I don’t get angry. I haven’t gotten angry in ten years. A Buddhist would say I have “pulled up anger by the roots”.

Anger is predicated on the desire to hurt someone. The desire to hurt someone as a terminal value is pure evil.

I have been on the receiving end of a lot of anger. Ostensibly, it is because of things I did or I didn’t do. None of that matters. How often a particular person gets angry at me has little to do with me and everything to do with that person.

Though I no longer get angry, I do feel stress. My baseline stress is a function of physical exercise, social interaction, food, meditation and art. But that’s not goes through my head. When I feel stress, I go looking for something I’m doing wrong like an appointment I’ve forgotten about, a chore I’ve been putting off or some other personal inadequacy. I misattribute the stress to a confabulation and then go about solving the wrong problem.

I think angry people do the same thing. They feel anger before identifying a target. This would explain why observation that whether someone gets angry at me in a particular interaction correlates with how frequently that person has gotten angry at me in the past and cannot be predicted by my proximate influence.

With particularly angry people, I can predict when they will get angry before they do but I cannot predict what they will get angry at. Except that, if I am alone with the person, the target will eventually become me no matter what I do.

  1. There are two red flags to avoid almost all dangerous people: 1. The perpetually aggrieved ; 2. The angry.

100 Tips for a Better Life by Ideopunk

When I was a kid I had an adult berate me for not shoveling dirt into a hole and then, an hour later, berate me for shoveling dirt into the hole. Neither beratement had anything to do with the task. He just wanted to make me suffer. But he didn’t understand his own motivation. He confabulated that I was a lazy kid who should have known better than than to do (or not do) whatever I was doing (or not doing).

The most undeserving victims of anger are the victims of genocides and such. But in my personal experience, the people for whom anger causes the most suffering are angry people themselves. Anger is incompatible with happiness. If you are frequently angry then you are frequently unhappy.

Pulling up anger by the roots makes you a gentler, happier person. The catch is that anger is a natural defense against other angry people. To safely remove a natural defense you must replace it with an artificial one.

If you are not an angry person then the best way to deal with angry people is to avoid them. If you cannot avoid angry people then distance yourself from them. If you bump into angry people then diffuse the situation. If you cannot diffuse the situation then fight as a last resort.