In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions podcast, I talk about why we surprise ourselves and others by losing our temper and behaving uncharacteristically. I also share tips for not getting tipped over the edge (and learning from it and recovering when we do).

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5 key topics in this episode

  • Habits like people pleasing, perfectionism, overthinking, overgiving, and over-responsibility are strategies for avoiding our feelings. Routinely suppressing and repressing our needs, desires, expectations, feelings and opinions mean that it’s a matter of when not if we explode and lose our temper. Or… we’re going to implode and break down internally.
  • Warding off losing your temper isn’t about repressing and silencing feelings; it’s about intervening with compassionate self-awareness and utilising self-knowledge so that you are not hijacked by your feelings into doing something that will lead to shame, not just because of what you might say or do to someone else but because of how you might subsequently perceive your lack of self-control. 
  • Have an agreement with you that when certain feelings come along, you don’t go on the war path. Instead, opt to hold fire. The agreement isn’t that you don’t get angry or feel your feelings; the agreement is that you don’t use your feelings as an excuse to pop off and relieve your tension valve. 
  • If you have an agreement with yourself that you don’t cuss people out, lash out, lose your temper in ways that you know to be destructive, etc., it’s a lot easier to recognise when you’re in that zone because the agreement is specific. 
  • Own it. This is my stuff. This is where it comes from. I’m not saying that how I feel or why I felt it is rational or 100% on point, but what I felt and why is OK.’ What we do with it, on the other hand, might not be. So even though I recognise where it was coming from, I recognise that how I communicated it, including how it came out in my behaviour overstepped mine and another person’s boundaries. 

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The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want (Harper Horizon/HarperCollins) is out now and available in bookshops on and offline. Listen to the first chapter.
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