7 Tips to Control a Short Fuss from Stress

Tips To Stop Mental & Emotional Abuse

Do you regularly get comments about the way you react?

Do you find yourself often short-sighted? Do you sometimes react more violently than you would like?

Then you probably realize that your fuse is much shorter than you would like. And of course you want to do something about that!

In this article, I’ll give you 7 tips to manage your short fuse. What are you waiting for? Let’s go!

Purpose of this article: In this article I’m going to explain what a short fuse is exactly. I will also tell you something about the relationship between stress and a short fuse

In addition, what other causes of a short fuse can be, what consequences a short fuse can have and I conclude with 7 tips to manage a short fuse due to stress.

What does a short fuse mean?

If you have a short fuse, you get angry quickly and are often hot-tempered. Sometimes your anger gets so out of hand that you also have tantrums.

If you have a short fuse yourself, you probably notice that you become angry, furious or even furious much faster than other people. Often you just get angry for nothing, because something doesn’t work right away or simply because things don’t go the way you would like.

Short fuse lit by a match

You may not always realize this, but others often don’t feel comfortable with you when you are so hot-tempered.

If you often overreact, people may be afraid to give you their opinion or upset you with something they do.

I probably don’t need to explain to you that this can lead to quite awkward situations. People often don’t dare to be themselves around you for fear of your reactions. In the long run, this can even lead to people avoiding you over time or to your relationship breaking down.

Short fused man is mad at woman looking down

Living with someone who has a short fuse can be very exhausting. If you have a partner with a short fuse, then you probably know that you are often wary. After all, he or she is often unpredictable and then you are afraid that your partner will become angry or hot-tempered at the slightest.

If you know someone close to you with a particularly short fuse, I can understand very well that you sometimes wonder how best to deal with such a person. So here are some tips:

What not to do:

  • Go counterattack. If you also become hot-tempered, then the fence is completely off the dam and the whole situation can escalate.
  • Don’t immediately criticize his or her behavior with statements such as “be reasonable,” “stop yelling,” or “take it easy.” After all, these are orders, and a person who breaks out in anger is beyond reason.
Man and woman yelling furiously at each other

What you can do:

  • Only when your partner is finished, he or she will be able to reason again and you can start a conversation. Give the situation time.
  • Approach the situation with an open mind: acknowledge your partner’s anger and show empathy. Do respond in an assertive way. You are not supposed to completely ignore yourself because of your partner’s short fuse.
  • Try to talk out this anger in a constructive way.

But why do some people get angry faster than others? What triggers a short fuse, anger or hot temper?

Having a short fuse due to stress

Stress is one of the main reasons why you become angry and hot-tempered more easily.

Man calms his angry girlfriend

Stress triggers numerous processes in your brain. This is normal because in dangerous circumstances these processes help you to survive.

However, it becomes a problem if these processes continue. And that is exactly what happens under the influence of stress.

Do you want to know exactly which processes are started and where exactly things go wrong in your brain? Be sure to watch the video below.

In this video, Dr. Sharon Horesh Bergquist explains very clearly what happens to your brain when you are under stress. She also gives some tips to avoid stress. I will come back to these tips later in this article.

Other causes of a short fuse

Mental illness

Many mental illnesses can cause you to rage in some circumstances. Think especially of borderline, antisocial personality disorders, certain behavioral disorders, etc…

However, one disorder stands out: the periodic explosive disorder . People who suffer from this mental disorder are often unable to control their anger at all and even engage in excessively violent behavior.

Furious man with a short fuse

In the DSM-5 (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) , this disorder is classified under ‘impulse control disorders’.

brain disorders

Brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s or dementia can cause people to have a short fuse. Often, impotence or the inability to express themselves or to remember are triggers for why patients are so hot-tempered.

People who have suffered brain trauma as a result of, for example, a stroke or an accident, are also more likely to erupt in anger.

Brain with lightning in it representing brain trauma


Your upbringing plays an important role in the way you deal with emotions.

If you were raised with the idea that it is okay to express your anger in a clear way, then you have not learned to understand and control this emotion.

On the other hand, if you were often punished as a child for expressing your anger, you may have trained yourself to suppress your anger. This is not a healthy situation, because getting angry is good in some cases.

