How do you understand and handle your own rash emotional reactions in everyday situations?
Our prompt comes from Interpersonal Skills Stack Exchange user Yvette Colomb (original and abridged version ccbysa3.0):
I’ve always had a short fuse. I’ve been quick to rise and lose my temper, but on the flip side I’m quick to get over it when others lose their cool. The problem is that others usually are not, especially if they are on the receiving end of it.
Having a short temper and saying things in anger is the number one cause of the relationship difficulties in my life, and it’s caused more problems and heart ache than I could possibly set out to achieve if I was consciously trying to do so.
Most importantly, it can happen with family or close friends, when somehow a discussion leads to someone making an insult towards me (which I don’t tolerate well) and from there it can escalate. There are definitely certain topics that will frequently lead to these types of escalations, as well as when I don’t want to discuss something and the person persists. It can also happen when the other person argues with me – about who I am or my motive for saying or doing something – and their opinion is negative.
I have great difficulty expressing my irritation without it escalating between the other person and myself to a point I do not manage well emotionally.
What can I do to help circumvent or prevent my anger building to a point I lose my temper and say things I regret? What skills can I use to exit the discussion gracefully to find space to calm?
Please share any comments you have! If you have a submission of an everyday situation where it’s hard for you to be empathetic or compassionate, write us at: firstname.lastname@example.org