On dealing with anger

About anger

  • Anger is the most vile and harmful vice of all.
    • Compared to greed - greed at least amasses wealth for someones benefit, but anger spends for no one's benefit( no one survives it without loss).
    • Compared to malice and envy - at least it only wishes that others are unfortunate, but anger (or revenge ) makes other unfortunate.
    • Compared to lust - at least it derives pleasure for its own enjoyment , anger derives it form others pain.
  • Unlike other vices it does not gradually encroach into our live, anger reaches it full potential as soon as it begins , leaving no time for one to deal with it.
  • Anger is a form of temporary insanity that "creeps up" on enlightened and vile men alike. Anger makes no distinction.
  • An angry person is most harmful to himself.

How to avoid getting angry?

  • Be absolutely certain that anger is not useful under any circumstances or scenario. Eliminate all notions that anger has a function. A common misconception for example is that it is a source of zeal and energy when at war or competing in business. The exact opposite is true.
  • Do not suffer from excessive self-regard guided by other peoples judgement.
  • Have a "Just Appreciation of your own worth". This will make you impenetrable to injury as you will disregard them as false.
  • Do not busy yourself with more duties than you have strength for. Doing this you will face many hindrances and unnecessary failures which makes a persons mind "ripe for anger".
  • Know your capacity.Do not assign hard tasks to yourself constantly, balance with more straightforward , pleasurable and easy to attain task. Constant failure in task beyond a ones capacity can cause frustration and anger.
  • Do not allow yourself to be physically exhausted under any circumstance. Prioritize rest.
    A tired man looks for quarrel.

  • Do not allow yourself to get hungry or thirsty. "It inflames and irritates the mind".
  • When ill ( even minor things like headache or blisters) try do the following -
    • Focus all energy on finding a cure or temporary relief as soon as possible.
    • Understand that you are more prone to be irate when ill , so reduce "freedom of speech" and avoid social gatherings.
  • "Resist the impulse to be curious". Don't go digging about for gossips about you, who said what. Ignorance is bliss.
  • If someone has offended you, then ask yourself if you have done or could have done similar things to others. Try putting yourself in the position of the person who made you angry.
  • If someone offends you then ask yourself if the act was intentional. Ask yourself
    • was the act carried out intentionally or by accident
    • under compulsion or mistakenly
    • for reward or hatred
    • to please himself or to oblige others.
  • Know what provokes you and give that weak part of you extra protection. Different people get wounded differently. Journal a short prioritized lists of thinks that provoke you.
  • If you are hot tempered by nature try surrounding yourself with calm peoples. Under such company a hot tempered person, when angry, usually does not find anyone to quarrel with , as no one quarrels back.

Notes from ON ANGER by Seneca from Dialogues and Essays (Oxford World's Classics)