I'm new here – Tired of being short-tempered

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Nicolaas 6 months, 1 week ago.

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    I’m so tired of being impatient and short-tempered. How do I find inner peace?



    Der Nicolaas:

    No quick and easy fix. It will take some insight into what your anger is about, evaluating your current relationships with the people in your life and seeing what relationships need to end or change. It will take  learning to communicate more effectively, asking for what you need, learning to be assertive, learning to evaluate people and choose the people in your life so to create win-win, mutually respectful relationships.

    Do you want to start here with any of the things I mentioned?




    I am a widower, who is introverted. I have a “short fuse” at times at work.



    From the Mayo Clinic website
    1. Think before you speak
    In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.

    2. Once you’re calm, express your anger
    As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but nonconfrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.

    3. Get some exercise
    Physical activity can help reduce stress that can cause you to become angry. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.

    4. Take a timeout
    Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.

    5. Identify possible solutions
    Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.

    6. Stick with ‘I’ statements
    To avoid criticizing or placing blame — which might only increase tension — use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes” instead of “You never do any housework.”

    7. Don’t hold a grudge
    Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation and strengthen your relationship.

    8. Use humor to release tension
    Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Use humor to help you face what’s making you angry and, possibly, any unrealistic expectations you have for how things should go. Avoid sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.

    9. Practice relaxation skills
    When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as “Take it easy.” You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.

    10. Know when to seek help
    Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Seek help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  Mark.


    Dear Nicholaas:

    Can you give me an example of a short-fuse incident at work (or elsewhere), what was said and done in any once such incident?







    Always, 5 minutes before the 4:00pm deadline, the packaging dept. rushes to leave me several oversized boxes to bring downstairs for the FedEx driver. I frequently drop the “F” bomb under my breathe. Driving to/from work, there is always some clown who makes a dangerous move in his/her car (usually an SUV) at the last second and nearly hits my vehicle.



    Dear Nicolaas:

    When the packaging dept. gives you an assignment at the last moment, that is annoying, and when it happens again and again, I suppose the annoyance grows, because this dysfunction is not a rare occurrence, it is frequent. When unsafe drivers risk your life and your property, understandably, the anger grows.

    Dysfunction in the workplace is most common, and so is poor driving.

    The serenity can come handy: “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference”-

    – -things you can change:

    – if you haven’t done so already, talk to the packaging dept. or to a person superior to the packaging dept., and tell them this last-moment operation is not necessary and it .. hurts employee morale, that is, it pisses you off. Be assertive that way.

    – take a different route to and from work, if there is an alternative route, be it a longer one that drivers who rush… are not inclined to take. Drivers who don’t rush are less inclined to drive unsafely.

    – make it to work earlier, just to avoid last minutes drivers, those who rush, that is.

    –things you cannot change:

    – there will always be some unsafe drivers sharing the road, so make sure you drive defensively, be very alert and attentive. You can’t change how others drive, make sure you drive in a way that minimizes your risk of accidents and injuries.

    – dysfunction at work and elsewhere is not the exception, but the rule. When you encounter such, and you feel angry, that anger is supposed to motivate you to do something to solve a problem. Ask yourself: is there any action I need to take to solve this problem. If there is, and it is a reasonable action, take it. If there isn’t, say to yourself: there is nothing for me to do. This thought (and conviction) will cause the anger to lessen and even be gone.





    Thank you anita.



    You are welcome, Nicolaas.




    Hi Nicolaas

    We work for that which no work is required. In the Buddhist tradition the practice of mindfulness would help. You appear to be aware of the moments you become short tempered  the next step would be make a choice in that moment not to react but to respond.

    Like you I tend to get annoyed with last minute work requests and drivers who driving I judge to be idiotic 🙂 I realize a while back that in those moments what I was really angry about was a lack of control. That life was showing me very clearly that I was not its center, that I was smaller then small… I’ve learned long ago that control of outside influences is a illusion and that the best we can do is influence our inner experiences – be the change we want to see…

    I continue to be annoyed at other drives. A part of me enjoys my impotent anger. Its kind of a outlet. I know what I’m really frustrated about and after the outburst I take a breathe and have a good laugh at myself for thinking that my needs, my plan, my views ‘must‘ matter more, must be more important, then anyone else’s. (that is not to say they don’t matter, the problem is the must. )

    This may sound trite however if you want to stop being short-tempered stop being short-tempered.  When you falter, which you will, don’t beat yourself up about –  just another form of short-temperance. Learn better do better, repeat, and have some laughs along the way.




    Thanks Peter, well said!

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