Sometimes, when people are angry or frustrated about other things, they can lose control of their temper. In situations like these, it is important to evaluate the source of what might really be irritating you before misdirecting your anger at someone who is blameless.
There are healthy ways of dealing with anger and frustration. Developing the control to express emotions verbally without being abusive or calling names is one of them. Another is to say a prayer (“Please Lord, don’t let me lose my temper!”) before opening your mouth. Leaving the room, going for a walk or short run can be helpful.
Unhealthy ways that should be avoided include getting into your car when you are angry, or using alcohol or drugs to calm you.
My booklet offers many other suggestions for dealing with anger and frustration, and I hope it will be helpful to you. However, if it isn’t, then you should discuss your problem with a mental health professional. It’s important to get a handle on your feelings so your children won’t grow up thinking that verbal abuse is a normal way to handle their emotions.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.