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!

    • Marilyn says:

      I agree with you Ahmad! Her solution is to act like the person is dead to you.. Don’t know how you can communicate with someone you don’t acknowledge?

  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.

    • Jonathan says:

      You are my Hero !!!, , I have been going crazy until I read your response and I totally agree with you . And I am so glad someone thinks like me.

  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?

  10. Onesadsonofbitch says:

    My grandma makes my life hell, she thinks she needs to be in control of everything I do since she raised me, I’m not a kid anymore and neither a fucking teenager, the economical situation in Brazil keeps me from getting the fuck out of her house, I’m just waiting to the day she will anger herself so much that her fucking hearth will explode and drop dead. I feel kinda bad because I think about it, but srsly I don’t know how I’m gonna have any peace since either I live here and get my ass busted for every little stupid thing or I go live by myself and starve to death, that’s some nice life choices I have huh, I’m saving money so I can move to Canada and start a new life, but until then I’m gonna be living in hell and wishing se would change or just drop dead and leave me the fuck alone, I think I’m going straight to heaven no judgements considering how much I get pushed into the edge and I still haven’t freak out and fucking murdered someone.

    • Yours Truly says:

      To Mr. Onesadsonofabitch,
      This comment is not meant to offend you in any possible way. Ignore my advice if you find it repulsive. I do not completely understand your issue since I’m not you, but you should realise that she raised you. She feels like she needs to control you because she has been the only one who would do anything to keep you safe, get you to school maybe, and since you believe you are capable enough to restart your life elsewhere away from her, remember she is the one who made you capable enough to do that. All I’m saying is, talk to her. Grandmothers can be lovely and understanding except in your case she is also your guardian. So, I’m not sure how the conversation will pan out, but you can only hope for the best. And please, don’t think of her death for when she is gone, you’re all alone, and then will “starve to death” as mentioned in your comment.

  11. Marie-Claire - says:

    You have a poor vocabulary – swearing is not elevating you as a person……… swearing does belittle yourself so it does give permission to your enemy to exploit you at every level……… yet you know you are so much more worthy… the first change is within yourself………… and only yourself can do it… I do not say it will be easy…….. I say it will be so much worth it……. because you deserve it. Wishing you well, always…

  12. Anuj Rajput says:

    I get pissed of and everytime with more intensity than previous one whenever I do some basic things my girlfriend gets hurt example suppose she wanted to talk on phone call And I’m really tired and brain cellcall ad I’ll just ask her and request her can I sleep I’ll call you when I wake up I’m not in condition of phonr call right now ( For every phone call from her I have to go on terrace of my home ) since I can’t talk infront of parents and My reason is that I don’t have enough energy I would just request her politely on chat I’ll call at evening if it’s not urgent but she takes everything in negative way that I’m looking for my comfort I’m making excuses not to talk etc etc when In reality I’m not doing anything of sort this pisses me off real bad
    Why can’t she just take things for how they are she is phone call person I understand and I’m not a phone call person still I love to talk with her on call it’s just sometimes I don’t have energy and I like to talk with all my energy and love why she always has to assume worst I just want to talk with all my energy and love

    another example If I’m going to bath and we were talking on call I would request her that I’m going to take bath and call her back why me taking bath means that I’m making excuse to drop call when I already told her that I’ll call her back

    There have been many scenarios where I was not doing anything of sort which her thoughts told her way too much negativity

    I got covid and was really out of energy and all my skin was paining and I was sleeping too much I get that she was missing me I talked on phone call for about 15 mins then got back to bed for rest then her thought tells her that I don’t have 10 minutes in all my day for her I explained her your brain is lying to you I’m just sick
    just because of phone calls we have had arguments so many times and I just don’t know how to shut that negative stream of thoughts she get out of nowhere and this pisses me of real bad however much you explain her she’ll always think negative And now a days I ended up getting angry and frustrated when there are arguments and I have to explain silly things to her . There are very few person who can effect and have place in my head just my sister parents and mom and her other than that no one really has place in my head
    I Hate fighting over silly illogical reasons and I don’t know what to do anymore

    • Debra says:

      Maybe you two are not meant to be together and dont have good communication move on.You cant live like this the rest of your life!!

    • Magic Mike says:

      Hey dude! If people are expecting more of you than you can deliver, then maybe telling them about your limitations is what you should do. That would lead to 2 things. Either they will understand and you both move forward positively or they don’t understand you and they end the relationship right then. Both the ways, you will see if that person is the one who will always stand by you. Hope that helps.

  13. Julia says:

    This has to be the craziest coincidence. This was posted on my 16 birthday- exactly a month before dating my ex for four years. That’s when my anger was uncontrollable, now that I’m talking to others and learning how not to get angry at others that don’t really deserve the anger. I was cheated on and lied to for a long time and I don’t want that to be carried to future relationships or anything. This page helped me calm down so quickly – I want to save it and read it forever. I’ll be writing down these bolded quotes. Thank you so much.

  14. Angrybaby says:

    Everyone says “Don’t do this, don’t do that.” Do we just snap our fingers and all is better? Everyone says stop, but no one says how.

