The Most Powerful Thing You Can Do When Someone Pisses You Off

Okay you’re pissed. And you’re trying really hard to not react, lose your cool, or overdramatize the situation.

I could give you some gentle Buddha quotes to ease your temperament, but I doubt they’d help right now. A punching bag would probably be more useful. Or maybe some kitten therapy.

If it makes you feel any better, you’re not the only person that feels angry. It seems that anger is a staple of this American life and it’s reliably on the rise.

Esquire and NBC put out an interesting sociopolitical study and found that 68% of their audience reads or hears something on the news that makes them angry at least once per day. They go on with percentages relative to race, religion, and political affiliation – interesting, but to be taken with a grain of salt as always.

With all the happenings in this world and all the negative emotion they stir, it’s easy to see why we’re all on edge, ready to snap at each other over spilt milk.

But anger doesn’t make us feel good, and we know that being angry does nothing useful for ourselves or the rest of the world.

The Most Powerful Thing You Can Do When Someone Pisses You Off - Anger

(I can’t help myself. I love Buddha quotes.)

Why you’re so angry

You’re angry because people didn’t do what you expected them to do. And as you know, expectation is the number one killer of all relationships.

You’re also angry because you couldn’t control the situation. Even if you don’t tag yourself as a control freak, you are a human. And that means that you have gremlins inside you that wish to control your environment, including other people. And you know very well that in order to control your anger you must let go of the need to control everything.

We get angry when things don’t go our way. Just like toddlers. But we’re not children – we’re grown ass people responsible for our own feelings and happiness. And that means we can’t have temper tantrums and whine our way out of things.

Since we can’t control our circumstances or other people, we do whatever we can to satisfy our need for importance. We need to know that our feelings matter and so we find other ways to satisfy the gremlins.

Anger makes you feel powerful

Since anger can’t *poof* the situation into what we want it to be, we turn toward empowerment. We allow our anger to be our authority.

See, our need for control is essentially a power struggle with the rest of the world. Our gremlins want us to be in control of everything internal and external. And when we aren’t in control, our gremlins feel threatened, as if someone or something is trying to take away our power.

But superiority is an illusion. We’ll never have it. Which just perpetuates our anger.

So we choose to hold steadfast onto this notion that a display of anger instills power, fear, authority over circumstance and people. And when someone pisses us off, we choose anger as our weapon in a desperate attempt to salvage our self-worth.

Yet we quickly find that anger isn’t worth much at all.

The most powerful thing you can do

When someone pisses you off, expressing anger will not prove your superiority. It will only leave you powerless to the situation and cast you into a deep hole of self-loathing.

But I know something you can do. Something that will make you the most powerful person in your life.

Wanna hear it?

Ok, here it is.

This is the most powerful thing you can do when someone pisses you off:

Don’t think about that person.
Don’t let that person occupy any real estate in your mind.
Don’t allow that person to occupy a vacancy in your thought stream.
Don’t keep that person alive and real in your life.
Mentally let that person go.

We say that deceased people “live on” when we remember them. We visit graves, we play their favorite song, we look at a photo of them.

But they are not alive physically. Their body no longer exists on the earth in the same form as when we knew them. Regardless of our belief of what happens to people when they die, they remain part of our reality simply because we think of them.

Same goes for the living.

Whenever we think of a person, we keep that person alive in our minds.

Therefore, if the presence of someone is weighing on you, release that person from your thoughts. Then they’ll no longer be present.

To be clear, you’re not killing anyone

Okay, just to be very clear to my more literal readers, I’m not suggesting that we kill people in our thoughts.

I repeat: I am not suggesting, insinuating, recommending, or anything else thereof, that we kill people in our thoughts or think about killing people.

Phew, I think that was a decent enough disclaimer… 

Not thinking of someone releases the control their presence has on our thoughts. And if they aren’t physically present in front of us, then they aren’t actually present at all.

Maybe this is getting too deep, too abstract. I’ll back up.

When you allow someone to occupy your mind, you run the risk of victimizing yourself to their words and actions instead of taking responsibility for yourself. You run the risk of letting that person control the way you feel instead of controlling your feelings yourself.

By releasing someone from thought, forbidding them from occupying your precious mental real estate, you make a conscious choice to block any related incoming or outgoing negativity. You essentially take a leadership role in your life and prevent your circumstances from disturbing your inner peace and self-worth.

The Most Powerful Thing You Can Do When Someone Pisses You Off - Happy Life


Think about how you typically react when you feel angry.

Is your reaction productive? rational? worth feeling that way?

