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Tips to help you deal with adult temper problems

by DrPrem Jagyasi

Temper tantrums are a universal phenomenon, and they do not depend upon age and situation. Toddlers throw anger tantrums and so do many people in their late adulthood. Anger is one of the most intense emotions, and also one that can cause the most damage, both mentally as well as physically. Anger management is a topic of discussion at workplaces and at preschools, simply because temper tantrums can lead to significant issues if not worked upon.

For individuals, who know they have anger management issues, certain tips can help assist them in this endeavor. In today’s fast paced world, anger management has taken a whole new meaning- simply because most people are triggered so easily today. The threshold to contain oneself is much lower than it was before, and as such, measures need to be taken.

To make things easier the following tips are divided into two categories:

How to manage your anger


Anger as an emotion is a product of an individual’s thought process: hence it would be easier to implement certain techniques on oneself first, before moving ahead.

Understand the current situation: Anger is situational or circumstantial whichever way you look at it. But one must realize that the reason one gets angry at that given moment has got to do with a lot more than just the situation. Frustration builds up, even external factors like being tired or hungry can take its toll and result in a temper tantrum. It is important to understand the situation one is in.

Understand the psychology of triggers: A tantrum is often preceded by something that triggers it. It could be anything from alcohol and drugs to being asked to do a repetitive chore like cleaning the dishes or putting out the bins.  One has to make a diligent effort in understanding their triggers, and one must work at them. For a raging alcoholic, it means realizing not to drink with people.

Few physical exercises: Breathing deeply through the nose results in an automatic sense of composure. If one realizes that they might be about to have an episode of temper tantrum, it could be useful to stop and breathe deeply and understand the situation at hand. Breathing deeply is known to help with stress and anxiety; it could only do you good. Meditation, as a habit, is also useful as it helps with easing thoughts and having a clear mind.

How to manage the anger of others


As much as it helps to self medicate in situations related to temper tantrums, it is in public situations that true anger management skills are tested.

Confrontation by composure: This isn’t a Tibetan sermon or the ingredients of Mahatma Gandhi’s non violent approach, it is a manner in which a situation can deescalate dramatically: By maintain a calm demeanor and speaking at a normal pace and voice, it is possible to pacify the other person who is screaming his lungs out. Though much easier said than done, a meditative approach is often the best.

Enquire: An adult temper tantrum can be resolved by simply asking what it is that bothers the other person.  Poor communications can be a killer, especially in the middle of a heated discussion. Moreover, many a times, as stated earlier, a person is simply unleashing his steam due to his/her own issues.

Use better words: As strange as it may sound, words really do have an effect on the human psyche. For example saying “I understand” can have an effect on the opposition who would be taken aback by this reaction, simply because he hasn’t experienced anyone saying this before. Using the words “us” or “we” will make the other person realize that they are on the same page as far as tolerance goes.

Respecting boundaries and making amends:


Having stated the previous point, it is also important to realize that there is a boundary for everyone including the self. Letting other people run over you is being a pushover which isn’t the ultimate goal of soothing anger at all. One must let the other party realize that they can be upset but not walk over you. Likewise it is important to realize that if the mistake is genuinely from one’s side, it should be important to make amends then and there- which usually means an apology.

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