art work by John Ceprano
CINERGY (tm) - Peacebuilding... one person at a time

Losing Our Temper

The expression “to lose our temper” refers to various angry reactions to conflict. Our voices might go up; our faces might contort or become red; we might speak quickly and with expletives; we might rant and rave; and we might otherwise respond in ways that demonstrate our temper is rising and we feel out of control of our emotions.

It’s times like this we say “I lost my temper” (or someone says that to or about us by observation). In either case, it’s not the optimal time to engage in conciliatory conversations because that’s clearly not the state of mind we are in. Rather, it’s a time to step back and gain some distance – to reduce the hotness of the temper and regain our cool.

If you bring to mind a time you lost your temper to answer the following questions, it will hopefully help to deconstruct what you lost.

  • How do you describe your usual temperament?
  • What is the situation in which you lost your temper?
  • In what ways did you feel you lost your temper such that it was obvious you were not in your usual temperament?
  • If you were able to observe yourself, what were the facial and bodily signs you were losing your temper?
  • What resulted in you losing your temper?
  • What did you ‘lose’ when you lost your temper?
  • What impact did that (your answer to the previous question) have on the conflict?
  • What was the impact on the other person? How did she or he respond to you?
  • What do you generally have to do to regain your temper? What did you do in this situation?
  • How might you have retained your usual temperament in the situation you described?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

This entry was posted in Conflict Coaching, Conflict Management Coaching. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *