How to Manage a Short Temper

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Anger is a common emotion that almost everyone will go through at some point in their life. It serves as a protective mechanism against potential threats. Nevertheless, if you notice that you frequently display unmistakable signs of extreme anger, you might have a short temper. It could be that you get frustrated with a server who messes up your order or that customer service puts you on hold for the fourth time. These instances may indicate something beyond the ordinary and more serious.


A short temper is not a diagnosed condition; rather, it is more of a genetic trait or behavior. It can be seen as a buildup of energy that is directed in the wrong direction. Due to its nonspecific nature and sudden emergence, it can be challenging to address it effectively. Surprisingly, these emotions could also be indications of depression and/or anxiety.

While you may not immediately associate a short temper with conditions typically associated with “sadness,” if your outbursts are unpredictable or seem to have no apparent cause, it may be a sign that further exploration is needed, preferably with the assistance of a professional.

Signs of a Short Temper

To effectively manage a short temper, it is crucial to be able to identify the signs and symptoms. Typically, these episodes of anger arise suddenly, often without any prior warning. 

  • Become easily irritated.
  • Experience shortness of breath when angry.
  • Notice blurred vision during moments of upset.
  • Witness an increase in blood pressure during outbursts.
  • Have heart palpitations when confronted with the source of their anger.

A short temper often arises suddenly and explosively, catching both the individual and those around them off guard. These intense emotional outbursts can sometimes lead to feelings of embarrassment for the person expressing their anger.

Navigating the Storm: Strategies for Managing a Short Temper

Managing a short temper is an essential skill for maintaining healthy relationships and personal well-being. Recognizing the signs of rising anger is the first step in this journey. When faced with frustration, take a deliberate pause—physically stepping back and mentally regaining composure. Deep-breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques can be powerful tools to diffuse immediate tension. Identifying triggers and addressing them proactively helps prevent recurrent explosions of anger. Effective communication skills play a pivotal role; expressing feelings assertively rather than aggressively fosters understanding. Seeking constructive solutions to problems, rather than dwelling on irritations, contributes to a more positive mindset. Establishing a regular stress-management routine, whether through exercise, meditation, or other activities, builds resilience over time. Managing a short temper is an ongoing process that requires self-reflection, dedication, and a commitment to personal growth.

Negative Effects of a Short Temper

A short temper can have detrimental effects on a person’s overall well-being. It not only impacts their mental and emotional state but also affects their relationships, physical health, and daily lives. Here are some of the negative consequences associated with a short temper:

Strained Relationships

Outbursts of anger can damage relationships with friends, family, and coworkers. People may feel afraid, hurt, or resentful, leading to a breakdown in communication and trust.

Emotional Distress

Constant anger and irritability can cause chronic stress and emotional turmoil. It may contribute to feelings of guilt, regret, and shame after outbursts, creating a cycle of negative emotions.

Health Problems

Frequent anger can take a toll on physical health. It has been linked to increased risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, and other stress-related ailments. Additionally, the tension and strain resulting from anger can lead to headaches, muscle pain, and digestive issues.

Impaired Decision Making

A short temper can cloud judgment and impair decision-making abilities. When anger takes over, rational thinking often becomes difficult, leading to impulsive actions or regrettable choices.

Reduced Productivity

Intense anger episodes can disrupt focus, concentration, and productivity. It becomes challenging to perform well at work or meet personal goals when anger consumes a significant portion of one’s attention and energy.

Legal and Social Consequences

Uncontrolled anger can lead to aggressive or violent behavior, potentially resulting in legal issues and a damaged reputation. The negative impact on social interactions and professional opportunities can be long-lasting.

How to Manage a Short Temper

Having a short temper can significantly impact your relationships in a negative manner. Gaining a better understanding of what triggers your anger is crucial for gaining control over your temper. If you struggle with a short temper, here are a few tips to help you maintain control:

Identify Triggers

Take the time to recognize your specific triggers. Notice if your temper tends to be shorter in certain situations, and try to understand the underlying reasons. It’s important to analyze the root causes of your anger rather than just focusing on the surface issue. Mental health struggles often have multiple layers and complexities.

Maintain a Journal

Keeping a journal can serve multiple purposes. It helps you identify your triggers and detect behavioral patterns that may be difficult to notice without intentional observation. Your journal can also be a valuable tool when discussing your experiences with a mental health professional. Providing specific information allows them to offer better support and guidance. 

Practice Positive Responses

Engaging in practicing positive responses can be beneficial. By rehearsing how you want to respond, you equip yourself with effective actions to react appropriately when the moment arises. Consider practicing and role-playing with trusted individuals.

Communication is Key

If you find yourself struggling with a short temper, it’s important to openly discuss it with your loved ones. Those closest to you may observe aspects of your behavior that you might have missed. They may notice patterns or dynamics that are not apparent to you. Talk through situations where you find yourself struggling, and seek support from your trusted support system, including family, friends, or professionals. Everyone needs support, so do not hesitate to use the people you feel safe with to discuss your challenges and share your goals.

Seek professional help. 

There are cases when a short temper can be a symptom that a person is dealing with anxiety or depression. It is important to address these mental health issues right away. It may be hard to accept this, but knowing the underlying cause of a short temper paves the way to a better and more effective treatment. 

If you are considering therapy, visit Mindshift Psychological Services. Check out their website to learn more about their treatment programs. You can contact them at (714) 584-9700 to schedule an appointment. 

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