Anger Sound Bites

"How I choose to look at that situation will greatly affect whether I have the power to change it or make matters worse.

"There's not a thing another person can do that can make me angry. Any thinking that is in my head that involves the word should is violence-provoking.

"I don't think we get angry because our needs aren't getting met. I think we get angry because we have judgments about others.

"Anger is a natural feeling created by unnatural thinking. I'm not saying that it is wrong to judge people. What's important is to be conscious that it's that judgment that makes us angry.

"Even if you don't say judgments out loud, your eyes show this kind of thinking. Use the words 'I feel because I . . .' to remind yourself that what you feel is not because of what the other person did, but because of the choice you made.

"To me, the life that's going on within us can be most clearly grasped by looking at what our needs are. Ask yourself, 'What are my needs in this situation?'

"When I am connected to my needs, I have strong feelings but never anger. I see all anger as a result of life-alienated, violent, provocative thinking.

"Killing people is too superficial. To me, any kind of killing, blaming, or hurting of other people is a very superficial expression of our anger.

"Our aim is to keep our attention, moment by moment, connected to life, to the life that's going on in us. What are our needs at this moment, and what's alive in others?

"Sadness is a feeling that mobilizes us to get our needs met. Anger is a feeling that mobilizes us to blame and punish others.

"Fully expressing the anger means not only that I express these deep feelings behind it but also that I help the other person to get it.

"To fully express anger means getting our full consciousness tuned in to the need that isn't getting met.

"The best way I can get understanding from others is to give them understanding, too. If I want them to hear my needs and feelings, I first need to empathize.

"When I give people the empathy they need, I've found it isn't that hard to get them to hear me.

"Anger is a very valuable feeling in NVC. It's a wake-up call. It tells me that I'm thinking in ways almost guaranteed not to meet my needs. Why? Because my energy is not connected to my needs, and I'm not even aware of what my needs are when I'm angry."