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How to control your *@!^% temper – Like a Pro

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

Has a colleague or customer TOTALLY PISSED YOU OFF? On the verge of violence or extreme anger…? You know how it will end (badly): so here’s how to control your temper before it gets the better of you.

First thing: it’s OK to be emotional about a situation. Your brewing temper is a response.

But it needn’t be the only way you can choose to react. Rather than blowing your top, you could choose to respond with a level head and resolve the situation calmly, before you make an ass of yourself. And believe me, people who have a temper really do make an ass of themselves – and lose the respect of colleagues or customers to boot.

Be like a Fonzie – Stay Cool

Keeping your composure during stressful or pressured situations encourages other people to listen and participate in a solution – even if its just to pin their ears back whilst you tell them what impact the situation has had on you.

Easier said than done, I grant you.

But try these tactics…

  1. If the red mist has already descended… walk away. Take a breather somewhere away from the situation and other people. You won’t resolve the situation in this state – and instead probably make it worse. You will make an ass of yourself. Don’t come back until your breathing and pulse normalize.
  2. Have perspective on the impact… sometimes we get angry because of we’ve been slighted, dis-respected, ignored, or for some other illogical reason. If the true impact is insignificant, get a grip. There is no point in getting angry over something that ultimately doesn’t matter.
  3. Look at the situation from the other person’s perspective… consider for a minute, did the other person deliberately set out to cause you trouble? Was it an accident, instead? A clumsy mistake? Poor judgment? What state are they in? Can you make allowances…? Do you need to take it so personally?
  4. Before you speak, think… do you need to use angry words? Emotional words? Curses? Loud noises? Or can you say what you want to say in a more constructive and positive way, still getting an objective point across?
  5. Wind the clock forward… a simple test of how important is my anger now is to wind the clock forward in your head a few months – or a year – and then think about your situation then. Will you still be mad about this situation then? If the answer is NO, then you probably have nothing major to get angry about now.

Hope these tactics work for you!

Control your temper like a pro to become a more positive person, more likeable by colleagues, less stressed and a happier person.

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This post is part 14 of 22 in the series Effective Communication
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About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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