Everyone experiences bad temper moments or days. It is how you handle a bad temper that can make or break the rest of the day. If you find yourself angry most of the time and flying into a rage, the problem may need to be addressed. Bad tempers cause problems at work, with family and with friends. Learn ways to curb your or someone else’s temper and move forward in a positive direction.
What is a Bad Temper?
No one can make a claim of never exhibiting bad temper. Everyone has bad days where nothing seems to go right. The pressures of work and the stress of family are part of life. Anger is as much a human trait as happiness. If you become extremely angry for little or no reason, exhibiting displays of uncontrollable anger, it is important to address the issue. If you are not sure if you have a bad temper, take a look at the signs of the ill tempered and answer yes or no.
- By the end of the day, are your muscles sore and tight from being too tense?
- Have you ever been told that you are temperamental?
- Do people often tell you to “chill out,lighten up, calm down, or get a grip?”
- Do you keep emotions tightly corked? Do you find that you cannot open up to others and share what is bothering you?
- Do you toss and turn at night, unable to fall asleep or stay asleep?
- Do you feel misunderstood?
- When you speak, do you feel as though you are heard?
- Do you attack people verbally on a regular basis?
- Do you often wish you could attack someone physically?
- Has a friend or family member ever told you that you hurt them physically or verbally?
- Do you feel alcohol or drugs help you calm down?
People become angry and most, if not all, would have to answer yes to some of the questions. If you feel angry much of the time, however, and allow a bad temper to rule your life, you are paying a price. Adults throw temper tantrums just as a two-year-old child would. A co-worker who becomes so angry that she throws items from her desk or swears and shouts disrupts the entire office.
The Cost of Having A Bad Temper
Continual anger leads to unhappiness, physical problems, and emotional stagnation. It requires a lot of physical energy to have a bad temper. Blood pressure rises; heart rates increase; and you might sweat, shake and feel muscles draw up into a tense bundle of nerves. Stress, anger and temper can lead to heart disease.
The emotional cost of a bad temper often charges too much from those you love most. Your spouse, children and friends receive the brunt of the cutting edge of the sword. Taking frustrations and irritability out on others jeopardizes relationships.
Losing your cool at work on a regular basis sends a bad message to your peers and to your superiors. If climbing the corporate ladder is on your agenda, displaying temper tantrums will not serve you.
Besides turning your colleagues against you, you may be overlooked for the next promotion due to lack of control.
A bad temper simply means you let others control your emotions. You put someone else in the driver’s seat of your life. Dwelling on confrontations for hours and even days takes up your valuable time. You can choose to become angry from what you perceive as a slight or you can choose to remain calm and later forget it.
How to Manage a Bad Temper
If you know you have a bad temper, there is no reason not to try to get control of it. Some tips for controlling your temper begin with recognizing triggers. What sets off a temper tirade? Pinpoint the times when you have felt out of control with anger. What was happening? Who was present?
When you feel yourself getting angrier and about to burst, take a time out. If you are at work, step out of the office for a breath of fresh air. Head to the breakroom for a cup of coffee or a glass of water. Remove yourself from the situation.
Count to ten. It sounds silly, but it actually works. By taking your mind off the situation and concentrating on counting to ten, you gain control of your overloaded emotions and give yourself time to relax.
Outside of work, exerting physical energy keeps the emotions in check. Rather than lash out at your partner or children, go for a power walk, jog or take a spin on your bike. Move out of the situation and into an acceptable way to diffuse the moment.
Begin a soothing hobby that helps you relax. Painting, sculpting, collecting stamps, listening to music, writing, or yoga require concentration, but calm the nerves.
Deep-breathing techniques may help you calm down while in the moment. Count to ten and, at the same time, fill your lungs with fresh air, slowly exhaling. Learn calming techniques and practice de-stressing.
Do not hold grudges. Once the confrontation or anger motivator ceases, let it go. Remember, no one thinks or behaves exactly like you. It is unrealistic to expect anyone to mirror you perfectly.
Diffusing a Bad Temper
What should you do when you are on the receiving end of someone’s bad temper? Staying out of the way is best, but in a work environment, that may not be possible. You cannot just avoid your spouse, either. Try a few techniques, but always keep in mind that you do not have to be subjected to a bad temper. Leave the room when a co-worker’s anger spills over and becomes rage. Calmly tell your colleague that you will be at your desk when he or she is ready to continue the discussion.
If an accusation comes with a flared temper, forget trying to defend yourself. The angry person has already made up his or her mind. No amount of correcting unfair accusations will get through during the tirade.
Do not suggest that the angry person get a grip or chill out. In fact, your best bet is to remain silent. Do not argue; do not hurl back names or accusations. Do not allow the temper-tantrum- throwing adult to pull you into the drama. If you possess a quick wit, try using humor to deflate the hot-air balloon that is about to burst.
If you have a bad temper, learn how to deal with it. If you know someone who flies into rages at the drop of a hat, learn how to deflate the storm. Everyone gets angry at times, but not everyone allows it to escalate into out-of-control temper tantrums. Learn how to deal with anger. Get rid of bad feelings by talking it out with a close friend or your spouse. Harboring ill will hurts you more than it does the person it is aimed at. If, after trying various ways to control bad temper days, you just cannot stop losing your cool, it is time to seek professional counseling. Learning to live a happy life free of grudges and anger gives you the opportunity to get your life back under control.