  15. Johanna says:

    I got today really pissed off! The landlord gets some refurbishment done and my father let the painter for the windows inside not only without a face mask which is still mandatory I think during this pandemic time and the painter went with his shoes on some of my white carpets. Normally I behave mindful but today I lost my temper and got really angry. I think from my experience in my life when I am that nice, mindful person people give a shit about it, so to speak and tend to abuse my polite way but when I speak up in an angry way people develop more respect. Nah, inmho it’s not always the right way to not speak angry. Magically the painter got his shoes out so quickly after I got pissed. Sure if I had let the painter inside I would have asked him not to go with his shoes on the light carpet but it’s not only control inmho I think I got angry as respect isn’t given. I thanked the painter for giving me an extra cleaning time.

  16. This is a stupid article I mean it wants to sit back and say you trying to control people when people are trying to control you basically that means no f****** sense basically no f****** sense people are trying to control you you can’t even play your f****** music as long as you f****** want to but these m************ can so

    • Magic Mike says:

      Hey man! Yeah you are so bloody right! People are always trying to control you but then this is what I did. I ignored people if they were wrong (you can figure out if they really mean well for you or not), but if they were right, then I would not argue with them, just try to work on myself. You don’t have to be a people pleaser all the time since nobody can ever be truly pleased. All you have to do is try to make others work the way you want, but remember that works only when you are morally right. Your decisions today affect your future. So think of how you can teach this person a lesson. Maybe asking them to be reasonable won’t work, but then you shouldn’t do what they do to you or something similar of the same degree.

  17. Patricia Price says:

    Yes. What if this person that pisses me off is my sister in law? An accountant on my inherited trust who has to play games , like not giving me the money for my dog’s eye surgery. So I euthanized her instead. Then, she approves the 1,000,00 This bitch is crazy. But legal. Hiring a lawyer is 2,000. Not to mention her work is free to me. I’m older and she’s killing me with stupidity. It is her control. I have to think about her. She’s controlling my money, and I’m poor.

  18. Katie Schofield says:

    Personally I think anger has a bad rep. I think we NEED to listen to it. It often has a very important and powerful message for us and quite often tells us we are being wronged. I think it’s important to acknowledge it, listen to what it’s telling us and act on it. That’s not to say act on it in a destructive way, but rather, in such a way that can fulfil the need that the anger is pointing our attention to. Do we need to have a difficult conversation with someone? Do we need to break up with that person? Do we need to explain to someone how their actions hurt our feelings? Therefore, we should never ‘ignore’ it, or try to push it away. In fact, the more we try to push something away the more it grows. It’s actually the opposite for me, it’s more about acceptance. Accepting that we feel anger. It is normal, it is a primary emotion, and we must never ignore it as it has a crucial message for us and our well-being.

  19. Destiny Christensen says:

    When you said that they are not actually present in your mind unless they are physically present I was just like okkk yesss that! Because that made me realize that people are not actually occupying my mind in a present way, and that my thoughts are part of my own evolution and that I just need to stay present and think about people doing their own thing in their own presence so that I can also live in my own presence. This was such a beautiful motivational article and I am so glad I am on this healing journey and that I came across this. Thank you so much for t

  20. Kal DeVil says:

    This is an amazing article. I used to show my anger and get into trouble, becoming the culprit instead. But now, I can deal with this kind of stuff easily without getting into more trouble. Mental peace is the most important and this helped me achieve that.
    However, when someone is pissed off and they have to read the whole article, only a few people who have enough patience can do that. I had to scroll all the way down to find a solution, only after that I read the entire thing. I know that it is the correct flow of the article but seriously, making an angry person wait is really annoying.
    But anyway, thanks to writer.

  21. Steve Grove says:

    How and where can I add my voice to others in the US and in the World to build movement toward real change? My Grand children will see a much life unless we change direction.

  22. “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… ”

    What’s wrong with that anyway though? Is that not the same as letting them go? After all, if you kill them in your mind, are they not essentially dead in your mind and therefore cease to exist?

    It could be seen as a symbolical way of letting them go while allowing the anger to be appeased in your mind without actually doing anything in real life. Like the punching bag you mentioned in the beginning of the article.

    It’s like what the Church Of Satan founder Anton LaVey does when he casts “curses” on people. The curses don’t actually work. They don’t actually kill the person in real life. But, they do however, kill the version that is alive in his head. Thus, letting them go, just in a more darker fashion.

  23. Kim says:

    This is valuable advise. However, there are multiple sides to every situation.
    There are things that happen where anger is the appropriate response – rape, child molestation, assault, harassment, etc. Anger can be powerful, positive, and appropriate.
    When we teach people (especially women) not to honor their anger, many times we are teaching them to be silent and submissive in horrible situations.
    It is indeed possible to be angry when appropriate, yet not let it take over your life. It is possible to honor your anger, yet still have gratitude and see the beauty in the small things around us.
    Let’s destigmatize justified anger. Anger can be beautiful, protective, and powerful.

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