On Anger

This is incredible to me. We usually see pessimists as negative both outwardly and internally. Seneca would say that they are internally optimists and as a result of those high expectations of others and the world around them they are set up for constant disappointment.

This seems counterintuitive when you first hear it, that pessimists expect more from reality, but it explains their inevitable disappointment. Optimists pre-emptively take shortcomings into account. 1

As much as I’ve learned about setting proper expectations in the last year, this helps me understand that someone’s anger is due to their expectations, correct or otherwise, not being met. Simple as that.

  1. Not to say that we should constantly be aiming low as a protection mechanism. You simply need to be prepared for something going wrong or not living up to your expectations, and dealing with that as best as you can. ↩︎