Definition of Anger:
A strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.

Synonyms of Anger:

Annoyance, vexation, exasperation, irritation, pique, displeasure, resentment, etc.

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click the external link for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.

Love in fellowship.


Anger is only one letter away from danger –Anon

Anger is a condition in which the tongue works faster than the mind. –Anonymous

If you are right, you don’t need to be angry; if you are wrong, you can’t afford to be angry. –Mel B

Today, would I rather be right or would I rather be happy? How we answer this question can have an enormous impact on how our day goes. –Just for Today


Spiritual demonstration demands that anger be overcome. It is simply not possible to exercise very much spiritual power in the way of healing until you have got rid of resentment and condemnation concerning your fellow man. In prayer, the more love, the more power; people of developed spiritual perception take pains to keep themselves free from thoughts of criticism and condemnation.

Indignation, resentment, the desire to punish other people, or to see them punished, forms an impenetrable barrier to spiritual power or progress. Jesus says we must pause and treat ourselves until we have got rid of this sense of hostility, and have once more restored the seamless garment of our spiritual integrity.

Jesus says: First; Whoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger. Second; To be hostile to another, is to be in grave danger. Third; That to hold so low an opinion about a fellow creature, as to allow ourselves to consider him to be outside the pale, so as to speak, is to shut ourselves off from any hope of spiritual fruit while we remain in this state of mind.

To do this is to bring very serious consequences upon ourselves. In essence Jesus says whoever is angry with his brother under any circumstances in in danger. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. (Matthew V 5:25)

The moment ‘evil’ presents itself to your attention, you should immediately turn it out, repudiate it, refuse to accept it, and be quietly affirming the Truth. If you do this you will find that it will have little or no power over you. Provided you tackle the evil at the very beginning it will presently disappear, and you will be left victorious. –Emmet Fox/Sermon On The Mount | More…


We have a right to claim our own feelings.
Sometimes we get angry, but hold it inside because we think it’s wrong to feel it.

If anger builds inside us, it expands like a balloon ready to burst.
If not released, it can make us depressed, or even physically ill.

When we give ourselves permission to feel anger,
we are better able to get rid of it in a healthy way.

Our inner voice can tell us how to let go of our anger.
And once we’ve released it, we can easily get in touch with the feelings that caused it.

When we recognize our anger for what it is–one feeling among many others that makes us unique it loses its significance, and we can prevent it from consuming us. –Today’s Gift | More…


Anger is the hot wind that extinguishes the light of reason.
If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always be where you’ve always been.

Anger can be such a potent, frightening emotion.
We deny our anger for a variety of reasons.

What we may do instead of facing our anger, is feel hurt, victimized, trapped, guilty, and uncertain about how to take care of ourselves. We may punish, get even, whine, and wonder.

We may repeatedly forgive the other person for behaviors that hurt us.
We may simply be afraid of our anger and the potency of it.

We may not know we have a right, even a responsibility – to ourselves – to allow ourselves to feel and learn from our anger. –The Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More…

Few people have been more victimized by resentments than have we alcoholics.
A burst of temper could spoil a day, and a well-nursed grudge could make us miserably ineffective.

Nor were we ever skilful in separating justified from unjustified anger.
As we saw it, our wrath was always justified.

Anger, that occasional luxury of more balanced people, could keep us on an emotional jag indefinitely. These “dry benders’ often led straight to the bottle.

Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen.
We can neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic.–As Bill Sees It / Go to page 179 (PDF)


Anger is a human emotion that gets us in touch with our energy and our vitality.
Examining the place anger has had in our lives is one of the doorways we must pass through to regain our full spirit.

We learn to set aside the anger we used to cover fear or hurt.
Expressing anger can mean we care enough to be fully involved and we will not leave after we express it.

We can learn to hear others in their anger rather than attempt to control or evade their message.
In the process we are invigorated and feel healthier because we are claiming a larger part of ourselves. –Touchstones | More…

When tempers rise, it is often a good idea to back away from the situation until cooler minds prevail.
We can’t avoid troubling situations, but we can use time and distance to find perspective.

When that time comes, we take a deep breath, say a prayer, and apply the principles of our program: honesty, openness, responsibility, forgiveness, trust, and all the rest. We didn’t get clean to keep running from life—and in recovery, we don’t have to run anymore. –Just For Today | More…


It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also.

But are there no exceptions to this rule?
What about ‘justifiable’ anger?

If somebody cheats us, aren’t we entitled to be mad?
Can’t we be properly angry with self-righteous folk?

For us in AA these are dangerous exceptions.
We have found that justifiable anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it. –12 & 12 More… (p.90)

The more anger towards the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving in the present. –Barbara De Angelis


Anger is only one letter short of danger…
Before I began to work the program anger was a dangerous emotion for me.

Anger was my excuse to react negatively without thinking.
I came to realize that I felt angry even when there were other emotions brewing on a deeper level.

I felt angry when I was actually feeling afraid, embarrassed, hurt, tired, forgetful, or stressed out.
By working the Twelve Steps, I welcome my Higher Power’s guidance in feeling my true feelings;

By doing this I no longer fear anger and I no longer find it a danger in my life. –One Day At A Time | More…

Our first objective will be the development of self-restraint. This carries a top-priority rating. When we speak or act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and tolerant evaporates on the spot. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.113)


Are you angry or about to get angry?
We have learned that only one thing causes anger: not getting what we think we want, need, or deserve. –Hour to Hour | More…

At times how hard it seems to forgive!
And yet pardon is the instrument placed into our fragile hands to attain serenity of heart.

To let go of anger, wrath, violence, and revenge, are necessary conditions to living joyfully. Let us therefore heed the Apostle’s exhortation: “Do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Eph. 4:26) –Pope Francis | More…

It’s okay to be angry, but it isn’t healthy to be resentful.
We can have our angry feelings. We can connect with them, own them, and feel them, express them, release them, and be done with them.

We can learn to listen to what anger is telling us about what we want and need in order to take care of ourselves.
If we don’t feel our angry feelings today, we will need to face them tomorrow. –The Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie 14/11 | More…


We need to accept our anger and learn to express it, honestly, openly and assertively, not aggressively. We can’t afford to hang onto anger. Repressed anger always blocks the way to a positive attitude. –Each Day a New Beginning/Karen Casey | More…

Anger results in righteous, indignation, retribution, distraction and justification generally motivate by fear. Change begins with me…

Anger often masks as depression, anxiety or even physical ailments. Solve problems, do not to create them.

I don’t forgive and I don’t forget, or the classic ‘an eye for an eye… Anger a surface manifestation of inner hostility, the emotions we often call resentments in AA


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