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Out Of Control Anger At The Mall

by Greg
(Chicago)

So I'm at the mall with my wife and we were shopping for a gift for my niece. I wanted to get a gift card to a store she likes and be done with it. My wife was going to run in and take a quick look and see if she could find something she liked for her, then as a last resort, get the gift card. We also had our 15 month old with us and he was running all over the place, so I wanted to get this done even more.

After about 20 mins, I went up to her and asked if we could PLEASE wrap this up in a somewhat annoyed tone. She then responded with "I'm doing this for your niece, you know." I then walked away and went outside generally mad.


About 10 mins later, she came out and walked up to me and said, “I demand a apology.” I then got super pissed off because I didn’t really think I did anything wrong and started to grab my coat with my son in my arms, which my wife held onto, which made me even madder. So I pulled my coat from her and stormed off, heading back to the car only looking back once.

She then got super mad at me for walking off and went argued all the way home. She was deeply upset by this and said I acted like a 5 year old and had totally reacted poorly. I have had this happen once in a while over the years, where I go from calm to super upset, and I throw a bunch of verbal daggers and semi-insults.

Then it turns into me defending myself by telling her what she did wrong to set me off.

My question is this, how do I not fly off the handle and if I do get upset, how can I do it without jumping down her throat and dishing out insults?




Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Greg, and thanks for telling your story here. It sounds like when you're calm, you know you don't want to react like that. That's good. You're a good person, and even though you feel justified while you're in the anger reaction, you later regret it--because that "jumping down her throat" behavior doesn't match up with who you are or who you want to be.

Please follow all of the recommendations on this page. Do everything that is recommended, and you will get some good results. These are tools, and they only work if you use them enough to develop some skill.

If you want an indepth solution that you can start right now, check out these online anger management classes.

Make up your mind to be the good man you choose to be. You can do this, Greg.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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