A Bad Temper Can Leave Scars

- | 85 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Self Improvement

kid showing bad temper with a hammer in hand

Do you have a bad temper that you wish you didn’t have? Can you imagine the damage such a temper can do to you and others? It can leave lifelong scars that are often difficult to heal.

Bad temper is a persisting angry mood that any of us can have. It is merely a way to remove or displace your frustration, but only few think about what happens after that.

Nothing good really happens when you have a bad temper. Not only does the person at the receiving end suffer both mentally and physically, but you also make a dent in your persona.

A person with such an ill temper will affect others around him by making things unpleasant. It can cause stress, which leads to many health problems.

“We must interpret a bad temper as a sign of inferiority.” ~ Alfred Adler

Let me take you through a story, which is an excerpt from what I read somewhere that inspired today’s post. It’s about a little boy who had a bad temper and what it resulted in. So, here we go.

What a Bad Temper Can Lead to

Once there was an extremely bright and talented boy. But sadly, he possessed a bad habit; he had a very bad temper.

Whenever he was angry, he did and said things that often hurt people because he had little regard for those around him.

Though he would sometimes realize and accept his mistakes, but still he had very few friends to call his own.

This made him sad as he could not understand the reason why people stopped being his friend. He decided to seek his parents help

His parents also remained worried about his irritable nature and temper. Finally, one day the father had an idea.

He asked his son to try out a little exercise. He gave him a bag of nails and a hammer.

He told him that, “Whenever you lose your temper I want you to really let it out. Just take a nail and drive it into the old fence with the oak boards in the backyard. And hit the nail as hard as you can.”

It wasn’t easy for the son to drive the nails into the weathered oak boards in the old fence because they were tough as iron. More so, the hammer was pretty heavy.

However, by the end of the first day, the boy had driven 39 nails into the fence! Wasn’t he really one angry young man!

Gradually, within a few weeks, the number of nails on the fence dwindled down. Guess what? Yeah, keeping his bad temper in control was easier than driving nails into the fence!

Finally, the day came when there was no nail on the fence because the boy didn’t lose his temper. He felt proud of himself as he shared his achievements with his parents.

The boy’s father told him that, “as a sign of your success, you will now pull out one nail, and do that each day when you don’t lose your temper even once.”

It took a lot of efforts for the boy to control his temper, but one day he was able to report proudly to his father that all the nails were gone.

“Never do anything when you are in a temper, for you will do everything wrong.” ~ Baltasar Gracian

Lesson Learnt About Bad Temper

The father appreciated his son’s efforts as he walked along with him and took a look at the fence. But there’s a lesson that each one of us can learn from what the father told his son about bad temper.

The father said, “ You’ve done well, but I want you to notice the holes you have left in the fence. Whatever happens now, this fence will never remain the same.”

He carried on saying, “When we say or do hurtful things in a bad temper or anger, it produces the same kind of result. It leaves such holes and scars.”

“It doesn’t matter how many times you say you are sorry, or how many years pass, the scars remain. And a verbal wound is as bad as a physical one, often worse.”

“Similarly, people are more valuable than an old fence. They make us smile.  Some even become our friends and support us, share our joys and sorrows.”

“And if these people trust us, then we need to treat them with love and respect. We need to prevent as many of those scars as we can. If we don’t then people will not like to be our friends.”

“Keep your temper. A decision made in anger is never sound.” ~ Ford Frick


Wasn’t that a beautiful story with a valuable lesson? Isn’t it a reminder most us need from time to time?

Everyone gets angry sometime or the other and some of us even have a bad temper, and that’s alright. But remember, once the scars are formed, they take a long time to heal.

Therefore, the real test is what we do with that temper and how we handle things.

Over to you

Do you have a bad temper? If you do, how do you deal with your temper? Did you leave any scars behind? Share your comments below.


Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photos

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85 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Rachel

    2013-11-18 at 8:28 pm

    I have always had a fiery temper when it comes out. I become very aggressive both physically and verbally when I lose control, although the physical aggression has calmed down a lot as I’ve gotten older. I worked to control it better as I saw the health implications my father faced due to his bad temper, from whom I believe I inherited my bad temper, and over the years I have been able to control my temper a lot better. I am not an all-round angry person – I am infact very level headed in my normal good moods, but it doesn’t take a lot to push my buttons. This story means a lot to me – I have hurt people in the past due to my temper and know the damage will always be there. Teaches you to think before you act. 🙂

  2. Dinesh

    2013-05-02 at 7:34 am

    It doesn’t matter whether your temper was bad or really bad … it always leave scars of remorse.

  3. Anita Shelton

    2013-03-24 at 8:57 am

    What a wonderful story, and what a lesson. I deal with losing my temper sometimes with my grandchildren whom I homeschool. One of my grandchildren has temper “meldowns” partly due to her having been a preemie born at 29 weeks. However, we both are doing better because I admitted to her that I am trying not to get angry and yell at them, and she is working on not having temper tantrums. So, we are helping each other.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-24 at 11:14 am

      Welcome to the blog Anita!

      Glad you liked the story and lesson as well. 🙂

      I can understand your situation, as it’s certainly not easy to keep one’s cool with kid’s around! I’ve also heard about children who are born before their time – to have a bad temper and other problems that aren’t in their hands, though never come across any. I like the way you are handling her, and she too must be understanding your language of love more than anything else.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  4. Julidarma

    2013-01-30 at 5:24 am

    Hello Harleena.

