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How to control temper?


laboheme
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This one is hard to describe.I'm not a screamer, I don't swear at people, no physical expressions of anger...But when I'm annoyed/angry/frustrated/upset, I tend to make others feel...guilty, I guess. Just lousy about themselves in general. Obviously, that causes problems, because I don't really think about what I say and only then realize that I really hurt the person. An example: my living arrangements didn't work out the way they should, so when talking to my would-be roommate, I hissed that "I TRUSTED YOU, and here's where it got me." And he wasn't to blame at all, and other people's trust is VERY important to him, so obviously he was hurt. I do the same thing with my parents, too. Just recently I was frustrated with something and told them that they wouldn't know how to help anyway, they were never involved in my life. (In reality, they gave me everything I ever wanted and more...) And so on and so forth.

 

I would almost prefer reacting in a way that makes the other person angry, so that we could at least yell at each other or something...rather than this, where they end up feeling horrible and are almost driven to tears. I hate this about myself, I really do, and of course it plays a part in ruining certain relationships -- and in fact, I only seem to do this with people I'm close to, because I know how to make them feel bad without resorting to generic insults. So I admit I have a problem...now how do I fix it? Most anger management seems to focus on physically destructive behavior, but I don't break things or get into fights...I just emotionally hurt others and make them feel guilty for no reason.

 

Any suggestions on how I can improve my self-control? Books I should try? Exercises? Or should I follow the advice given to Adam Sandler in Anger Management? ;-)

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I am guilty of this as well.....it's called the "Guilt Trip" syndrome..LOL

 

I don't know if there's anything you can DO per say. I guess think before you open your mouth..and think of how it's going to hurt the other person. Also...remember once you say something you can NEVER take it back..so be prepared to live with the consequences of your actions. Words cut much deeper than physical wounds sometimes. I guess what we do is called "emotional abuse"......

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I'd suggest two things. First, get yourself into the habit of taking a breath before you speak, expecially in a moment of anger. That breath can interrupt the flow of what you would have said without filtering.

 

Second, and related, is to train yourself to start every sentence of complaint with the words "I feel." That will let you express your emotions at the moment in a non-threatening way, and brings the other person in as a helper. It's much better than starting with "You..." where the risk of saying something hurtful is large.

 

Hope this helps.

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I've snapped at people in the past and felt bad later.

These days I practice doing nothing as a tool for life. As much as the stores are stacked with self-help books for every possible problem, I always revert to nothing at all.

 

If I get really pissed I just do nothing. Last week my motorbike died in a rural area on the roadside. Doing nothing saved me from a tantrum. My family gets to me. I just ignore it. Lots of times we make a big stink about something without having any effect. How many people say they had to fight for everything they have. I notice they often fight despite what they have.

 

I have a friend fighting anxiety problems, and I suspect they'd be miles ahead by not fighting it, but letting go, and doing nothing.

Try it. Next time you want to lob a brick through someone's skull, take a breath and do nothing. It works, and it saves energy for things that need something.

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Good suggestions so far.

 

IMO, guilt is a manipulative tool to get what one wants. At some point, it must have worked for you. You said something to the effect "you are bad", and the other caved and gave you what you wanted.

 

What sort of style do you have for asking and expressing what you want? Are you direct, or do you give 'hints' and sometimes find that others misinterpret what you saying?

Just asking 'cause in my work with my own anger - a more direct, verbal and physical sort - I found holes in what I thought I was communicating, and what I actually was. I got mad a lot bc my expectations were being blown so often - unrealistic expectations.

 

Journalling is good. Taking a look at the situation objectively is good - like you are doing, and at least you can see that you are hurting people and it affects you! In blind rage even that goes unseen.

 

Correct yourself as you go. If you catch yourself doing it, simply apologize and let it go. You'll get better with practice.

 

anyways, that's my 2 cents for now. If you kick this guilt thing, will you go have a nice chat with my grandma for me? tc

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Thanks so much, I really appreciate your responses! I'll definitely give some of the tips a try, I love that they are so simple yet I couldn't come up with them myself. Also, a special thanks to Lady Bugg -- I would have never thought of the term "emotional abuse" in my situation, but knowing how to identify something really helps when seeking self-help information!

 

If you kick this guilt thing, will you go have a nice chat with my grandma for me? tc

Grandmas really do have a knack for making one feel guilty, hm?

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