1. People & Relationships

Is Your Temper Costing You Friendships?

Having a Bad Temper Can Make Friends Shy Away

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Bad Temper

A bad temper can harm your friendships.

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Do you have a problem with anger? Problems with angry outbursts can cause fights between friends and in some cases end a friendship.

Having a bad temper can make it difficult to have a fully authentic friendship, in which both parties are comfortable being themselves. One friend may always be on guard and monitor their thoughts and words too carefully around the friend with a bad temper.

How Friends Unleash Their Temper

Typically, a friend who verbally blows up at you (seemingly out of nowhere) is probably someone with a bad temper. The more it happens, the bigger the problem.

But with the rise of social networking, bad tempers are now expressed online as well. Someone that assumes things about you or misinterprets something you say may type out a rant that scars your relationship. When things cool down and the rant is over, a damaged friendship (or in some cases, a broken one) are left behind.

Friends with bad tempers may:

  • Scream at you in front of other people over a minor event.
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  • Let a calm discussion go from a normal speaking voice to screaming in mere seconds.
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  • Stomp around or throw things when they don't get their way.
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  • Post a public rant online calling out a friend who they feel misunderstood or wronged them.
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  • Write a nasty email saying all kinds of things that you just can't take back.

Why Do People Lose It?

Nearly everyone has lost their temper at least once in their life where they might have yelled at a spouse or friend, but someone with a poor temper overall needs to actively work on their issues before they will ever have a kind and safe relationship.

If your temper gets the best of you more often than not, be sure to:

  • Apologize properly to a friend. Don't just ignore your outburst and then wonder why your friend is upset later.
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  • Take care of yourself so your entire life is in balance. Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep.
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  • Seek out professional help if you can't get a handle on your temper by yourself, or can't understand your reasons for blowing up.
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  • Watch for triggers to your temper and learn how to cope before an outburst erupts. (For example, if you have a blow up with someone every time your schedule gets out of hand, take a few moments to center yourself before meeting up with friends. Or, if the things said on Facebook or Twitter make you lose your temper, stay off those sites when you feel your anger rising.)

How Temper Harms a Friendship

Someone who blows up at a friend harms the level of trust in the relationship. After all, friendship should be a safe place where one friend doesn't publicly shame or embarrass the other. Having an awkward outburst just because you're upset is not only childish, it leaves lasting negativity in your friendship. Ironically, a quick outburst can harm a friendship months or even years after the temper tantrum, especially if the issue is never addressed.

A friend who is known to lose their temper will make it difficult for his or her friends to approach them reasonably and discuss things. As a result, friendships are more likely to end.

Friends with bad tempers typically like to move ahead as if nothing happened. They calm down and feel better, and expect their friends to do the same. What they don't realize is that their temper has made their friend feel bad, and unless the situation is properly addressed the negativity goes on. Just because the one who got angry is "over it," doesn't mean that the people he or she yelled at are over it.

If Your Friend Has a Problem With Anger Management

While we want to help our friends through their issues, someone with anger problems may need help that goes beyond your capabilities. Never put yourself in harm's way of getting verbally or physically abused. If a friend blows up at you and then is genuinely sorry later, you can discuss the situation.

However, if your friend repeatedly blows up at you without much thought to their actions, he or she is not acting as a friend. You'd be wise to move on to someone that knows what friendship is all about and can appreciate a positive and healthy relationship.

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