How can I stop being mean?

Being on the receiving end of my anger is a horrible experience and it usually causes permanent damage to bonds. I have a way of saying things people never forget and hurting them in a way that never quite stops stinging. To put it simply; I’m vicious. Absolutely vicious with no mercy in the moment. I won’t bore you with the details but let me just put it this way…It would be offensive to female dogs to call me a b*tch because I’m sure they would never say or do some of the things I have out of anger. I wish I could say that this was just a verbal problem, but I have gotten into various physical altercations and one time, I even ripped a door off of the hinges. My temper is so bad that I literately avoid any chance of physically fighting because I don’t know how that person will leave by the end of it and I don’t want things to get out of hand. I once hit someone so hard that she permanently has a scar on her mouth and it’s been there for years. That makes me feel so awful and I’m ashamed of having such a destructive temper. I want to be a better human being.

I’ve always had a fiery nature but I’m starting to realize that I misuse that intensity and it can really get people hurt. What are some healthy ways to redirect this fiery intensity so that it’s not destructive? What are some good self-discipline tips I can use mentally when I feel myself beginning to compose really mean sentences? Please help me out with whatever advice you can offer.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I have no self discipline advice for you, I can only tell you that I was exactly like you, minus the physical part. And the physical part was absent only because I knew if I ever started a physical altercation, someone wasn't making it out the same as they started.
    I do know that at 19, after therapy didn't help one bit, my doctor prescribed an antidepressant called Effexor and it completely changed my hot head temper. It is super mild, I still have highs and lows, it has very low sexual side effects, but most importantly for me... instead of wanting to ram my car into someone that cut me off, it gave my brain enough calm to process my responses. It's not for everyone, but I've been on it for almost 20 years and have only had my dosage upped once. For me, no amount of self discipline could fix the chemicals in my brain.

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What Guys Said 2

  • "Man up". There is a conscious choice made even in the extremity of emotion. I used to be like this as a teenager where I fractured my index and middle finger and burst all the blood vessels in my hand by punching a wall in anger.

    I can only explain this from a male point of view but I used to think that using brawn over brain and being completely unafraid of death was the key to being manly. I could do daredevil stunts, I could get into fist fights and defend myself, and there were times that allowed me to do really good things for other people.

    Yet I was also prone to temper tantrums, mood swings, could even break down crying. I didn't realize the most important and practical quality of being a man, which is to avoid drama, to control my emotions -- stoicism.

    There is still a conscious decision even at the peak of your anger to turn violent, shout, run away, escalate small problems into world war 3 because neither side is willing to be the bigger person.

    If, during one of these times you feel anger, you can do the precise opposite of what you want to do -- if you can even do this one time, you'll start to get the hang of it. For example, if your instinct is to yell and scream at a person you care about and call her a cunt, do the opposite and hug her and tell her how much she means to you and gently tell her why you're upset.

    Totally defying your emotions in this way to the point of doing the total opposite thing you want to do is incredibly hard the first time, but it gets so much easier after the first time, and it starts to kind of teach you how to control the emotions better so that there won't be too many subsequent times you get so angry. You'll end up building better relationships and find less reasons to get pissed off.

    So that's my advice. The next time you feel so anger and want to do something violent (verbally or physical), try to force yourself to do the precise opposite.

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    • The next time you feel so [much] anger [...]

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    • Basically defy your emotions. If you can't, maybe you should have a punching bag in your room at least so that you can hit something as hard as you can without breaking anything (your bones or some object). The danger with punching bags though is that if you start pounding away at it all the time, it can increase your tendency to want to do that to someone else. It's still better than tearing doors off their hinges.

    • Can you give me an example of a recent time you lost emotional control and got violent? Can you step me through what made you mad?

  • You probably have hadd a rough life, and are naturally very sincere.

    Neither is a sin.

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    • Try to trim the physical aggression part, and no more than that.

    • Thank you. I’ve gotten much better with that aspect and that’s one part of my anger I’ve been able to control which is really good. I think my wake-up call was getting in a fight at a club where my friend and I ended up getting in an ugly fist fight. I don’t want to be a physically violent person who gets angry and seriously jeopardizes someone’s wellbeing or destroys a part of a home.

      My main issue is just saying really mean things. Cruel, heartless, cold things. I’ve mastered just the right tone and facial expression to really get under someone’s skin while I say it too. I really hate this part of myself. I feel like it’s my greatest weakness and I don’t want to be like this.

    • See, we can't choose to have a quiet or stormy character, we have that we have.

      So it boils down to finding the smartest way to take anger out, minimixing damage.

      If you keep it all inside, that's the fastest way to get psychological problems.

      And also, they must have done/said something bad before you word-lash 'em, I am sure.

What Girls Said 1

  • It's called self control

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    • Duh? Did you think that was an intelligent, helpful answer? It wasn't and it's clear why you have a pitiful 14% for MHO

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