How a Boy Learned to Restrain His Bad Temper

This is a short story about restraining bad temper. (If I learn who has written the original story, I´ll add the information.)

This is one of those timeless stories that teach the importance of treating people with respect.



There once was a little boy who had a quite a temper and got angry very easily. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there."




How to Control Your Bad Temper?

The next time you get angry with someone and are about to speak, ask yourself if there was a way to say what you want to say with neutral words. Often the habit of reacting angrily is just that - a habit you learned when you were young and haven´t questioned since. You might have become blind to the effect it has on your life.

It is really so that the world reflects back your own attitude. If you constantly wonder why people are angry at you, perhaps it is you who treated them with anger first? Listen to the words and tone of voice you use. And try, really try to speak neutrally to someone who are angry with. If you know it will be difficult, write the words down first. Rehearse it in your mind. Decide on a prize you will give to yourself if you succeed.

Teach your mind intentionally to use respectful words. And you just might find that life begins to feel a lot nicer - because people aren´t angry at you anymore.


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