Learning to deal with temper and frustration in Life and Sewing

Tonight is our monthly blogapalooza when we have one hour to write about a topic. Here is what we are writing about tonight:

Write about a time you lost your temper or somebody lost their temper at you.

It’s a pretty broad subject and an issue I have worked on all my life. When I was young I would lose my temper a lot, more than I liked or was proud of. After years I learned to be better and better at this. I am 62 and I think I have spend 61 years learning to deal with temper and frustration in life and sewing. How about if I give you some of my thoughts and advice and you share some with me?

clockTime is the best way to deal with temper and frustration. Mad at your family or your quilt seams? Take a time out.

Put down what you are working on and walk away. Ask the people you would cheerfully throw off a cliff if you can agree to talk about this later. Take a bath, a walk or go away.

You can deal with that stubborn fabric or person much easier hours later. Everything calms down with time. You can handle it.

Letting off steam can help also. If no one is around to be hurt or shocked you can hurl that project to the floor. See, you showed it!

In a high school, a friend’s Mom was driving us home from Mexico and they were making me crazy with racist remarks. I was 17 and had to be in the car. At a rest stop, I walked as far away as I could when they were in the building and just screamed at the top of my lungs. Boy did I feel better.

Sports or a TV show can be cathartic in that way as well. Just cut all the pieces out wrong? Go yell at your sports team on TV. (Not a team your child is on, do that from the car.)

Compliments work nicely to stave off a temper release you know is coming your way. Once at conferences a father was making his way from teacher to teacher, venting at all of them. When he came to my table I started first and complimented him on what a great Dad, in fact Dad of the year, he was. He didn’t yell at me.

Most people won’t yell at someone who just paid them a compliment. I do this with Facebook pages which post my quilt memes without giving me credit. I say thanks for liking my meme!

They usually come back a bit sheepishly and say, um, great meme or something.

Pretending a person is complimenting you is another great way to swallow an angry response. A young teacher walked into the building with me and was striding off quickly when she looked at my turtle like gait and remarked, “It’s like you’re standing still.” I replied “Thank you!”

A parent was furious with me for having her son pick up half the bus when he kept us all waiting at Great America for 40 minutes. She went on and on. I replied, There is no need to thank me, I was happy to help him learn the error of his ways.

A fellow quilter made an odd comment about my work. Silence ensued. I then said, thanks, I love it also!

Taking your mind off the situation also helps me from losing my temper. I have bitten the inside of my cheek. I have chanted things in my head or rubbed a little plastic pig I put in my pocket. I have started a new project to just not think about the irritating one.

Doing something unexpected also defuses the situation. Ever had someone say something really outrageous to you and you just burst out laughing? No one gets mad.  I’ve sewn something wrong and stood up and sang loudly.

My principal once had a parent come in who was mad as heck. After listening to the parent go on and on, he realized this guy was never going to be happy. He stood up and said, Mr. Smith is in the gym right now, how about if we go down there and just beat him up?

Talking to someone also really helps me. If someone is a jerk to me I just imagine how I will tell my husband about it. When I was single, I would even act out bad dates. Good times or good stories and the stories can be highly amusing.Couple_eating_lunch_0

I hope you have not struggled with controlling your temper as I have. But if you need to, please make use of these strategies.

I also find a bit of chocolate can really help.

Sew happy!

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Here’s a link to my last Blogapalooza post.

Filed under: advice, blogapalooza

Tags: temper

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