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Temper outbursts don’t help relationships. Staying cool and calm and thinking before you speak is the desired behavior. Well, researchers at the University of Michigan and Ohio State may have come up with a way to help tame your temper.

Here’s how it works: Your partner does something to irritate you and you are about to lose control. Instead of ruminating on what the person did (thinking about it over and over -this makes it more likely you will lose your temper), you try another approach. You step back from the situation and view it from a distance. Believe it or not, this small shift, called self-distancing, brings down the anger and irritability.

So next time you find yourself about to blow up at your partner, become a fly on the wall. Step back and take a little distance. This keeps aggressive thoughts and angry feelings at bay and makes you less likely to lose your temper.

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