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Saturday, June 13, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: From Anger To Intimacy

Dr. Gary Smalley, best selling author and the founder and president of the Smalley Relationship Center, suggests that you have three options when anger rears its head:

1) Stuff it
2) Spew it
3) Study it

Dr. Smalley co-authors his latest book with Pastor Ted Cunningham as they combine their years of experience in counseling to help teach readers the skills of conflict resolution. They each share some very personal experiences with anger and I appreciated their honesty in revealing various conflicts and how they overcame them.

Though the book was written with married couples in mind, I found it interesting (and helpful) that most of the communication skills they teach, are applicable in all areas of life.

One good example of this is learning to recognize and identify your personal "buttons". Once you've pin pointed your "hot button" areas, they share two main questions that you should ask when confronted with the temptation to get angry:

Question 1: What am I angry about?
Question 2: What am I going to do with my anger?

Using their approach of working through anger and frustration, you can apply this to not only your marriage, but friendships, family relationships and struggles with co-workers. This book offers a quiz to help you identify how you typically handle your anger, as well as a "forgiveness inventory" in which you find out how quick (or slow) you are to forgive.

The questions throughout the book offer some good starters for self examination, and for those who truly want to change, the book offers suggestions on how to start making headway.

One of my favorite chapters was the last one, Chapter 12, entitled "Answers to the Biggies". In this chapter the authors tackle some of the biggest questions frequently asked about anger and forgiveness in marriage and relationships.

If you have ever wondered "must I forgive someone who feels they have done nothing wrong?", this chapter is for you! Also included at the end of the book are meditations for forgiveness - memorizing and speaking these scriptures will help you cultivate a forgiving spirit in your everyday life.

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