Why Do We Lose Our Tempers?

Temper is a triggered reaction to something perceived. That’s the fundamental mechanics of temper. Notice I said something “perceived”. It doesn’t have to be, and very often is not, a real “trigger worthy” thing that sets us off. It could be a misunderstanding, or even just being in the wrong mood at the wrong time. Whatever the motivator, it’s a trigger, it can be managed, and it should be managed. Have you ever been irritated by something then looked back later and thought why did that get under my skin? Or thought; I wish I hadn’t reacted that way.

The deeper question quickly becomes; how do triggers (hot buttons) work? That question leads us down the rabbit hole to the root cause. Temper is a behavior. Behavior is triggered by a response to a perception. Perceptions are a result of beliefs and environmental conditioning. It is the same for judgments. These things are part of our survival strategies. That is the essence of what we all deal with every day. We apply survival strategies to things that appear in our environment. This is equally true for all people and understanding how to manage other peoples temper is a powerful skill. One of the complications is that our instinct driven survival strategies were designed long ago to react to risks in the natural world. Of course we do not live in the natural world anymore so our instinctive survival strategies need to be monitored and managed if they are to serve us. Most people run on a kind of auto pilot much of the time.

Here’s the good news. You can easily learn to manage your brain in a way that invites others to join you in a rational thinking state of mind. This has the affect of muting both your triggers and theirs. It’s surprisingly easy. You don’t need a deep understanding of the vast body of knowledge that explains how the instinctual and emotional brain affects the thinking brain. All you need are some basic skills and a little practice.

If you would like to know more, look through this blog, or give me a call. I would be happy to share the “next layer of the onion” with you. The incredible power to create better outcomes is right around the corner. I look forward to speaking with you.

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