Practical Philosophy

Never lose your temper in public

When Napoleon publicly lost his temper, his minister Tellyrand rightly predicted “This is the beginning of the end.”

Losing your temper in public always looks ridiculous. It shows others that we cannot control ourselves – and a person who cannot control themselves is not worthy of respect.

The truth is: Anger always looks out of proportion.

In the heat of the moment it may feel like we are standing up for the right thing. However, other people around us have no idea on the background of the situation, or share the exact same feelings as we do. To others, it often just looks like some crazy angry guy unnecessarily losing his cool. Remember rage-quitters in Call of Duty?

Instead, a better way is to always be mindful of how your behaviour looks from the outside. Wear the crown and always act with dignity and self-respect. Be mindful and learn to control your own emotions, or let them control you.

Notes from The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

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