It’s human nature to get angry sometimes for various reasons. The Chinese word for getting mad or angry is 生气 (shēngqì) or 发脾气 (fāpíqi). 脾 (pí) is the spleen. It seems the ancient Chinese viewed anger as being a sort of qi coming out of the spleen when one gets fumed. Therefor losing one’s temper is apt to be bad for one’s health.
When a friend is mad about something, you are apt to advise him:
Don’t be mad.
At some small local Chinese eateries, you may see plastered on the wall a paper poster with the following lines on it. The colloquial verses are meant to help reduce quarrels between married couples, but the unknown author speaks truth that applies to everyone else as well.
莫生气 (Mò Shēngqì Don’t Be Mad)
Rénshēng jiù xiàng yī chǎng xì,
Life is like a theatrical play;
yīnwei yǒu yuán cái xiāng jù.
we’ve met because of fate.
Xiāng fú dào lǎo bù róngyì.
It’s not easy to have come thus far through thick and thin,
shìfǒu gèng gāi qù zhēnxī?
shouldn’t we cherish our relationship the more?
Wèile xiǎoshì fāpíqi,
Getting mad over trivial things,
huítóu xiǎng xiǎng yòu hébì?
when you think about it, what for?
Biérén shēngqì wǒ bù qì.
Others may get mad, but I won’t;
Qì chū bìng lái wú rén tì.
’cause if I get sick, who’s to replace me?
Wǒ ruò qì sǐ shéirúyì?
Should I die from fury, who will benefit?
Kuàng qiě shāng shēn yòu fèilì.
Besides, it’s too exhausting and strenuous to get mad.
Línjū qīn péng bùyào bǐ.
Don’t try to measure up to neighbors, relatives and friends.
érsūn suǒshì yóu tā qù.
As for the petty bothers of the children, let them be.
Chīkǔ xiǎnglè zàiyīqǐ.
Together we’ll share our joys and hardships,
shénxian xiànmù hǎo bànlǚ.
and let the gods envy our good companionship.