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Gretchen Rubin

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

Posted: 08/01/2012 9:32 pm

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 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 into the mix.

I'm working on my Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyone's project will look different, but it's the rare person who can't benefit. Join in -- no need to catch up, just jump in right now. Each Friday's post will help you think about your own happiness project.

-- Happier at Home is available for pre-order! Buy early and often. You can read a sample chapter here.

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