When adults throw tantrums, I want to say, "Grow up!" I don't actually say it; it doesn't work with adults any better than it does with toddlers.
However, the words are a true description of the problem. Emotional maturity is lacking, at least during the tantrum.
I consider myself self-aware. I pay attention to my reactions when they're outside my personal range of normal. Given that knowledge about me combined with my temporary increased levels of stress, I thought this personal story might be helpful.
Recently, I couldn't find MY PURPLE TOP. It's in CAPS in the story wherever I was emotionally immature and screaming; let me emphasize: I was running very late and COULDN'T FIND IT!
I opened four drawers in about 45 seconds as the slamming after each one grew louder. "Where is IT?" I marched to the laundry room, then back to the laundry basket in our closet. There were a few expletives that I may or may not have said in my 180 second whirlwind of looking for the PURPLE TOP!
With complete courage, Jeff asked, "What are you looking for?" Without acknowledging his attempt to be helpful, I said, "My purple TOP." He started opening my drawers to help, as I reminded him, "It's NOT THERE!"
Despite my encouragement to engage battle, he continued until I heard, "Is this it?"
CRApppp. He found it.
With raised eyebrows, he noted, "Wound a little tight today?" We laughed a lot.
His comment and timing was really good. It helped. He accepted me. It reminded me to accept me.
Don't take yourself too seriously. Laugh. Don't take others too seriously. Laugh. Whether it's a little or a lot, laugh.
Hint: Don't laugh if your spouse is in the midst of a tantrum. Timing is critical.