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Outsmarting Anger: 7 Strategies for Defusing Our Most Dangerous Emotion Hardcover – March 18, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Amazon.com Review

5 Tips to Transform Another Person’s Anger Impulse

In Outsmarting Anger you’ll be learning how it’s not just your own anger that gets in the way of success, but someone else’s.

Add A Thank You To Your Day

It sounds so simple. Without even thinking twice we thank the bank teller, the waiter, the teacher, the boss, and they thank us. But think about when someone doesn’t thank you, when those two words don’t appear. It feels pretty strange, almost like we’re invisible, or that our very presence isn’t valued. Someone who doesn’t say thank you is instantly classified as “rude.” That’s how important it is to remember those words. Try adding a few thank yous to your day- even to those you don’t have to thank but who really deserve it like the street cleaner, the intern, and the parking lot attendant. When you value others, it’s like taking a fire hose to feelings of anger.

Talk in Line

Nothing causes the feeling of common frustration and more than a disorganized line at restaurant or place of service. We have in our evolutionary DNA both the need to get to resources first and an innate sense of fairness. When someone cuts in line, people get angry. If you’re the last to arrive and don’t know where the line is, you will be helping calm everyone’s anger impulse by speaking up to establish where the line is and going to the end of it. You can even make a joke, “Wow, you’d think they’re giving them away today!” As fans of these awesome bagels, you already have a lot in common.

Remove Your Shades

Those fancy designer sunglasses probably make you feel like the coolest looking person on the planet. They ought to; you spent the big bucks on ‘em. But when you don’t show your eyes to the person with whom you’re interacting, you are sending a very subtle but clear message of disrespect, as if they’re not worthy of your glance. And what’s worse, when a person cannot see your eyes, they can’t gauge your intent or level of sincerity. Consequently, you’ve communicated to them that you are not trustworthy. When you are not trusted, you tend to breed mistrust or suspicion, a perfect kindling for anger.

Smile

Who are you more likely to want to meet, let alone trust? The person who walks around the office avoiding eye contact and scowling, or the person who walks by you and gives you a warm and respectful smile? Studies show that the person who smiles is perceived by others as calm, happy, and confident – the kind of person most of us are already attracted to. But on a deeper level, they’re also the one who’s least likely to be seen as a threat to your safety. The safer you feel, the less frightened or angry you feel. So when you smile at someone, you’re signaling to them that you are safe and they can relax their suspicion and anger radar around you.

Boast Less

We live in a society that is always telling us to “toot your own horn” to get ahead. But actually, boasting about a new home, sports car, or raise, is unlikely to win you lasting admiration. When you brag, in fact you’re kick starting a human tendency to feel envy, a close cousin of anger. You run the risk of making others want what you have and resent you for having it instead of them. It’s not their fault. People are just wired this way. But now you know how you can influence others and keep them less angry at you, and less angry in general. Mum’s the word on those Red Sox Box Seats.

From the Inside Flap

When it comes to anger, there's something you may not know. It's not always your anger that gets in the way of your success; very often, it is the anger of others that is the roadblock to your achieving your goals.

In Outsmarting Anger, noted expert Dr. Joseph Shrand reveals what happens inside the brain when the dark forces of anger begin to erupt. But in each of us are built-in mechanisms that can be harnessed to counteract anger's potentially destructive explosion. He outlines seven techniques for recognizing the many forms of anger and tapping into your brain's powerful anger management zone—the prefrontal cortex:

  • Recognize Rage
  • Envision Envy
  • Sense Suspicion
  • Project Peace
  • Engage Empathy
  • Communicate Clearly
  • Trade Thanks

Published in partnership with Harvard Health Publications, Outsmarting Anger explores the ways you can overcome anger in yourself and explains how to harness and transform the anger of others.When we learn to recognize and defuse the anger response of any individual, we improve our chances for success in every aspect of life.

Using the tools outlined in this must-have resource, you will be able to gain control over anger and turn it into a healthy, productive power.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (March 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118135482
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118135488
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #725,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I recently had the opportunity to read, "Outsmarting Anger, 7 Strategies for Defusing Our Most Dangerous Emotion" written by Joseph Shrand and Leigh Devine. This is the second book by these authors, the first being, "Manage Your Stress:Overcoming Stress in the Modern World."

The authors begin by defining anger developmentally, physiologically and, psychologically. Rather than simply trying to tell you, the reader, how to control your anger (there are excellent strategies to help you deal with anger) this book delves into how your anger can elicit anger in others and vice-versa. The book then provides simple, concrete strategies for avoiding or defusing angry confrontations.

Clearly anger has a certain protective value though occasions where anger is truly needed are, or should be, few and far between. The book describes in detail the primary reasons or domains that, when threatened, lead to anger. These are resources, residence and relationships. Clear definitions are provided in the book.

After the introductory chapter, there are seven chapters, each of which is dedicated to one of the seven points of the proffered anger management strategy. The chapters are: Recognize Rage, Envision Envy, Sense Suspicion, Project Peace, Engage Empathy, Communicate Clearly and, Trade Thanks. Each chapter contains clear descriptions of the main idea along with exercises and concrete examples. For those interested in further reading, there are references to recent scientific studies.

In all, I feel that this book is concise and well-written, one that will help you cope with anger both internally and externally. Most importantly, this book will help you avoid needless anger.
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Format: Hardcover
After a rough couple of years, I could feel anger eating away at me--it wasn't just making me unhappy, it was making me unproductive. What I loved about Outsmarting Anger is that it not only taught me practical strategies for reducing my anger, it also taught me how to channel those same emotions in a productive way. It didn't so much eliminate my anger as help me turn it into an advantage; I am honestly now more productive then before I developed the anger. A fantastic book.
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Format: Hardcover
Following the seven strategies to managing anger as described in the latest book by Dr.Shrand and Leigh Devine will assist the reader to a greater understanding of self and our reactions to one another. This is a helpful discourse written in and easy to read and sometimes amusing manner.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Outsmarting Anger" by Joseph Shrand MD and Leigh Devine MS is one of the best books I've read on the subject. As an addictions specialist anger is a frequent emotion I need to deal with on a daily basis in my clinical practice, and Shrand and Leigh's book will make me a better clinician. It is well written and exciting. The medicine in book is explained in a solid and comfortable way for all readers. It is smart, wise, and witty. "Outsmarting Anger" will help you understand anger - yours and others - far better than most anything else I have read in a very long time. Richard S. Ferri, PhD, NP, CARN-AP, FAAN
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Format: Hardcover
A MUST READ! I learned so much about how to control anger...It is not a self-help book but an indepth, scholarly analysis that is eminently readable and fun. It's a great read for everyone!: teachers, students, counselors, professors, grandmparents and teens. Dr. Shrand gives us a PRACTICAL GUIDE that deserves our RESPECT!

-Michael J.F. Iannessa, M.D.
Medical Director-ATS
Addiction Medicine
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The author gives practical examples of handling anger in a variety of situations. He also explains what goes on in the brain while dealing with them. I have recommended this book to several people already and will continue to do so when school starts next month.
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Format: Hardcover
I learned a lot from this book. I wish I had had it 30-40 years ago. It was sometimes a little too long and detailed for this lay person. I would have preferred more of the real-life examples and less of the scientific data. But it definitely made me think about how I can react the next time I am angry or run into someone who is angry.
Very interesting about why babies cry when they see a strange face, even if that face is smiling. Also, good to know about teenager brains.
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Following the seven strategies to manage anger as described in the book will assist the reader to a greater understanding of self and our reactions to one another. This is a helpful discourse written in and easy to read.
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