The ever-insightful School of Life offers an animated explanation of anger, noting that its roots lie not in negativity, but rather in a sunny optimism and devoted faith in the world. The expression of agitation occurs when the path to reaching the way things should be is impeded, such as arguments, lost keys and delayed flights.
Fred could learn to get a lot less angry – if only he learnt to stamp on all his hopes more effectively. Most of us are, in many ways, a little bit like Fred. But our agitation isn’t permanent or unbudgeable. It is only the result of the sudden defeat of our expectations. So, in order to grow reliably calmer, we need to get a lot less optimistic about how life might go. Pessimism is the cure for anger.