If you have to speak to someone in a position of authority, and you are afraid you might irritate him/her, starting with an apology will frequently prevent their becoming angry.
For example, you can say, "I realize this may get you angry, but I feel I need to say it." By telling someone you might make him angry, paradoxically this will frequently prevent his becoming angry.
(Ralbag; Hadaios Vehamidos 26:14; Rabbi Pliskin's Gateway to Happiness, p.263)
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