Tantrums or tantrums in adults: causes and tips

Low tolerance for frustration and stress can be causes of tantrums in adults. We give you strategies to deal with this situation.

Last update: May 14, 2022

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the words tantrum either huff? Surely you imagine that it is something for children.

It is and has an explanation: his tantrums refer to a collapse of your developing brain. In other words, the structures that allow it to regulate itself are not yet consolidated. So it is to be expected that they will have these emotional outbursts.

However, tantrums or tantrums in adults also happen, although for other reasons. Let’s see what this is about.



What are tantrums or tantrums?

Although we get used to the idea of ​​tantrums in childhood, they also appear in adult life. Although in this case it is a lack of social and emotional skills.

The tantrum or tantrum of adults speaks of an inability to manage the emotions of frustration, rage or anger. In this way, you react in a way that is not appropriate to the situation.

That is to say, it is not about denying or avoiding that emotion that we are feeling, but about knowing how to channel it and express it, so that the response is adaptive and respectful of the rights of others.

However, beyond the excessiveness of a tantrum, you have to look a little further. The question would be what is the underlying problem.

An attack of anger or anger in an adult can occur, although it is also expected that the person has the resources to manage this emotion and channel it.

What is a tantrum like in adults?

The case can be presented in different ways. Among the most common we find the following:

  • Deathly silence: against a comment, a bad face or the denial of a request, the reaction of the tantrum is absolute silence. He tries to talk to that person, but does not answer, looks the other way and completely ignores.
  • Burst: the person seems to get out of control. It is even accompanied by changes on a physical level, such as reddening of the face. Who observes the situation sees drama and exaggeration, since the tantrum escalates quickly. In the worst cases, the tantrum leads to insults, physical violence towards the other person or objects.
  • Passive aggressiveness: sometimes the person’s style is less confrontational, but just as aggressive. So you choose to make certain hurtful comments.

Causes of Tantrums or Tantrums in Adults

Tantrums or tantrums in adults can be caused by different reasons. Some are as follows:

  • Low tolerance to frustration: we cannot bear that things do not go or are not done as we want.
  • There is no proper management of emotions: emotions exist, they are innate, but reacting to them requires learning. Many times, these outbursts or explosions of anger come from having suppressed what you felt for a long time.
  • More complex mood problem: for example, anger and frustration are common symptoms of depression.


Tips for coping with tantrums or tantrums in adults

Some of the strategies that we can practice to avoid ending up in a tantrum are the ones that we will discuss now. Try applying them if you think they get out of control sometimes.

set limits

To avoid conflict, more than once we are able to keep what happens to us or what causes us certain situation. However, drop by drop the glass is filled and the day comes when it overflows. That day is the day of the tantrum.

Learn to identify your triggers

Not all situations or comments affect us in the same way. To help control ourselves, it is important to discover what it is that annoys us so much.

A) Yes we can avoid those circumstances, prepare to face them or use other strategies that help us react in a better way. What other times has it happened to you before? This can be a guiding question.

In the same line, learn to identify what the physical symptoms are that accompany the attack of rage. Tension in the body, palpitations, clenched teeth? This way we can recognize them earlier.

Find leisure and relaxation spaces

Regarding the first, it is essential to be able to disconnect from obligations and routine to be calm. A stressed mind is much more prone to outbursts of anger.

As for the second, it is about learning to breathe to give a calmer and less impulsive response. The mindfulness and yoga are some of the options that can be used.

Look for spaces that are pleasant for you and practice activities that connect you with your interior to avoid tantrums.

Ask for professional help

Sometimes, managing anger and frustration requires guided work and accompaniment, since both emotions are linked to other experiences And memories.

Emotions are quality of life

Tantrums are often seen from a derogatory point of view, sometimes underestimating the cause or what they express in a covert or inadequate way. Perhaps the way of making known what happens to us is not correct and takes us away from our objectives, but sometimes it is the only one we know or the only one possible according to our resources.

Undoubtedly, an adequate expression of emotions is a decisive factor in our quality of life. And that is where we should go.

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