How should we deal with people who have a very short temper?

People with short temper tend to get angry on every small thing. Points that hurt their self-respect or situations where their expectations are not fulfilled are times when they get angry. They just find it difficult to control themselves.  In such a situation, your approach should primarily focus on one thing; the idea that your action should not aggravate their anger.

Let us try to answer your question by taking up different scenarios wherein you could need to deal with such people.


Consider a situation where you need to talk to such a person who has already lost his/her temper:

  • You need to stay really calm so that you do not lose your temper at any moment.
  • If he is your close friend

If he is a close friend of yours, then you must try to calm him down for that moment. Avoid any conversation on the topic that made him angry. Ask him to cool down. Let him some time alone with himself. Later in the day, when he is a bit relaxed, speak to him. At that time, you need to make him realize that he needs to bring a change in himself. The approach in doing this should be such that he understands his mistake rather than thinking that you are there to criticize him. You can do this by taking up different scenarios and explaining him how he could have handled the situation with ease. There could be situations where your friend’s points are correct. In such a case, point out to him that he is right but also explain him a better way to deal with the situation.

  • If he just a good acquaintance

There could be cases where the person with whom you are dealing with is a not so close but is someone who you are familiar with. Here, it will be difficult to just go ahead and start explaining him things. But in case he asks for help, then it would be a good chance for you to make him realize the facts. Also, if you have some work with him especially in a situation when he has lost his temper, then try to approach him for that work, and if he is not in a mood to answer or acknowledge, then simply move away for the time being and get back later.


Let us take this another scenario where such a person is in normal mood and you have to deal with him:

In this scenario, you are directly dealing with such a person one-on-one. Here, it is necessary that whatever discussions you both are engaged into pertaining to your work, take that discussion ahead in a manner that his positive points are given due consideration to and even your positive points are acknowledged appropriately. If he is wrong somewhere, then instead of forcing up your points explain him calmly. The words and the tone-of-voice you use here really matters a lot. For instance, you can tackle it in this way: “I agree with your idea but I feel that……” or”I feel your point is more valid in a situation wherein…….” and now explain your point of view with respect to that scenario.


Thus, you can deal with such a person in a smart way. Remember the fact that in such cases, your voice tone, your body language and the words that you use in conversing with a short tempered person makes a lot of difference. You cannot control his attitude, but you surely can control your own. Hence, work out smartly, be compassionate towards him. If it is possible then do help him work out on his temper positively.

You can check out my article on How to deal with your Anger? It could be helpful to him.

About the Author asknrj

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Bob says April 5, 2014

Lots of “how to” guides will give you nauseatingly idealistic panaceas that just do not work in the complexities of the real world and people. Honestly, avoidance is the best technique. People with anger management issues need a recipient for their tirades. They need a bag to punch. Don’t be that bag. Walk away. These angry people win in their minds by going off on people because it gives them an illusion of self control. Don’t feed them that reinforcement. There’s no point in trying to analyze them because they’re irrational, and unpredictable like a pitbull. I have an office coworker who has gone off on me for asking him if he was sure I couldn’t treat him to a cup of coffee to repay him for a favor. He got angry: I told you NO!

I just walked away.

nicky says October 16, 2014

Your right Bob there is no reasoning with short temperd people. They think the world revoles around them and no one else matters. I just walk away and and tel him how i feel in text. Then come back to it. Thats how i deal with it cuz there is no reasoning face to face. But i was actually hopeing to find answers if stuff like this can be cured with meds. Could it be a hormonal problem. ? This behaviour just ent normal.

    Michael says February 19, 2015

    By far the best method I have found of dealing with people with short tempers, is avoidance. People with tempers need a target or targets to vent their anger. If you avoid them, you are not longer a target and for sure they will find other targets. You will never succeed in having them see things from your point of view. They simply do not have the personality tools to ever change. Walk away and avoid them is the only successful cure.

    My grandmother used to say, “When you see a bad dog, cross the street.” I have never forgotten this. Good luck.

      asknrj says March 12, 2015

      My experience in this case has been a bit different wherein the person filled with anger can be brought to cool by showing your humility (humbleness) in front of them. Our aggression will only add fuel to their anger. Try being humble and soft in front of them, that will help. Walking away might sometimes add to their ego which I don’t feel is correct on our part.

        stuck says March 17, 2017

        Yes but how many times should you be humble ?? Even when its not really your fault and a really small matter ? What about your own self respect when you have to bend infront of a person continuously so that they can calm down?

Michael says February 11, 2015

As some suggested, walking away and staying away are the best ways of dealing with short tempered people. Once you walk away, you are no longer the target as they will look for other targets to vent their anger.

rana says June 22, 2015

The comments in the above like walk away and stay away is good options but in my opinion it sometimes may get u hurt emotionally by them. Be more cool and try to talk some sense into them..

Alice says June 26, 2015

My husband was a short tempered guy but from last few months he just have no control on himself. He is losing his temperment day by day. He becomes so aggressive on small issues. Trust me guys i have tried everything, trying to be polite with him , ignoring him, walking away. What not…. but nothing can change it. Life is just becoming miserable for me n my son. They just not realize that their mood swings can actually change someone’s else life. My husband start breaking stuff, he targets everything wat i love in the house. He will leave home n come back after hours. My son is becoming so much disturbed by his behaviour n i feel as if i have lost my life. These things aren’t normal, may be some kind of a hormonal change. But yes its the other person who looses everything even a everyday smile.

    asknrj says June 28, 2015

    Hi Alice, as per the situation that you have presented, I am assuming things have started moving out of your hands. Before suggesting anything, I would like to know if you have tried speaking to him straight away regarding his behaviour or not? Hours after he reacted that way, was he able to understand your point that his behaviour was not right and he needs to work upon it! Look, what I’m saying is that if he is realizing his mistake and making even slightest of effort in correcting it, then you need to help him out and give him time.

