Face the Rage

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About David Friedlander

David Friedlander is writer, father, husband, athlete, worker and a handful of other things. His writes professionally for the blog LifeEdited and recreationally for his personal blog. A longtime resident of NYC, David now lives in Beacon, NY with wife and son.


  1. “I held him as a reasonable guy and I didn’t stop holding him there until he showed up as reasonable. ”

    Wow. That line hit me pretty powerfully. It looks like you were able to find a middle way between Fight and Flight. Wow again – admiration and respect for you! Those aren’t easy instincts to overcome.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    This made my night. Treat people as they ought to behave, not how they do. It’s hard to stop expecting someone (including myself) to “be themselves” but if I want to expect more, then I should. Give the person a chance to do better. I like that.

  3. WOWZA! You definitely need to be applauded – I don’t think I could have faced someone as angry as him and walked away unscathed…

  4. John Anderson says:

    One of the scariest things on the street is someone who’s calm. Everyone expects people to either respond aggressively or grovel. Another thing that’s scary is someone who is confident when they shouldn’t be. Usually people assume they’re carrying an equalizer, which I’ve done on a few occasions, or know a martial art, which I do.

    I’ve been in a few situations like you’ve described. I’d usually let them yell and curse awhile then tell them very calmly that if they persisted in their activities, I’d kick the crap out of them. I’ve only had to do that one time. There were 7 of them and I was with 2 friends. Both were martial artists with one being the most accomplished fighter in the dojang. They should have brought more guys. You do give me something to think about and I admire your courage. I’m glad things worked out for you.

    The code of the street I grew up with was pack backs a bitch. I’ve changed neighborhood twice. Each of the three neighborhoods I’ve lived in, I’ve had to prove myself. The last two neighborhoods have only taken one incident to let people know not to mess with me. Being non-violent really reduces your chance of being incarcerated and I commend you for that, but it’s hard when people are messing with you and you have to live there. Sometimes they see reason as weakness. Just giving you a heads up.

  5. David Karpel says:

    You showed terrific self control. The Goethe quote is a challenging directive and you lived up to it. Inspiring. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. This is how I usually act. I never really thought how other people could apply it. Great article. It also works great when someone you’re working with is stress and you come across as calm and levelheaded. You’ll see their stress level go down.

  7. Dan Glenn says:

    Wow, someone had the audacity to try to run down some motherfucker crossing the street while yacking on his cell phone. Were you in a crosswalk? Did you notice the car speeding your way long before he arrive? Or a you a clueless pedestrian who thinks the world should make way for YOU?

  8. Peter von Maidenberg says:

    It used to be that you couldn’t call yourself a man until you could let another man tear you a new one. Back then of course, it was legitimate authority figures who were to be submitted to – the coaches and sergeants who had the power to vet young males or consign them to second class masculinity. The days are over when that was a universal, but it could be a skill we need to relearn – how to be calm with angry people. And later, maybe even how to express disciplined anger ourselves.

  9. Admirable, holding yourself so calmly in such a situation as this. It can be very rattling to be yelled at by a stranger at such close range. It`s a great piece of wisdom, Goethe`s, though one of the toughest to follow.

  10. Orangenostalgia says:

    It’s really stupid to “teach someone a lesson” like that. For all you knew, he could have been bleeding to death, racing to the hospital. Maybe his wife was in the back in labor. Maybe he was late for something important. Maybe he simply wants to use his freedom to drive his $80K car in a way he can enjoy. Don’t impose your righteousness on others. How he drives is none of your business. If you see a car coming fast, get the **** out of the street, idiot. It shows you as an emotionally unintelligent person who has no respect for the freedom of others. Anyway, I wish I could meet this guy. He’d probably marry me… #GuidetteProblems

  11. Karen Powers says:

    I am in a relationship with a man who has anger and violence issues. When he has expressed these behaviours in the past with other partners he has been ‘kicked to the curb’. I hold him in a place of compassion and we are now in court ordered therapy. What has come out of this is that his father was/is an alcoholic, now sober for many years. But this addiction caused the breakup of his marriage, and created a fearful childhood without help (we are both in our fifties and there was little therapy for boys in the 60′s and stigma attached to that). This is the first time that my partner has been offered a safe and compassionate place to reveal and restructure his life experiences. We are learning to dance through these places and to honor them. Thank you for this article.

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