Do it right: Seven ways to control your temper

How to avoid letting your mouth get you into trouble...

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Take time out. Counting to 10 really can help stem that rage. Put physical space between you and the person or situation that has got you riled.

Lighten up. Using humour can diffuse tension in tense situations. Avoid sarcasm, though; it can hurt feelings and make things worse.

Get your facts right. Make sure you ask a lot of questions before jumping to a conclusion that could embarrass you.

Use 'I' statements when describing the problem. This helps you to avoid sounding over-critical or placing blame, which can make the other person angry or resentful - and increase tension. For instance, say: 'I'm upset that you spoke to the client without speaking to me first,' instead of: 'You should have spoken to me first.'

Take some exercise. Physical activity can provide a good outlet for your emotions, especially if you feel you're about to erupt. Go for a brisk walk or a run, or take your anger out at the gym.

Don't e-mail or call when upset. The angry e-mail you sent three months ago may make a surprise reappearance at your performance-appraisal meeting. Hold that salty e-mail in your drafts box until the next day, re-read it - and only then make the judgment call.

Forgive and forget. To show occasional temper is only human. It can even clear the air - but only if you don't harbour a grudge.

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