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The_Inquisitor's avatar

How do I control my temper better?

Asked by The_Inquisitor (3163points) June 29th, 2009

I find that sometimes when i’m really angry, i can’t control my anger. I’ll be really grumpy, I don’t want to be mean to people just because of my mood…

Also, I find that my brother is the most annoying little brat ever, i swear if i didn’t have one, i’d probably be angry far less. There is a 5 year distance between me and him, we usually get along, but when we don’t, i can’t help but yell at him. He will continue to talk back, such as just now, i told him not to do something, but he purposely did it, and then we argued for about 10 minutes straight, i ended up blowing up the house with my yelling. I know this sounds bad, i want to stop it, only my brother is the one who can make me do that. We live in a house, and was raised to listen to the elder sibling, my brother is instructed to listen to me as well since i’m the most responsible besides my mother. Welll anyways, my brother likes to get people fed up, he will purposely do things just to annoy me, i know that very well, but when the time comes, i can’t control how i act towards him. I don’t do this often, but i don’t want to EVER blow up again, so… how do i control my temper? When i’m angry and want to blow up… what should i do to stop myself?

PS: after I blow up, 5 mins later we’re like best friends again… but still. my temper… i hate it. :(

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18 Answers

Darwin's avatar

One thing to do is simply leave the room or the house for a while, until you cool down. My daughter likes to go off on a long bike ride when her brother gets to her. Another is to use the various behavioral tricks to calm down, such as blowing out candles or the proverbial counting to ten. Another is to decide that what he has done does not matter in the long run and ignore him. Another is simply do not respond. Just look at him once and go back to what you are doing. Finally, you might talk to your parents and ask if they can find you an anger management class of some sort.

Unfortunately for older siblings, especially daughters, little brothers are born to be annoying little brats. I think it is genetic. Fortunately, a lot of them grow up into decent people who are always willing to fix your car or mow your lawn or be your kids’ favorite uncle.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

Thanks, I’m calmed down now, and everything’s fine with my bro and I. I’ll remember that next time.

wundayatta's avatar

He will stop annoying you if you stop being annoyed by it. He only wants your attention, and if you won’t give it to him when he asks, he’ll make you give it to him. You need to retrain him. Give him attention when he does good, constructive things with you, and ignore him when he is deliberately annoying. He’ll quickly come around, if you can keep that up. But it’s a compliment. He really adores you, and wants your attention far more than you want to give it to him.

Bri_L's avatar

@curiouscat – how old is your brother?

lillycoyote's avatar

If you are really motivated to control your anger I think some of the simplest methods are the best, like @Darwin said the “proverbial counting to ten” can help, just walking away until you calm down can help but you have to be somewhat motivated. And… getting some help from a professional or a support group that might have good tactics and tips that we don’t know about might help too. You sound very young and you may grow out of it but you may not, so getting a handle on it now could save you and the people you care about a tremendous amount of pain and guilt down the road.

Jeruba's avatar

Sometimes even just counting to one can help pause the trigger.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Yes, stop. Count to 10. And take a deep breath for each count, from the belly. Deep breathing automatically calms you down and immediately gives your brain oxygen to help you think more clearly. People tend to hold their breaths when they feel threatened, and that’s not good for when you need to control yourself.

I’m constantly relearning this myself when I’m agitated. It’s not your brother who is causing you to be upset. It’s how you choose to respond to his actions that causes it. You are responsible for your feelings and thoughts. That’s what responsibility implies: the ability to respond. I wish someone had taught me this at your age.

You can make a different choice. Stopping to count and taking deep breaths will help you see that you don’t have to choose to be angry.

YARNLADY's avatar

Some tips and ideas from

If you are a like a volcano ready to erupt, get away from the source of your anger and listen to soft, calm music for 5 minutes.

Re-direct your adrenalin. Clean your room, go for a brisk walk, do some push ups.

Think positive; think fair; put yourself in other people’s shoes.

Take ten deep breaths. When it’s about to hit, STOP. Just wait and take ten, slow deep breaths

Think about the situation. Try to make total sense of what, or why you are so mad. Chances you’re truly overreacting and blowing the situation out of control.

Think of something really funny, that always makes you laugh. You can’t be mad if you are laughing.

Jayne's avatar

Supposedly all of the chemicals associated with anger will be absorbed back into the body after 90 seconds, so anger will only last longer than that if you keep thinking about the thing that made you angry and keep getting yourself worked up, causing the chemicals to be renewed. So, try to think about something else for a minute and a half, don’t feed the anger, and you should be calmed down; less time will still be fairly effective, and even the 10-second rule is a step in the right direction. Plus, once you have asserted the control over the situation that it takes to wait like this, it would really be a waste of a good moral victory to explode afterwards, wouldn’t it?

Bri_L's avatar

I find it helps if I try to find one way in which I am doing something wrong or contributing to the problem. It refocuses my energy, makes me feel better when I try to right the wrong. And gives the other person an “out” if you will or an opportunity to do the same.

mattbrowne's avatar

When talking to others only talk about yourself. Never use the word ‘you’. Tell others about your emotions and feelings and your thoughts.

And you need a lot of exercise. Use a punching bag. Run 8 miles. It will change the brain chemistry and your anger is less intense or even gone.

loser's avatar

Say nothing and step away from the situation and breathe. Think about why you’re angry. Usually there is some core reason, like feeling hurt. Try to focus on what is causing that to make you angry and see if there is something you need to change or re-think. That’s what I have to do. It was really hard at first but with practice it comes easier. I don’t get angry as much as I used to and I’m a lot better for it. Life us too short.

srmorgan's avatar

As you are getting angy, as you feel it welling up inside you trying to burst out, try the following:

Are you going to be mad about this in ten days?
Are you going to be mad about this in three days?
Are you going to be mad about this in the morning?

In most cases the answer to all thee questions is going to be no.
So let it go, it is really a trivial matter and not worthy of your continued concentration on it,

If your little brother is bugging you, figure out a way to stop the bugging, yoiu have some excellent answers above my posting, but in the long run, it does no good to hold on to it.
If you let it go little by little or event by event, it will not build up into something more serious like a chip on your shoulder or worse, a lifetime grudge,


Bri_L's avatar

@mattbrowne – two things, GREAT ANSWER and would you explain the concept to my wife please?

mattbrowne's avatar

@Bri_L – You mean your wife uses the word ‘you’ frequently when talking to you? Or do you want me sell her a punching bag so she has an alternative directing her temper at?

Bri_L's avatar

@mattbrowne – the first one! heh.

MerMaidBlu's avatar

Take a deep breath and try to focus on something else, even try counting. Especially if it’s something you aren’t going to be upset about once the day is over. Plus, if the person knows they’re bothering you by doing something they’re just trying to get you to blow up and you’re giving them what they want’

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