x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Required reading: Anger management

Anger issues much? It's time to hit the books.

Alec Baldwin deleted his Twitter account last week, after firing off a furious homophobic rant at a Daily Mail journalist. The journalist had, Baldwin claimed, falsely stated that Baldwin’s wife was tweeting while present at the funeral of James Gandolfini.

This Baldwin outburst is, of course, just the latest in a long line. Back in 2007, Baldwin called his then 11-year-old daughter Ireland “rude and thoughtless” in a screaming voicemail outburst that leaked to the press. He allegedly punched a New York Daily News photographer in the face last June, and in December 2011 he was escorted off an American Airlines flight after he refused to stop playing Words with Friends on his phone.

Anger issues much? Still, aren’t there days we could all scream at a relative, punch someone in the face and then ignore basic instructions designed to ensure our own safety? But if you – like me – find yourself doing all that and more several times a day, it’s time to hit the books.

Go first to Managing Anger with CBT for Dummies by Gill Bloxham (John Wiley & Sons,Dh94). Wait, did that book just call you a dummy? Yes, it did; are you mad? Mad, huh? What are you going to do about it? I’ll tell you what you’re going to do: you’re going to recognise the anger – saying “I am angry” can help – and accept it. That, says Bloxham, is the key to better anger -management.

But who cares what she thinks? Can’t a person wallow in a bit of rage once in a while? If that’s your thing, go to the world’s leading exponent of the furious rant. I Can Make You Hate (Faber, Dh100) collects the legendary and furious columns of the British journalist and humorist Charlie Brooker. Prepare to become enraged on issues ranging from politics to food.

After that anger fest, you’ll probably collapse in an exhausted and tearful heap, wondering why Mummy and Daddy didn’t love you. You’ll almost certainly never know, but get over it with Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child (Parallax, Dh83) by Thich Nhat Hanh.