Monday, July 19, 2010
Adults, Watch Your Temper!
Believe it or not, some adults are stuck in childhood to the degree that they occasionally have what I call an adult temper tantrum. People typically say an adult with this problem has a "bad temper" but the truth is that they have temper tantrums just like little kids do. In society, it seems to be more prevalent and accepted that men have bad tempers. Ever wonder what all the women do when society says it's not okay for them to turn over a table or scream all over the house? In a nutshell, women are more likely to internalize their feelings.
Recently a client of mine told me about what happens in her house when her husband loses his temper. In short, everyone gets scared and walks around on eggshells until her husband gets his mood under control. My client loves her husband but is afraid this trait will never change. I explain consistently with my clients that people can't necessarily change their personality, but they can certainly change their behaviors.
Let me be clear when I say this: If someone in your house is guilty of adult temper tantrums, you must say "No more." You must create a No Tantrum policy to protect the peace of your house and environment. Everyone must learn how to manage their feelings, and there are countless outlets that are good for frustration when someone feels overwhelmed.
The most important thing to do if someone in your life has tantrums that affect you is to sit the person down and seriously describe how the tantrums affect you. Explain that you are willing to work together with that person to help him or her find better ways to cope when he or she feels overwhelmed. Do not forget that adult tantrums must be unacceptable and understand that you must take a proactive approach to this problem if you ever want things to truly change.