How To Deal With a Short Tempered Person –  Understanding Anger Management

short-tempered person

We all come from different walks of life, with our own unique experiences and perspectives shaping who we are. As we navigate through this diverse social spectrum, understanding the behavior of the people around us becomes crucial in fostering harmonious relationships. One common challenge that many of us face is dealing with short-tempered individuals, whether they be friends, family members, or colleagues.

What is Short Temperament?

Short temperament, often referred to as a ‘short fuse’, is characterized by quick and intense reactions of frustration, impatience, or anger. These reactions can seem disproportionate to the situation at hand, and often lead to conflicts or misunderstandings. Everyone has a different level of temperament; some might be more patient, while others may have a lower threshold for frustration. When someone has a short temper, it means that their threshold for frustration is relatively low.

Characteristics Of a Short Tempered Person

A short-tempered person has distinct characteristics that set them apart. These are the several common traits:

  1. Impatience: Short-tempered people often exhibit impatience. They want things to occur immediately and can get frustrated by waiting.
  2. Quick to Anger: They tend to get angry or annoyed over small things. Their threshold for irritation is generally lower than average.
  3. Difficulty Holding Back: If they dislike something, they are usually unable to hold their tongue. They’re outspoken about their dislikes and aren’t afraid to express their opinions, even if it may lead to conflict.
  4. Dislike Interruptions: Short-tempered individuals typically do not appreciate being interrupted. They value their time and thoughts and interruptions can be a trigger for their anger.
  5. Holding Grudges: They often have difficulty letting go of fights or disagreements. They may hold onto negative feelings and grudges longer than others.
  6. Aggressiveness: Aggression is another common trait. They might engage in malicious behavior towards property and people, including retaliation and revenge.
  7. Physical Symptoms: Physical manifestations of a short temper can include heart palpitations, racing thoughts, and chronic irritability. In extreme cases, they might express their anger through shouting or yelling.
  8. Interpersonal Conflict: Their anger can often lead to interpersonal conflict, affecting their relationships with family, friends, and colleagues.
  9. Sensitivity: They may be overly sensitive and take offense more easily than others. Even minor criticisms or disagreements can be perceived as major affronts.

These characteristics can vary among individuals and the intensity can fluctuate based on various factors like stress levels, personal circumstances, and overall mental health.

8 Ways to Deal with a Short-Tempered Person

Dealing with a short-tempered person can be challenging, but with the right approach, it’s entirely possible to maintain a healthy relationship. Here are ten strategies to help:

1. Identify the Catalysts

Every person has unique triggers that ignite their anger. These could range from specific situations, words, actions, or even certain people. By pinpointing what exactly sparks your friend’s or partner’s fury, you can consciously avoid those triggers and potentially prevent an outburst.

2. Grant Them Breathing Room

In the midst of a rage episode, it’s usually beneficial to step aside and let the person simmer down. This space can help them regain composure and perspective, preventing further escalation.

3. Sidestep Confrontations

Engaging in an argument with someone who is already heated can often fan the flames of conflict. Instead, try to remain calm and composed, avoiding any contentious topics.

4. Maintain Your Composure

It’s crucial to manage your own emotional responses during such episodes. Retaining your cool can help deescalate the situation and prevent it from spiraling out of control3.

5. Exercise Patience

Dealing with a short-tempered individual necessitates a high degree of patience. Even if they’re having a hard time keeping their emotions under control, maintaining your patience can create a calming influence.

6. Promote Tranquility

Encourage the person to engage in calming activities like meditation or deep breathing exercises. These techniques can help them manage their anger more effectively and reduce the frequency of their outbursts.

7. Offer Support

Assist them in finding healthy, positive outlets for their anger. This could be anything from pursuing a hobby, engaging in physical activity, or channeling their energy into creative endeavors.

6. Don’t Internalize Their Anger

Remember, their anger is a reflection of their internal struggle, not a commentary on you. Try to detach yourself from their outbursts and not take their words or actions personally.

7. Establish Clear Boundaries

It’s important to communicate what kind of behavior you deem acceptable. Setting boundaries can help the person understand the impact of their anger and work towards controlling it.

8. Recommend Professional Assistance

If their anger issues continue unabated despite your efforts, it may be beneficial to suggest seeking help from a mental health professional. Therapists can provide effective strategies for managing anger and improving overall emotional health.

Remember, each person is unique and these tips may not work for everyone. However, they can serve as a starting point for handling a short-tempered person in your life.

Psychiatrists’ Perspective on Short Temperament

Psychiatrists view short temperament as a significant aspect of an individual’s personality and mental health. It is often associated with various psychiatric conditions and can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life and interpersonal relationships.

Recent studies have explored the role of temperament in psychiatric patients, suggesting that certain temperamental traits may act as predictors of suicidality and hopelessness. This highlights the need for understanding and managing short-tempered behavior in a clinical setting to reduce suicidal tendencies.

The severity of affective temperament has been found to differentiate patients with borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and controls. In the study, bipolar patients differed from the controls in dysregulated temperament and insufficient self-control, suggesting that affective temperaments and self-control play a crucial role in these disorders.

In the context of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), different patterns of personality/temperament traits were observed in patients. This suggests that understanding and managing temperament might be useful in treating ADHD.

A study on depression induced by treatment with interferon-alpha in patients affected by Hepatitis C Virus found symptoms like irritability, short temper, and emotional lability to be common. This indicates that short temperament could also be a side effect of certain treatments.

Overall, psychiatrists view short temperament as a complex trait that can both contribute to and result from various psychiatric conditions. They emphasize the need for effective strategies to manage this trait to improve patient outcomes.

Understanding the Psychology of a Short-Tempered Person

In conclusion, dealing with a short-tempered person can be challenging, but understanding their psychology can make it easier. Recognizing their triggers, exercising patience, and encouraging them to find healthier ways to express their anger are all vital steps. 

Remember, it’s not just about managing their outbursts – it’s about helping them to understand and control their emotions more effectively. With time, patience, and possibly professional help, a short-tempered person can learn to manage their anger in a healthier way, improving their relationships and overall well-being.



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