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Frequently my friend will invite me to play a game that we both enjoy. It has a fairly venomous reputation for having a toxic community, and while there are exceptions I'm forced to agree with the reputation.
Still, for the most part I think I am able to stay positive and we both have fun.
However, when my friend plays the more stressful roles in the game, where he is more in the spotlight for his performance, he quickly descends into being extremely irritable, even though usually he is a beacon of positivity. It becomes obvious almost immediately that he is not having fun playing the game when he gets like this, and he has to very obviously restrain himself from snapping out in anger at his friends, who we all know he cares about.
I want to continue enjoying this game with my friend, but more importantly I want to help him to continue having fun, even when he plays the roles that he finds stressful, or performs poorly.
I have tried ignoring his situation, but he just stays on the same path. I have also tried to make jokes to lighten the mood, and mention positive things, to focus on the silver-lining, but this ranged from making things worse to keeping things the same.
I am not particularly concerned about the effect this has on me, or my other friends. Rather, answers to this question should try to help me help my friend deal with his anger going forward. He is a very reasonable individual and I expect that he would be amenable to many suggestions.
What can I do for my friend to help him de-stress and have fun in these circumstances?