    Or else, if the fact is that you’ve tried everything and yet he’s not understanding what he’s forcing all three of you’ll into, then Alice, it’s time to get his family members involved.

    From what you’ve mentioned above, I feel things aren’t going that easy. Involve his parents into the matter and clear up things face-to-face. No one has the right to make others’ life miserable. You too have the right to stay happy. Instead of you getting aggressive, let the elders in family speak to him and give a try.

    Alice, you’ll have to stay strong in this moment, especially for your son. You are his support here and he can stay strong only if you can. So be brave and stay ready to face any difficulty that might come ahead. God forbid, in case you have to take a grave step in this relationship- as it appears from your situation – be brave to face it with all strength. May be that could trigger the change in your husband.

    Do write back!

    Michael says June 28, 2015

    Hi Alice

    Indeed you are in a most unfortunate situation and have tried several approaches without success. In your position, it is like facing a loaded gun. You simply cannot win.

    Quite seriously, the best advice and solution is total avoidance, which means becoming separated, divorced and living apart from your tormenting husband. 99.99% of people do not change their habits and personality in a lifetime. This is 100% true for your husband.

    In one week, one month, one year, one decade, 20 years, 30 and 40 years from now, your life with your husband will not change for the better. Please print and keep this email as I am 100% correct. Your one and only hope of peace is to live apart. The sooner you do this, the better it will be for you. Your husband needs a convenient target for his abusive anger and you are it. If you do the smart and clever thing and move out and live apart, he no doubt will find another target. Stop being his target and move out fast! It is high time for you to start a happy and normal life for yourself. This does not require luck. It requires action. It’s your move! Take it!


dj says August 5, 2015

Don’t do that! go to a therapist or a marriage counsellor before just giving up on your husband. if he hasn’t always been like this then there
must have been something that is making him always angry!

ed says August 20, 2015

are y’all Africans? its rily easy for you over there where women have a voice. I love my husband cos he can rily be a dear when he is calm. but I am losing my mind having had to bear this tantrums for seven years. I have tried all I know. I have been passive which is agaisnt my nature, I have been aggressive. I have apologised so many times I’ll b a millionier if it was worth money.
I have moved out over seven to ten times in DIS marriage, I’m just overwhelmed. yet my husband keep saying I need to change
he gets angry becos I didn’t see him off to the park, or I didn’t check his food or
we made love just thrice DAT week or I don’t apologise enough….its just exhausting.
when I try to explain myself he says I’m claiming rights.
I am a minister so I can’t divorce. when we have issues he moves out of our bedroom, he stops eating wat ai cook and doesn’t reply d kids when they greet him. then he ask m to leave or push me out.
I’m so ashamed becos neighbors already knw us. I don’t just know what to do anymore

    asknrj says August 22, 2015

    I empathise with you completely my friend. I understand how difficult it would have been to handle things in such a situation.

    First of all calm down. Relax. Clear your mind and sit silently and read. It’s easier said than done but yet I feel the solution should be effective if I understand your case well. You really need to grab hold over your own life now. Once you gain control over your life, you would see that dealing with others become quite easy. Your thoughts, your ideas and your perception about life changes and bingo, things change. Right? I’ll clear it.

    We humans have attached ourselves so much to our surroundings that we simply start expecting something or the other out of them. We claim to possess things and people and situation. He is mine, this is mine, this should be that way and so on. We attach ourselves and thus making our happiness dependent on such people and situations. All this while we have been doing this, then why not experiment it now, the other way!

    Let’s meditate. Let’s think about our own self. Let’s control our own thoughts. Let’s forgive someone over anything and move on! Let’s wish them the best for their life. Let’s help them in everything they do. Let’s show them our love and concern. Let’s surround ourselves with positivity! Let’s imagine that how restless those poor beings would be themselves when they throw their wrath upon us! Let’s set them free to act according to them yet, maintaining our inner peace and forgiving them! Let us stop expecting anything from them yet, helping them in their troubles and wishing all the best to them!

    Let’s act as mentioned above and fill ourselves with compassion and positivity and spread the same amongst others! We are definitely not going to lose anything in trying this positivity experiment rather than gain something if not for others, at least for our own self.

    It will take time to show results but believe me all act of positive, somewhere at some stage would reap its fruits.

    All the best!

    Michael says August 22, 2015

    Leave him forever and find yourself a normal life. Once you leave never go back.

Sam says February 22, 2016

I have a friend who always beliefs in what he only knows and every time he makes a point that’s final when you try to challenge him then u should be ready for a fight. So lately i have tried as much as possible to distance my self from him

    asknrj says February 22, 2016

    Dear Sam,

    When we deal with people with know, we realise the opposite person’s attitude and nature and considering that we have a rough idea – almost always – as to how that person would react to a particular POV. Depending on the person and the point of argument, and the intensity of its impact on you, you need to wisely decide whether it is necessary for you to place your point or not. Where necessary, we need to. At places we need to even learn to let go since we know that we can’t even distance ourselves and holding onto our point might not be a good idea here. Thus we need to wish the best to the other person and move on….!!! I’m sure you’ll make the best decision for yourself!

Sam says February 22, 2016

Dear ed
Please your children needs u alive so that u can be able to take proper care of them please don’t hesitate to leave him because that will good for your soul

Makas says March 22, 2016

Dont let her be because of his behaviour. I believe One day he will understand

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