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How to deal with a short-tempered person?
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
4 min
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Question: How to deal with a short-tempered person?

Shri Prashant: Why are you only asking about how to deal with those who are very short tempered? There are different people in the world, some are short-tempered and some are long-tempered (laughs) .

People have different natures. If you’re aware, attentive , your response will always be right. If I’m filled with love then I’ll know how to deal with a lazy man and how to deal with a skilful person. If I’m intelligent, I know how to deal with a person who is laughing and how to deal with a person who is crying. Both are opposites, but my intelligence can give solution to both, right?

A person may be short-tempered or something else, but the right action can’t be planned beforehand. It can be decided on the very moment by being attentive. But the question is: why has the questioner talked about short-tempered persons? You didn’t ask, ‘Sir if I get to meet an intelligent person or a Buddha, how I should behave?’ You asked if you get to meet a short-tempered person, how should you deal with him. It is because when you meet a short-tempered person, it hurts your ego . So, essentially, you are asking how to secure, protect your ego. You have asked me how to deal with short-tempered persons because a short-tempered person gives pain . He pierces your ego, hits your ego. Somebody abuses you and you feel your self-esteem being shattered into pieces. Hence, you ask how to deal with these kinds of people.

L: But he is able to hurt me.

SP: A short-tempered person is able to hurt you because your ego is ready to get hurt; otherwise, what is so special about a short-tempered person? He is burning in anger , let him burn. He is able to taunt you because you have something on which he can put a scratch, make holes; and that is nothing but your ‘ego’, your ‘self-concept’. You understand yourself as a very respectable person and you meet an angry old man and he says to you, “You are worse than the insects in the gutter.” And hence, your self-concept starts shaking and then you get angry. An egoistic person knows very well what has to be done to hurt the other. He knows that he needs to hurt the ego of the other person. Otherwise, if a person is short-tempered, at the most what can be done? One can have pity on him. He has got red eyes, he is burning with anger and he is an object of sympathy. Isn’t he? But instead of sympathy, he becomes an object of hatred, we feel as if he is a danger to us. He is dangerous; he is dangerous to our ego. By labelling him as dangerous, you have made him unnecessarily important.

Next time you meet somebody like that, don’t loose your attention. You become fearful, he will try to tempt you, as it is our nature that if somebody abuses us; we want to abuse him back. All his effort is there to provoke your ego. But if you are watchful, you are mindful; you will not be hurt; rather, you’ll enjoy the whole process. Somebody would be shouting, somebody would be beating his head and you’ll be standing and watching the whole process, enjoying. Will it not be a great scene? Or will you want to do the same what the short-tempered person does? Do you want to perform a duet? Better let all this happen in solo and you just watch, watch attentively. You don’t get involved into it. Then you’ll know the fun of watching rubbish.

And I’m not suggesting you to remain a stone when somebody pounces over you with a sword. In that moment, rush away. Do all that is appropriate, do it attentively, don’t get carried away. Don’t make it a matter of ego, self-esteem. Ego is always waiting to get hurt, don’t oblige it!

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