Gretchen Rubin

Try Not To Talk in a Mean Voice. Try Again. And Again.

Try Not To Talk in a Mean Voice. Try Again. And Again.

So much of my Happiness Project is aimed at helping me curb my very strong tendency to "talk in a mean voice" or "make a mean face" (which is how my daughters refer to this behavior). In a flash of irritation or anger, I snarl at my sweet daughters or my good-natured husband.

They don't like this, and I don't like this. These outbursts are short, but they really sour the atmosphere of our home. Paradoxically, too, I often behave worse afterwards, instead of better, because my guilt about losing my temper puts me in a bad mood, which makes it even harder to behave myself.

I follow many resolutions meant to keep me from boiling over in this way. I get enough sleep. I get up earlier so I have time to get organized in the morning. I don't let myself get too hungry. I make more time to read. I manage mild pain and discomfort. I enforce a quitting time on myself. I try to make a joke when things that go wrong.

I'm doing better (I think). But still, many times each week, I act in this way.

Do you struggle to keep your temper with your family? What resolutions work for you? I could really use a few more to add a few more into the mix.

icon emailNewsletterLight

Get monthly newsletter updates from Gretchen.

icon schooled

Find out if you’re an Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or a Rebel.

The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t actOur Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding your Tendency lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively.

Take the quiz

Get My Monthly Newsletter

Sign up to get my free monthly newsletter. It highlights the best material from here, my Facebook Page, and new original work.