    This is interesting topic for me. I thinks bad temper is not good for health. When someone at bad temper conditions, he need more energy. This will triggger the increasing of blood pressure. Not only that at Bad temper conditions, it hard to think positive. Futhermore he tend to do the negative things

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-02-17 at 11:33 pm

      Glad you liked the post Julidarma!

      Yes indeed, bad temper or anger IS bad to health for anyone. You spend more energy and suffer from many diseases and ailments, just like blood pressure and other things. And once you are in a temper, it becomes tough to think positively, and you tend to harm and hurt a lot of people around you too – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  5. Debbie

    2012-11-06 at 10:27 pm

    Hi Mayura and Harleena,

    Just got through reading your reply. If you are a little afraid to hug your father, start off next time you see him and when you are ready to leave by just throwing in, “by the way father I love you.” and than go on your way. It may open some doors for you and give him something to think about. Expressing love can tear down the highest wall.

    I did start the hugging and I love you before I go married. I just wanted to let them know and if they did not want to except the affection this was not my worry. It made me feel better.

    Don’t let your fears get in the way of love. Love is stronger than fear! Everyone likes to know and hear that they are loved.

    You take care now and yes, Harleena is a very wise woman. Even if she does not like all the hugs LOL Here is a hug to you both. XXXX

    • Harleena Singh

      2012-11-06 at 11:56 pm

      Yes indeed, that’s sounds like a workable solution Debbie!

      Just going straight out and hugging a person and saying those 3 magic words works wonders at times, and it would take the other person unawares too. 🙂

      Some people would like this and take it positively, while for others it might take sometime to get used to the idea, but I’m sure they would love the gesture either ways. I am sure Mayura could try this out, though once he let’s go of his fears he has about his Dad because it’s not that easy for him I think as he doesn’t have that openness with his Dad perhaps. However, it’s never too late to start things all over again, whenever you are ready – isn’t it?

      Love IS stronger than fear, and it conquers all. Ah…not all that wise Debbie, though I welcome all the hugs I get now. 🙂

      Thanks for your words of wisdom. 🙂

      • Debbie

        2012-11-07 at 2:01 am

        Like the “conquers all” you added. You are wiser that you are giving yourself credit for. 🙂

        • Harleena Singh

          2012-11-07 at 8:02 am

          Thanks once again Debbie for all your help and support 🙂

  6. Nikky44

    2012-11-04 at 9:59 am

    I do get angry, but I never show this anger and keep it inside. People might think that I’m indifferent or passive, but the truth is that I have learned never to show my feelings. My anger is very well controlled but it is usually turned against myself

    • Harleena Singh

      2012-11-04 at 9:47 pm

      That’s very normal Nikky!

      Most of us tend to get angry sometime or the other, though all we need to know is how to manage our temper – isn’t it? Keeping the anger inside is good, though if kept for too long, it tends to harm you from within. I guess finding ways to release your anger in some way helps.

      Perhaps you can try things like taking up cooking or anything creative, though I know your wonderful blog is an expression and kind of your release too – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  7. Ferb

    2012-11-03 at 8:11 am

    Bad temper is really bad. I don’t know if I even have bad temper but when I hear someone has bad temper I’d immediately want to change myself to good temper. The way of his dad tough him to rid of his bad temper is so great I’ll definitely try it out.

    Thank you – Ferb

    • Harleena Singh

      2012-11-03 at 10:05 am

      It sure is Ferb!

      Oftentimes we don’t realize or get to know if we have a bad temper or not, until someone else tells us about it because it becomes part of our nature. Yes indeed, seeing a bad temper in others makes us realize instantly that we shouldn’t become like them – it’s a lesson in disguise. 🙂

      Yes indeed, in the story the father did try out an exercise with his son, so that he could learn to see his anger and find ways to deal with it too.

      Thanks for stopping by, and hope you try it out too. 🙂

  8. Jeevan Jacob John

    2012-11-03 at 2:27 am

    I think I used to have a bad temper – well, just towards my parents (I guess when you are going through your teenage, that’s a normal thing!)

    But, these days I do really realize what my parents tell me are all for good 😉 And I am able to control my temper (thanks to blogging of course – all the self development posts and experimentation associated with it!).

    Btw, great story, Harleena 🙂 I have heard it before, but it was great to read it again and remind myself 🙂

    I guess we all get angry sometimes, don’t we? It’s a better of balance and controlling that anger – controlling our emotions!

    • Harleena Singh

      2012-11-03 at 9:16 am

      It’s common with many of us Jeevan!

      I guess more than having a bad temper, it’s anger which is prevalent in us, which I think is very normal to have. Yes indeed, in teenagers it’s more prevalent due to the hormonal changes they undergo mostly.

      Ah…now that are over with your teens (or nearly), you tend to see the good in what your parents do for you – isn’t it? These are signs of maturing. 🙂

      What matters most when we are angry or in a temper is to learn to control it or then divert it by doing something that takes your mind away from the temper. However, it’s good if you can analyze the reason of the temper and work towards removing it from the root level, though that does take a long time.

      Thanks for liking the story, and for stopping by. 🙂

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A Bad Temper Can Leave Scars

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