Angry, Thich Nhat Hanh - Book Summary

In life, there are countless things in life that make us angry. Every time this emotion comes, it makes us no longer rational enough to speak & act properly with those around us. The lack of control over our emotions is the fastest way for us to lose respect & love from people. Anger is never a way to help us get what we want, but in fact only lowers our self-worth.

If you still think it's impossible to release anger without hurting others, read this book. Thich Nhat Hanh offers simple practices to help us understand deeply the root of anger, thereby transforming anger in ourselves and in others step by step.


The ability to love and tolerate others is completely dependent on the ability to love and take care of oneself. If you yourself do not know how to heal the wound within yourself, the wound will be passed on to the people closest to you. So, before helping someone, be sure of yourself first.

There are three ways to transform your anger:  practicing mindfulness, writing a letter, and giving gifts. In it, mindfulness practice is the foundation. In case you find that this is still not enough to transform anger, apply the remaining 2 methods.


Mindfulness, which means the act of paying attention to the breath and walking. The function of mindfulness is concentration and wisdom. Concentration is concentration, wisdom is wisdom. When the mind is at rest, wisdom is naturally clear.

The energy of mindfulness is the energy of being present, both physically and mentally. Focus deeply on existing things/events and people. Toxic minds such as anger, jealousy, despair or constant worries and stress are all subject to the energy of mindfulness.

Steps to practice mindfulness:

Step 1: Focus on the breath, combined with walking (if possible) in a quiet space for  10-15 minutes. Pay attention, do nothing to avoid distraction.

Then, let the feelings you have suppressed for a long time come out by crying, screaming, and shouting into the air. You have to show it, then you can be relieved

These 2 steps are very effective for calming anger, reducing stress, and making you feel better. Once you have calmed down, you will gradually realize  the nature of your anger.

Step 2: Accept and observe anger, understanding instead of rejecting or ignoring them.

Accept that you are angry, don't try to deny or pretend that they don't exist. The more you hide it, the more you deny it, the longer your anger smolders, which can easily lead to depression.

After accepting it, take the time to carefully observe your anger, you will gradually notice the emotions that lie deep inside your anger little by little, it can be sadness, loneliness or Fear. Just look at them gently, slowly, without judgment.

Next, look at the person who made you angry to understand what pain they must have carried inside to treat you like that (Watch to understand, not to erase all their mistakes). For example, under the guise of looking down on you, you are a soul that was once despised by others because of your appearance, family background or education. Behind a person who often presents himself as a child who does not receive encouragement/approval from his parents, or behind a violent person, is a child who has been hurt mentally & physically who just wants to get up. To protect yourself…

Learn to look at others on a deeper level to uncover their inner truths. At this point, you will understand that everyone has their own heartache, from which you can become more tolerant and compassionate towards everyone.

Only when you have tolerance can you  truly forgive. Forgive not for the other person, but for yourself. Only by forgiveness can you become comfortable, free and completely free from the pain and resentment inside. Only then can you happily live your own life without being hurt by the pain.

Practicing the above 2 steps well, you will feel your anger less, your mind is much more stable. Existing negative energy will gradually transform into positive energy such as empathy & love.

Step 3: After practicing the above 2 steps, look for opportunities to tell others how you feel with a calm mind & loving speech (without hurting the other person). You should not let anger stay in your heart for more than 24 hours, because the longer you leave it, the more anger drains your energy and gradually leads to depression (symptoms often arise from suppressed anger). in the heart).

Here are 3 things to say when angry, they help you gain confidence, trust and respect of others. Write these 3 statements on a piece of paper and keep them in your wallet. When angry, take them out and read them again.

Content 1: Let others know that you are angry for some reason. Speak out loud what you want to say, the words that are welling up in your heart. Those words do not need to be noble or polite, but must be true. When you speak out, not only will you be relieved, but the other person's mind will also be lighter because they may also be very concerned about your suffering.

Content 2:  Tell them that you will do your best to transform your own anger.

Content 3:  Expecting help and support from the other party.

The three sentences above are  love language. When your heart is conveyed by love language, the other person is very grateful for the love & harmony you bring. From there, they can awaken and develop respect. When they know you're trying your best, they'll consider themselves worthy of you, too.

After speaking, don't rush into action, but give each other a few days to have time to look deeply at the root of the anger. Once you understand the cause of your anger and really calm down, make an appointment for a day to look back and answer your questions. Remember, always start with yourself first, if you are gentle, cool & ready to listen, the other person will also naturally open up to share.

