Being with People Who Love Anger


I don’t like to be angry. I don’t like to be around anger or to witness fights. But, I know that my feelings about that aren’t the same as some folks. Some people, as far as I can tell, enjoy being angry and enjoy fighting.

These people may not say that they enjoy it, but the fact that they continually look for a reason to be angry, fight at the slightest provocation, and will turn even a happy occurrence into a reason to feel slighted, suggests that they do. Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush of the drama. Maybe it has something to do with endorphins and dopamine. I don’t know.

Dealing with people who love conflict is difficult if you find conflict and drama to be challenging, sad, or anxiety-producing. And, when the people are the kind of individuals that will even kick a gift horse in the knees, it’s troubling.

I’ve been working on how to manage these folks in my own life, since I do not enjoy drama, and I have a few strategies that I’m trying.

  • I’m really working to remember that the need to be angry is theirs. It is not about me. I don’t need to feel attacked. I just need to keep in mind that it’s not about what I did or didn’t do or how I failed. They would be mad regardless.
  • I’m trying to keep in mind that these people are lovable and wonderful, even when it seems that they struggle to find anything lovable and wonderful in anything or anyone else.
  • I do what I can to walk away from the situations where someone is being like that. It doesn’t always work (in recent weeks, I’ve gotten angry emails that are focused on my unwillingness to engage in the fight). Sometimes, that means I lose the opportunity to note the good things, but when it’s really creating a problem for me, it’s best to remove myself.
  • I aim to stay calm myself. It does not always work. At times, I can stay calm in the moment and then come home and release a torrent of frustration on my poor spouse. This isn’t the best. I’m working on it.
  • I (and this one is a struggle) am pondering ways to keep from letting others make me more and more upset at the hostile angry people. Even the drama of what seems to be righteous anger is not healthy for me.
  • I get to as many yoga classes or home sessions as I can at times when the drama cycle seems particularly intense. Yoga helps me to find what is calm in myself in the midst of the swirl.

Do you love drama, or are you a less-drama-please kind of person? Does anger make you feel powerful or distressed? How do you deal with the anger-lovers in your world? I would love any tips you have!

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