Stress, amongst other things, can make us do crazy things. We might scream, act out, purposefully say cruel things – all of which we’re terribly embarrassed about after the fact. Which then brings us to that awful post-tantrum face-to-face moment with the victim of our tirade where we’re trying to all chill like it never even happened.
It’s hard to own up to your mistakes. Rather than pretend you’re covered by the temporary-insanity defense, put on your big girl panties, swallow your pride, and apologize. You may offer valid reasons for your behavior but offer no excuses (you can recognize excuses as the statement that immediately follows the “but” in any apology). Include a plan for improvement.
“Baby, I’m incredibly sorry for my head spinning off my body and yelling at you as though you were the priest from The Exorcist. I’m feeling really stressed out between work and the holidays. I’m thinking next year we should cut out our weekly dinner party at this time of year and see if we can talk your family into a pot-luck for Christmas dinner.”
Easy-peasy. My mailbox is open: email@example.com