The Happiness Project

A chronicle of my attempts to test-drive every tip, principle and scientific study that promotes happiness

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

I follow many resolutions meant to keep me from boiling over.

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 that go wrong.

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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 a few more 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.

Also ...

  • Quarterly is a very fun subscription service; you sign up to get quarterly surprises in the mail from different contributors--including me!

  • Sorry, everyone, I've had a glitch. At the top of the site, there's a place to enter your email if you've pre-ordered Happier at Home and want the one-page guide on "Patron Saints." Alas, many of the emails entered were lost. If you want to get the Patron Saints guide and haven't received it yet, add your email again. Sorry about that. And thanks, as always, for pre-ordering. It's a big help. Big!

Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project, a book and a blog about her adventures learning to be happier.

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