Take some time to really think about how you react whenever something doesn’t go your way. Think about past times when you became angry and didn’t handle yourself well. Then think about times when you became angry or dissatisfied and did handle yourself well.

Think about how you felt in each situation and what you could have done differently. Think about what worked and what you should continue doing.

And above all, think about anger in general and what it means to harbor it.

Think about where anger comes from, where it’s rooted, and why it grows.

And whenever you find yourself getting heated up, don’t think of anything at all.

The Be Well Place End Of Post

Esquire Editors: American Rage: The Esquire/NBC News Survey
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  1. Pierre Lachapelle says:

    This is a quote I came out with on my own; Personally I think every one who gets angry from time to time should think of this instead of venting out.

    To find the hidden justice that regulates your life you must, cease to wine and reveal
    and cease to accuse others; Only then you will build your self with strong and noble way’s and find the hidden possibilities within you.

  2. hungrywolf says:

    I was looking on the internet on how to say “piss off”

    I feel down from people around me treating me badly for the reason I really don’t understand.

    I work hard as I see it, and just trying to do my job. But, there are some people misunderstand this. They don’t like the way I work for they don’t like working at all.

    So I was planning to just give the person a piss.

    Then I read this.
    Thank you
    Thank you for writing this.
    I should free myself from any thoughts of anger, feelings other people being unfair.

    I should forgive them and forgive myself.

    I deserve peace.
    Thank you again.

  3. Rachael says:

    Hey, everyone. I’m so glad this message resonates with you. I read this article a lot – and I mean A LOT – because I forget to let go of expectations and assumptions. I forget that stewing in my thoughts does nothing productive and keeps me from feeling peaceful and happy. The more we all learn to let go of unhelpful thoughts and approach life with greater acceptance, the more we truly enjoy and appreciate each other. Have an awesome day and thank you for reading and sharing! Please keep in touch!

  4. Ram says:

    Thank you – I need this advice very badly. I have to live with someone who pisses me off daily and I keep telling to let it “through me”. It is a situation I cannot escape as I have to be caregiver for that person. But I will learn to mentally let go every time I am away from that person.

  5. Ahmad Hassanat says:

    This is nonsense, who pisses you off?
    He must be someone who works or live with you, you cannot remove them from your brain without removing them physically fro your life!
    Or someone just met you on the street, and he/she does not care much if you removed them from your brain.
    My recipe is different, take actions immediately, and end the matter in the site

    • Rachael says:

      Lol – thanks for sharing, Ahmad. Your opener, “This is nonsense, who pisses you off?” is a great reminder that in addition to practicing letting go of anger, we should also train our brains to not have a knee-jerk reaction that we later have to practice letting go of. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  6. Bob M. says:

    A prayer to say to ourselves when that “someone” pisses us off at our fellowship meeting:
    Dear God, please bless our fellowship and all who’ve attended our meeting today. I humbly accept the fact that all that is said and happens at our meeting is of Your works. God, as I go forward in life, I pray I may feel the love and the strength of our fellowship, and to not let the thinking of one individual affect my spirit. I shall go forth from our meeting today with confidence that as I pray for your care and protection, You will indeed keep us ALL safe, and sane.

    • Rachael says:

      A lovely prayer, Bob M. “I pray I may feel the love and the strength of our fellowship, and to not let the thinking of one individual affect my spirit.” Very wise and responsible. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Julianna Gerlofs says:

    Wth?! I missed something here. How do I dismiss them in my mind while listening to them say everything that’s pissing me off and reply? Sure, after the angry conversation is over, I can easily dismiss them and everything said. It doesn’t help because things were said and worse said in anger. Where can i find a follow-up to this advice? Preferably dealing with the moment.

  8. Reem says:

    Nope. I’d reeeally want to kill that person right now. I hate hate hate It so much when someone not close to you acts like they wish the best for you while they don’t. I know that person very well. And all they do Is act act act! But that person also thinks low of me or that I’m like them, that I “act”. They give me this sign like “I know what you’re doing and thinking” while they have no Idea. My own parents don’t know me that well. That person Is really frustrating! But I cannot get rid of them because that person Is my mother In law. I’m so frustrated that my hands and fingers are shaking while typing this.

  9. Gary says:

    Great tips! Absolutely agree with your thinking.

    It’s easy to say “don’t think about this” and “don’t think about that”. Some people don’t even realise their thought processes and get caught in their uniquely carved thought patterns – so this advice doesn’t stick.

    How about an article on “how to be mindful”, or “mindfulness”, or suggesting your sage advice is best understood after reading those concepts as a pre-requisite?

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