Writing the Heart Sutra

Regularly write down your gratitude and appreciation for someone who has helped you in difficult times. It is an effective medicine to help you calm down when anger or negative emotions about that person come. When combined with mindfulness, you will understand what to do and how to treat them.

Or when you are angry with someone but cannot express it in words, want to reconcile but are not calm enough to use love language, you should also write down your thoughts on paper and give it to that person to read. This will not only help you gain peace of mind, but can also make the other person understand the negative emotions you are facing.

If you don't open your heart to share, no one can guess what you think, not even the person closest to you. So, if you can't talk, find a way to express your feelings in another way, writing a letter is a very suitable alternative. Remember, the letter needs to be smooth, steady and deep enough to bring the ability to understand & transform the other party.

Writing a letter is also a way to water the happiness that has been forgotten for a long time, for example, when two people no longer have feelings for each other because they have lived together for too long, and the romance they need is taken away by things like money. necessary for a relationship, or when parents and children disagree.

Give a gift

If you've done everything but still can't stop being angry with someone, combine the step of giving gifts. Get in the habit of buying gifts when you are feeling full of love & gratitude for them, write those feelings on a card, then… put them away. When angry, take it out and read it again & give it to them.

Giving gifts, not only shows gratitude and appreciation for the good things the other person has brought to you, but also serves as a reminder to you that, having accepted those good things, it is also necessary to give them a gift. content with the things that need improvement in them. No one is perfect, just like you.


To transform the anger of others, we need to practice two skills,  listening with compassion and using loving speech.

Listen with compassion

It is the ability to listen with focus and maintain the will to help others. Listening without judgment, without reproach (even though they know they are wrong), not for the purpose of giving advice, but for listening only to understand, to empathize, to give the other person the opportunity to express their thoughts. , to help ease their suffering.

It should be noted that, when practicing listening, don't say anything. Don't advise, don't make excuses, don't judge. If you want to correct their wrong perception, wait a few days for their mind to calm down, because anger and anger always take time to understand and transform. Only then will your advice bring value to the other party.

Only when we listen so deeply can we become aware that the other person is also suffering because of their own violence and anger, and understand that a person who causes crime & suffering for others is a because they have not understood that their actions not only hurt others, but also hurt themselves. We humans are not all bad by nature.

By practicing deep listening, you will gradually develop a mind of compassion. Nothing can quell another's anger more effectively than compassion (understanding, empathy & tolerance). And only compassion can make you not angry or angry when you hear what others have to say, even though those words may not be true or hurt you.

However, to be able to truly understand & empathize with the suffering of others, you need to be someone who has experience, understanding and practice. So, being grateful for the hardships and suffering you have gone through in the past, it not only helps you build a strong inner mind, but also makes you have a deep empathy for the pain of others. life.

When people suffer to the point of falling into the abyss, it is not advice, but understanding and empathy that can teach us.

Use love language

We humans always have a child part and a human part. Not only because of anger and hatred, but the ability to love and forgive is no longer there. Always try to make your insight into community wisdom by using loving speech to communicate the right things based on your knowledge and experience, with the aim of enabling others to develop on their own. realize that wisdom.

How to water the seeds of altruism and love, how to let others transform the "child" based on their own perception, not through what you say or impose . To do this, it takes patience & tolerance.

When it is difficult to communicate with someone, for example, the other person does not listen to you or reconcile with you, it is because your words are not deep enough to reach their heart. At this point, you yourself must continue to practice to perfect yourself.


1. Remember, to always be full of energy in the mission of transforming others, you yourself must maintain a balance and understand your own limits. On the one hand you need to be nourished by beautiful things, on the other hand you need to practice compassion by listening to the sharing of others. When the inner healing is really stable, if you just listen to the bad things, negative energy will gradually take over the majority of your awareness.

Beautiful things are babies, nature, plants, mindful breathing & walking, bells (helping us to focus and appreciate the present, no longer surrounded by worries or anger).

2. Our body & mind are always closely related. When we eat anger, it is also easy to generate anger. So, choose to consume things that are beneficial to both your body and mind.

  • Food that is toxic to the body: animal meat (before slaughter, animals are in a state of extreme fear), alcoholic drinks or items containing nicotine (which make us unable to control our own behavior) .
  • Toxic food for the mind: Sources of news, articles containing negative energy.

3. Compassion and gentleness does not mean being passive, letting others trample or destroy themselves. Compassion is being tough but keeping a clear mind, is not afraid to take measures, although austere, but meaningful to prevent the other person from continuing to water their own hatred and hatred for themselves and others.