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Dealing with anger

Introspection and understanding can free us from the burden of uncontrolled fury, writes Oliver Burkeman

The last word on…

Even if you’re not plagued by irritating colleagues or family members – and everybody has one or two of those – it’s not easy to stay calm in our anger-saturated age. Furious politicians and their supporters dominate the news and, on social media, it has been verified that anger spreads more virally than any other emotion. It’s especially dificult to overcome anger because, unlike other negative feelings, such as sadness or fear, it’s often somewhat pleasurable. Expressing anger feels ego-boosting and energising; it’s only later, after you’ve lashed out, that you will wish you had held back. But squelching your anger is counterproductive. Learn to listen to it, and then you can choose a more constructive response.

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