Child looks away from her mother and suppresses her anger

However, the more you suppress your anger, the more likely that if you lose control of the situation, you will actually burst into anger. You often react very hot-tempered to ordinary things and under normal circumstances.

Character Trait

For some people, hot temper is just in their nature. Not everyone has the same amount of patience and a lack of this sometimes results in getting angry and grumpy more quickly.

Man with a short fuse at work

While you can’t change certain character traits, it’s important to work on them. You will find out why this is so important in the next section.

Consequences of a short fuse

Getting angry easily is not good for yourself, but even less for the people around you.

Over time, your short fuse can lead to social isolation. In turn, this can lead to all sorts of social anxiety .

Man standing all alone on a pier

If you do end up in social situations, it will be even more difficult for you to behave socially. As a kind of defense mechanism, that property of a short fuse comes up again. And so of course you end up in a vicious circle.

Numerous studies have shown that a short fuse and anger can have very negative effects on your health.

An article in the medical journal “Journal of Medicine and Life” clearly lists all the health problems of anger.

And these are not minor. Hot temper can lead to cardiovascular disease, lung problems, eating disorders and even diabetes.

I hope you now understand very well why it is so important to make that fuse of yours a little longer. I would like to give you 7 useful tips for this.

Control a short fuse? 7 tips

Tip 1: Think before you say something

It is not easy if you have a short fuse, but try it anyway and as often as possible: think before you speak.

Hurtful words and being aggressive can be hard on others. You can also suffer from this. You often feel guilty for reacting too quickly.

Guilty woman thinks and looks out the window

Thinking before you speak when you are irritated can prevent many problems.

Tip 2: Express your anger when you are calmer

It’s okay to disagree with someone and it’s okay to get angry when you feel you’ve been wronged. Bottling up anger is just as bad as expressing anger right away.

That is why it is important to express anger at the right time.

Are you wondering when is the right time to express your anger? Very simple: as soon as you are calmer and can think clearly again.

Calm woman takes her time before venting her anger

Do not express your frustrations in a confrontational way! Do it assertively, constructively and with room for dialogue.

Tip 3: Take a time out

If it all gets too much for you and you realize you’re about to explode, literally take a time-out. Sometimes you just need to clear your head completely.

A short break can help you to rejuvenate yourself. During such a break you can also calmly prepare for what is to come without getting irritated or angry.

Time out note

Tip 4: Look for the cause in yourself

In the heat of battle, it’s easy to blame someone else for your reaction. However, this also immediately criticizes you, which will only increase the tension.

If you have a short fuse, no one is to blame but yourself. Do not blame others, but find the cause within yourself.

Find out why you are so hot-tempered. Is it really someone else’s behavior that is fueling your short fuse? If you stop to think about this for a moment, you will probably notice that your anger comes from within yourself.

Many black question marks with a yellow question mark

Tip 5: Tackle that cause immediately

Do you have a short fuse from all the stress at work? Do you get short-tempered because everything falls on your shoulders at home? Is it a combination of both?

Address the cause of your short fuse. Take some gas back at work. This way you avoid work stress leading to unnecessary discussions.

Talk to your partner about what’s bothering you at home. Together you may be able to come up with a solution so that you become less hot-tempered.

Wife and husband talk about their short fuse

Tip 6: Exercise

Did you carefully watch the video by neuropsychologist Erik Scherder earlier in this article?

Then you probably know how important exercise (up to a certain level) is to get rid of stress and the accompanying anger.

Numerous scientific studies, bundled in an interesting document Exercise and its Impact on Anger Management , also prove this statement.

One by one, these studies showed that exercise can be used as a way to manage anger.

Tip 7: The Stress-Free Secret

Now that you’ve read this article, I hope you realize that a short fuse from stress can destroy a lot more than you would like. I also hope the above tips will help you deal with this better.

However, I have another special tip for you. Because this last tip is one of the most important, I deliberately saved it for last.

Woman sits on a chair with coffee and reads an ebook

After all, this is not just a tip. It’s a reference book that gives you a unique insight into why it’s so important to manage stress, anger and hot temper. This important tip is a complete e-book and it’s called ‘ The Stress-Free Secret ‘.

Curious how this ebook can help you manage your short fuse?

Take the stress test and you will find out this secret right away. As soon as you have taken the test, you will receive this e-book in your mailbox completely free of charge.


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