Richard is doing well now, but he was a real hothead when he first came to see me. He lost his temper in all sorts of everyday situations, especially those over which he had little control.
Long meetings at work drove him crazy (long-winded boss). Ditto for rush-hour commutes (traffic), long family trips in the car (bickering kids), and discussions with his wife about money (different priorities). Once, while trying to assemble a storage cabinet, he got so frustrated (crummy instructions) that he threw the thing across the room.
Richard and I started our work together by identifying ways in which he could exercise at least some control in such situations. He realized that he was more likely to keep his cool on family trips if he got plenty of rest beforehand. Similarly, he found that having a snack before a meeting helped him stay calm, no matter how long his boss droned on. Robert also realized just how vital maintaining his sense of humor was to his well-being. He started collecting Dilbert cartoons, and even added sense of humor to his packing lists.
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