Blustering, raging, short-tempered fathers are the most tried and tested sitcom trope.
However, being short-tempered and getting angry, super-quick, and easy is not a harmless personality trait in the real world.
If you are a short-tempered person, the people around you are constantly on the edge, bracing for a full-blown anger outburst to something seemingly normal. Even if you manage not to shout or throw things around, having anger steeped inside of you is extremely bad for your mental and physical health.
Therefore, understanding what short-temper is means saving your life’s most important relationships, having a relatively easier work life, and even improving your physical and psychological health.
To manage your short temper, it is imperative to understand where it stems from.
Have you ever wondered why some people are as calm as Zen even in adverse circumstances, yet others (like you) might blow up at the slightest provocation?
Why do we shout things we don’t mean to?
Did we really have to get all red-faced and agitated over something?
To help you answer all these questions, we will dive deeper into what short temper means, its warning signs, and its causes. Let’s get started.
So, What Is Short Temper Anyways?
A short temper is not a diagnosis. It’s more like a personality trait or tendency. Try to think of it as misdirected energy. But since it is unrelated to something specific and arises suddenly, it’s even more challenging to deal with.
It is manifested in different ways, both internal and external. The external signs can include screaming, shouting, throwing things, blurred vision, and high blood pressure. On the internal front, a short-tempered person might feel shame, regret, frustration, guilt, and other uncomfortable emotions.
But, Why Do Some People Have A Short Temper?
Short-tempered people do not react consciously to their anger and rage. This tendency arises due to a bunch of factors.
Sometimes, it can be a temporary thing that arises due to hunger (low levels of blood sugar), hormonal imbalance, or a current life situation that is severely stressing you out. For others, it goes deeper than that. This is because it’s often a sign of learned behavior that they have acquired during their growing years, having witnessed a parent or caretaker who displayed a lack of self-control while dealing with anger.
Having a short temper is one of the many facets of our personality that make us who we are. The roots of unwanted or quick anger can be found in unresolved emotions. Additionally, apart from being a learned behavioral trait, being a short-tempered person also gives some people a sense of power and control.
So, if someone is used to being a short-tempered person and has normalized these anger outbursts, this becomes a routine coping mechanism to deal with stuff.
For others, being short-tempered might also mean a serious underlying mental problem. In terms of mental health, a short temper is associated with:
- attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
- antisocial personality disorder,
- bipolar disorder,
- psychosis, and
- intermittent explosive disorder.
How Does Having A Short Temper Affect You?
Now that you have an idea of what being short-tempered means, it’s time to address the effects. Why is having a short temper such a bad thing?
Short answer – it’s a terrible way of being, and it’s harmful for you and those around you.
It is essential to address your anger and grievances reasonably. Being a short-tempered person showcases an inability to process and deal with emotions. This can have far-reaching effects on your personal and professional life.
People with a quick temper are more likely to be a part of risky and volatile situations that might escalate into something terrible. It might lead to differences and problems in your relationships as a short-tempered person can’t be trusted or respected in the long run.
To top it all off, all this anger affects your body, too. It can lead to a spree of long-term health issues, including:
- high blood pressure,
- heart problems, and much more.
Warning Signs Of Having A Short Temper
Now, the first line of defense against your temper issues is knowing and accepting that you have these issues. Therefore, spotting the signs of a short temper is the most crucial step in eventually dealing with the problem.
Here are the seven most glaring signs of being a short-tempered person:
1. You are unable to hold your thoughts when you don’t like something.
One of the most prominent signs of having a short temper is the inability to keep your thoughts to yourself.
And mind you, this isn’t because you’re honest or straightforward. This is because you are extremely vocal and volatile about topics that piss you off.
So, if you think something or someone is wrong, you will not wait to deal with the situation calmly. Instead, you will act on your impulses and jump head-on into the topic, even if it doesn’t directly concern you.
2. You have no idea what might trigger your anger.
Having infrequent and explosive anger outbursts is another one of the warning signs of having a quick temper.
We all get angry sometimes. But, if every small daily occurrence pisses you off, that’s a sign of an anger problem.
Therefore, pay attention to how much you get angry and how often. If there’s an inconsistency in that pattern, it means that you are repressing your anger and pretending to be okay when you are not. Now, this strategy might be great for the first few times, but eventually, all that deep-seated anger will flow out, and it will harm those around you.
3. Your internal monologue is full of negative ideas.
Having a short temper means that the anger inside you keeps feeding on itself to grow bigger. So, the more you get agitated or have negative thoughts, the angrier you will become.
So, try to notice what you think of when you start getting angry. If your anger is associated with your best friend hanging out with someone you don’t like or a co-worker taking the credit for your work, it’s a sign of an underlying issue.
Listening to your inner monologue means understanding what actually triggers your anger. When you recognize the negative thoughts that serve as fodder for your short temper, it’s much easier to deal with them.
4. You hold too many grudges.
You see, anger is a normal part of being a human. And so is holding a grudge. We all have those moments when we struggle to let go of our negative emotions about a person or thing. However, it is important to understand that these feelings are temporary for those with a healthy temper. They simmer down after a while.
But, another one of the signs of being a short-tempered person is the inability to let go of these grudges. They continue to harbor resentment and refuse to let go of fights.
Additionally, not having any guilt associated with these grudges is also a sign of having a quick temper.
5. Being impatient is second nature to you.
Long queues or shorter ones, waiting is not your thing. You get frustrated by waiting pretty quickly.
Reacting adversely and animatedly when asked to wait for more extended periods is one of the warning signs of being a short-tempered person. These people can often get pretty aggressive and violent over such things and might also threaten others.
6. You see physical signs of anger in your outbursts.
Do you get emotional or feel sick every time something ticks your short temper?
Do you see physical signs like shortness of breath, increased heart rate, headaches, chest tightening, and digestive distress during anger outbursts?
You see, everyone gets angry. But one of the common signs of having a short temper is having that anger take a toll on your mind and body. This is why those with a short temper often feel sick during outbursts.
Moreover, anger takes a lot out of them. Therefore, they often feel completely rundown and tired after their outbursts.
7. Criticism feels unacceptable to you.
Many people can rationalize difficult feedback and criticism with a pinch of salt. They think of it as something that will help them grow and become a better person in life.
However, a short-tempered person might feel defensive when faced with harsh criticism. Firing back at the person who’s actually trying to help you and getting angrier in the process are signs of having a short temper.
Being a short-tempered person might be a funny trait in sitcoms, but it’s definitely not pleasant in real life. It affects your work, social, and personal life. It has severe implications on your mental and physical health in the form of long-term conditions.
If your anger is affecting your regular life and your loved ones, it is important to seek timely help. There’s no shame in it. In fact, the sooner you ask for help, the better you will get.
Wondering how to control a bad temper and ask for help? Here’s a complete list of online therapy platforms, anger-management classes, and resources to get you started.
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