Do you find yourself losing your temper easily? Or, maybe it’s someone close to you that has a short fuse?
Either way, it’s important to know what the triggers and characteristics of a short-tempered person are.
By identifying these characteristics you can avoid angering a short-tempered person or get your own temper under control!
13 Characteristics of a Short Tempered Person
1. They Get Angry Over the Smallest of Things
This is an obvious one, but if someone is short-tempered they’re going to get angry, annoyed, or irritated over the smallest of things.
‘Small’ means different things to different people, but I’m sure you can take an objective look at the situation.
No one should be getting mad about being five minutes late, not being able to find their shoes, tripping over, etc.
If you or someone you know is having consistent issues with anger, it might be a good idea to look into counseling. Therapy has done amazing things in my life, and I really recommend it. Online-therapy.com is a great online therapy platform and they are currently offering 20% off.
2. They Always Have an Excuse for Getting Angry
When you try to talk to a short-tempered person about their anger, they will always have an excuse.
It’s never their fault that they got mad, there’s always someone or something to blame.
For example: “I’m not angry, I’m just tired,” “I’m not angry, I’m just hungry,” or “they shouldn’t be winding me up”, etc
The truth is, however, that they simply can’t keep their temper under control.
3. They Can Never Let a Disagreement Go
If you try to have a sensible discussion or a debate with a short-tempered person, it’s likely to end in an argument.
And when they do disagree with something you say, they will never let it go, even if it’s clear that they’re wrong.
The need to be right all the time and getting angry when they’re not is a strong characteristic of short-tempered people.
4. They Always Have to Win a Fight
On the back of never letting a disagreement or argument go, short-tempered people also like to have the last word.
They’re usually not interested in hearing your side of the story or trying to see things from your perspective.
It’s all about winning for them, and the more it feels like it’s not going their way the angrier they’ll get.
5. They Keep Escalating Arguments
If someone is short-tempered, they’re likely to keep escalating an argument until it’s way out of proportion.
This usually happens because they can’t back down or admit that they’re wrong (see above).
It might start with a simple disagreement but before you know it, they’re shouting and swearing at you.
6. They Do Not Like Being Interrupted
If you’re in the middle of a conversation with a short-tempered person and you try to chip in or interrupt, they’re likely to get mad at you.
This is because they feel like they need to be heard and that their opinion is the only one that matters.
Interrupting them just makes them feel disrespected and unimportant, and instead of being able to wait patiently, they’ll feel their anger rising.
7. They Often Take Innocent Comments Personally
If you’re talking to a short-tempered person and you make an innocent comment that they perceive as being negative, they’re likely to take it personally.
They might even start an argument with you over something that wasn’t even meant as a dig!
It’s important to be careful when talking to someone who is short-tempered and try not to say anything that could be turned into a criticism.
8. They Are Confrontational
If you’re the kind of person who likes to avoid conflict, being around someone who is short-tempered can be really tough.
This is because they’re often quite confrontational and will start arguments or debates with people for no reason.
Speaking one’s mind is one thing, and that’s completely fine a lot of the time. But being confrontational and aggressive is not OK!
9. It Takes Them a Long Time to Calm Down
If someone is short-tempered, they’re quick to get angry and it usually takes them a long time to calm down, too.
This is because they’re still fuming, their anger hasn’t had time to dissipate, and they can’t get their emotions under control.
It’s important not to try and talk to them or reason with them when they’re in this state.
Angry or short-tempered people are not able to make rational decisions when they’re in this state.
10. They’re Not Good at Listening
Short-tempered people are not typically good at listening – even when it appears although they’re listening attentively.
This is because wherever they hear things that they don’t agree with their temper starts to rise and it clouds their judgment.
Also, angry people don’t receive information in the same way as level-headed people do.
So, while they may be listening, it’s very likely they aren’t hearing what you’re saying in the way you’re intending if they don’t agree with you.
11. When They See ‘Red’ They Completely Change
When a short-tempered person gets angry, also called ‘seeing red’ they can completely change.
This is because their anger takes over and they’re not thinking rationally anymore.
They might say or do things that they later regret because they’re not in control of their emotions.
It’s important to try and stay calm when talking to someone who is short-tempered and hope they come back ‘down’ sooner rather than later.
12. They Don’t Notice When They’re Intimidating People
If you’re around a short-tempered person, you might start to feel intimidated by their behavior.
This is because they can be quite scary when they’re angry, and they might not even realize it!
I will add that it’s important to remember that just because someone is short-tempered doesn’t mean they’re a bad person.
But it does mean that you should tread carefully!
13. They Are Unable to Control Their Temper when It’s Really Necessary
If a short-tempered person is really mad, they’re likely to lose all control of their temper.
This can be dangerous because they might say or do something that they can’t take back.
This is most telling when someone loses their temper in a situation or environment when they should be able to control themselves.
Such as getting angry around children, in public, at work where it can harm their work relationships, etc.
Anyone with a grip on their temper and emotions would be able to pick and choose where and when they lose their temper (as crazy as that sounds).
A short-tempered person is not able to!
Image credits – Photo by Alexandra Mirgheș on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.