Getting Comfortable With Anger

Updated on March 1, 2020
Holley Hyler profile image

Holley Hyler is an IT consultant and published freelance writer living in New York.

Yeah... we all have these days.
Yeah... we all have these days. | Source

An Everyday Occurrence

It happens every day. While driving, you put on your turn signal in plenty of time before you slow down to make the turn. The driver behind you, who has been riding your bumper the last few miles, becomes irate and honks. It leaves you both incensed and wondering if you did something wrong.

While on the phone with an unhappy customer at work, you are trying to stay afloat in a sea of anxiety. Your thoughts are racing. You try to communicate what you think the customer wants you to do to make sure you understand, only for them to become angrier when you misspeak or get it wrong.

It does not matter how good your intentions are or how much you want to be good at everything you do. Someone is always going to find fault and be unhappy. This is something we start hearing as small children with hurt feelings. No matter how much it is repeated, we still become upset when others feel anything other than happy with us. Despite knowing that people-pleasing does not provide any long-term satisfaction of our personal goals, we hold on to those tendencies. We feel a need to please everyone else before ourselves.

You can burn out quickly when you are a fixer.
You can burn out quickly when you are a fixer. | Source

Don't Try to Fix It

When someone is upset with us, we feel like we must fix it, even if we did nothing wrong. This may be truer if you have empathic abilities. You feel others’ emotions like they are your own, so the sense of urgency behind self-correction is stronger for you. Nobody enjoys customer service when they deal with irate people on a regular basis. Some of us are hit harder by these types of jobs when we have the empath switch or social anxiety.

I remember, as a child, I often asked my mother, “Are you mad at me?” Even if I recalled nothing I had done that might anger her, whenever she was quiet or did not seem her usual self, I jumped to the conclusion that I had done something wrong. Exasperated by the question, one day she asked me, “Why, what did you do? Is there something I should be mad about?”

Nowadays, people are more forthcoming with me about their ire. On the bright side, it is nice to not guess what I must have done. Unfortunately, they are often angry about things I cannot change – the speed of traffic and how fast I feel safe going, how quickly a task at work can get done when I do not have control over all the factors influencing its completion.

“If you are too afraid to offend anyone, then I'm afraid you may not be able to do anything remarkable." - Bernard Kelvin Clive

It's Going to Happen

People get angry when they assume you will act a certain way and you fail to read their mind. People get angry because they don’t like you or feel jealous of you.

When this is the case, you can live in a never-ending spiral of anxiety and stay in “fix-it” mode if you cannot learn to be comfortable with anger or displeasure directed toward you.

It is not necessary to feel completely unaffected by it. Of course, you can’t change that you are human. We are social creatures. We feel best with an underlying sense of approval, both our own and that of other people. It also doesn’t mean you should treat your customer service job with apathy or start flipping the bird at everyone who honks at you on the freeway. These actions can feel gratifying in the moment. This feeling is as short-lived as that of appeasing people when you are not being true to yourself.

Personal relationships are a bit different – for instance, if your partner or someone you are close to seems unhappy, it can be good to talk it out. For the types of situations mentioned above, the best thing to do is accept how people are feeling and not bend over backwards to change it. In the case of a customer service job, do what you can, but don't hold on to what happens at work while you are off the clock.

Comfort may not come right away. It soon follows after realizing you are doing the best you can, and the only variable you have complete control over is yourself. It comes after you experience enough people getting angry over factors you could not change.

It is a fact of life, just like death and taxes; not everyone is going to be pleased with you.

And that's okay.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Holley Hyler


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Tory Peta profile image

      Tery Peta 

      3 months ago from Bulgaria

      The best way to deal with anger is to just accept that it is going to continue happening around us. We are responsible for controlling ourselves and how much negativity we allow.

      Thank you for sharing this lovely article with us.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      This is very good. The notions are important. I still need some work on "getting angry back". Such a waste of energy. Thank you for the information.

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      4 months ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Good guidance. Interesting article. Thanks.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)