Do you have a temper? Do you shout, rage and act ugly toward others?
Most of us have slammed a few egos in our time. We've screamed or stomped to make a point.
When we're really young, say under 25, most of us can act pretty stupid just breaking up with a dating partner.
But later on, most of us get a grip on ourselves. Maturity takes over. For some, though, anger rages on.
If you're guilty of yelling, stomping and raging to get your way, ask yourself these questions:
• "If I died today, what would people remember?" Truth is, you'll be remembered as a jerk.
• "Do I really feel proud of myself?" Screaming at your spouse or family might feel good for 10 seconds. But after the pain has settled down, don't you feel kind of sick about the loss of control?
• "Who taught me this behavior?" Keep in mind that we cannot act out behaviors we've never seen.
If you have a temper, try these techniques to cool down:
Vent your anger properly. Write about your pain on paper, and pour out every anxiety, fear and disappointment and then shred or delete the document.
Tell your family when you're stressed. Give them warning ahead of time. Tell them you need space, peace or understanding.
Develop a good sense of humor. Channel the pain into jokes and use light-heartedness as an antidote. Humor keeps life's real issues from getting overly serious.
Accept your weaknesses. We all have them. If you're not making tons of money or your hair is falling out, embrace those facts. Love yourself completely, and you'll act out less stress on others.
Judi Hopson and Emma Hopson are authors of a stress management book. Ted Hagen is a family psychologist.