on what we have rather than what we lack.
Lieberman is clear that anger management is not a one-phase process; one must make anger management and a goal to be anger-free every day as a number one top priority. Keeping a journal or charting your progress toward anger elimination is a way to emphasize a single incidence of behavior to an overall pattern. That is what I observed in my diaries, and so I started to seek out anger management. I like Lieberman’s recommendation to keep a diary or journal of our anger patterns that tell us how we are as a person and the triggers that set us off, making us let off steam, for most of the time, on those we care.
I highly recommend this book titled Never Get Angry Again by David J. Lieberman. It is a concise, easy to read, fast-paced, and very well-edited book. Don’t try to skip the theory to jump directly to the practical because everything has a link, and it will make no sense otherwise. So please don’t skip the theory. Remember, life’s challenges are not equally distributed to everyone, but the power of ‘choice’ is the great equalizer – you can choose to eliminate anger from your life today! Life is tough these days, yes, agreed. However, we must realize that when one lives a meaningful life, pain and pleasure coexist. It’s essential to understand that pain does not make a person unhappy, suffering does, and suffering is a consequence of our choices, not of our circumstances. Therefore, choose to live anger-free today. Pick up this book from your nearest bookshop, lending library, or on Amazon as I did and change your life.
As I said, I am still working on my anger management, and I have another book to go through before I can feel I’ve done the best I could for myself. However, I doubt that the other book will be as good as Lieberman’s, Never Get Angry Again, which for me is a game-changer like no other and one of the best books I’ve read this year 2021.
If you are interested in book reviews, book analysis, short-story analysis, poems, essays, essay analysis, and other bookish content, you can check my blog insaneowl.com. If you are interested in buying my books, you can check out my blog’s products page. There is a lot of good stuff to buy! Happy reading to you always!
©2021 Fiza Pathan