Some people want to attack you, but not to be recognized for being hostile. This often happens with journalists, I've noticed.
What you can do is totally ignore their hostility and only respond to what they are actually saying, literally. This renders them powerless if they are not willing to communicate directly.
Also, they like to imply
things that might upset you. What you can do is you is either ignore it or call them out on it. For example I read an interview
with an old rock musician in Denmark. Many Danes have the idea that it's somehow odious to want to make money, and this journalist personfied that belief. The whole interview was questions based on the assumption that it would be a bad thing if the musician was playing their old hits because it would give him a better income.
The musician handled it pretty well, without getting hostile himself. But he did seem to buy into the unspoken premise. What he could have done was making the journalist state his premise explicitly, like asking: "so what you're saying is that if I make any money on playing the music we made back then, this would be immoral of me?" Or maybe even "so you're saying that making money is a bad thing?" This forces the other guy to either back down or reveal his true face.
I have to admit that this journalist had the game down: he asks the drummer who has had "the least success" since the old band broke up thirty years ago, him or the guitarist. (Those are the two who have not had any hits since.) This is tricky: it's a seemingly factual question, but only designed to piss off the interviewee and make him feel small. It's so covert that it is easy to miss the intention and yet let it trigger anger. The answer the drummer gave was "I don't know, but I think I've been playing more". Which is a good answer that neither invalidates himself or his friend. Another way could have been to laugh loudly and say: "haha, so what you want to do is to make me say either that I'm a failure, or Franz is a failure? Good one mate, very funny."
There was a TV interview many years ago of Leonard Cohen. He had stipulated that he woudn't answer any questions about how to interpret his lyrics, and yet the journalist kept asking questions about just that. What Leonard did was get the journalist to play the thumb game with him, what's it called, where you lock fingers and try to catch the other guy's thumb with your own. This not only totally disarmed the journalist, but also in a subtle way the mock battle of thumbs symbolized what the journalist was trying to do to him. Very nice.
Of course one might say, what if you do
1: Keep your cool and continue to be friendly. This impresses any listeners and disarms the would-be-opponent.
2: Later, work on letting your anger go. This is a long process, but it's very good for your health in the long run to keep at it. A lot of anger is very bad for your health when you get older.
Pascal commented:In Japan, they have special "shops" where people can come and break lots of porcelain (cheap) items to vent off. Most customers are stressed-up employees. For a small added fee, they can even have the face of their boss printed on the plates, vases, etc. It's not only very popular, but completely accepted by the general public. Considered perfectly normal. :-? I've gotten very, very good over the years at this "virtual thumb game" of conversation. Thanks to the national fondness of covert verbal aggression. First and essential step is to immediately spot it, or expect that it may be played on you. I've gotten so good, that I can manage to give "the other" plenty opportunities to save face and gently back off unembarrassed.
It's true, and I forgot to add it to the article: spotting when it happens is half the game.
What a very Japanese thing it is to consider it normal to be eaten up with unexpressable anger.