Posted by: Judy | January 11, 2013

Dealing with anger..

Part of my creating a haven included finishing books I started. I’m still working on Toxic Parents by Dr. Susan Forward. It’s been… let’s see… somewhere around 6 or 7 years. Yes, I’ve really been taking that long to read it. I read a little bit and let it sink in. This sometimes takes months. Then I read a little bit more. I truly endeavor to implement what I’m learning, particularly now I’m toward the end and she’s talking about what to do to heal.

As part of my goal, I picked this book up again and was once again reminded why I hold it dear. I’ve learned so much. She lists some ways to manage the anger:

1. Give yourself permission to be angry.

*Hey! I do that!

2. Externalize.

*I can do that? It’s okay to hit something? She suggests pillows. I punch air, holding weights. It’s called physical therapy. Oh. I found an acceptable way to do something that needed doing but left me feeling guilty if I did it. No guilt with PT. I never thought of yelling at a photo of the person. Come to think of it, I’m not sure I could. I may have to try it. I do a lot of talking to myself, though.

3. Increase physical activity.

*Hmmm… what do you know: I’m doing that too.

4. Don’t use anger to re-enforce negative image.

*Oops… need to learn to change that.

5. Use your anger to help redefine self.

*I’m actually doing this. It helps me recognize boundaries being violated and stand up for myself when I’m afraid to do so.

Now, to incorporate these with more studied intention.

I will not stay stuck.


  1. Great list. That book is a good one in many ways.

    • I plan on starting it again once I finish.

      • Maybe I’ll make it through faster the second time. 🙂

  2. Thanks for posting this Judy. I’ve been struggling with how to deal with my anger lately, so this list is very timely for me!

    • You’re most welcome. I was surprised when I opened the book and this was where I’d stopped last, because I think I’m ready to tackle the anger now.

  3. I use the energy from anger to do housework 😉

    • That’s a great one! I do that, too. 🙂

  4. I liked this book also. I like how she doesn’t automatically label anger as a bad emotion.

    I forgot about yelling at a photo of the person. That would require me looking at her image. *shudder*

    • I truly appreciated that she re-enforced my own perception that feelings are neither good nor bad. They simply are. It’s what you do with them that determines your direction.

      I’m not sure I could use the photo either. I’m afraid the picture might not last. Accidents happen and all. But I appreciate the reminder it’s okay to yell and scream to let it all out; I simply make sure I’m alone.

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