Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mount TBR #39

I read this book for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge hosted over at My Reader’s Block from January 1 – December 31, 2015. The challenge is to read books that you already own.
Anger: How to Live With it and Without it – Albert Ellis
Ellis, a psychologist, argues that we had better fight anger rationally, since anger with one’s self is the source of anxiety, with others the source of rage, and with the world the source of depression. He goes over basic techniques that we can use to convince ourselves to respond rationally with regret or disappointment instead irrationally with anger.
Ellis says that anger and upset result from expectations that we learned from parents, teachers, clergy and others we’ve dealt with from childhood. He calls these assumptions about how the world works our Belief System. For instance, a teacher becomes irascible because he expects that the students should never be late.
Ellis warns that an underlying Belief System is always identifiable by words like “must,” “should,” and “ought.” He points out that many of our musts and shoulds are irrational or what he describes as “nutty, musty thinking.” We had better dispute our irrational beliefs in order to get over silly beliefs.
So getting back to our peeved teacher, there is no evidence to back the supposition that students ought never to be late since the world often has other ideas on slow traffic and few parking spaces that make people late for anything. The world also prevents homework from being done with host of reasons and diversions. Laying shoulds on other people will just get us worked up since people are fallible and always will be.
Ellis also advises “Never should on yourself.” Like Rogers, he says we had better accept ourselves unconditionally, since we are fallible too. He recommends that we make thinking paramount over feeling, if we want to decrease our anxiety. We had better learn the ability to dispute our irrational assumptions that lead to our distorted judgements
This is a pretty easy book to read, because he repeats the same three ideas in a variety of different ways. Ellis wrote very clearly. And self-help books repeat key concepts over and over – that just how they are, since readers of self-help books need repetition for the word to sink in.

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