The assertiveness training class is an excellent idea! I have a tendency to flare, too. But, I "tune into" my emotions. If I feel that "flare" start, I immediately say, "I'll be right back." I turn on my heels and do not show my feelings EVER to the patient. I leave the room until I have cooled off or send someone else in to handle the problem. I then congratulate myself for being "in control" of *ME* when the person who hollered at me wasn't in control of themselves at all. Usually, just that thought allows me to go back and deal with the situation better. Another trick I use when I feel the "flare of anger" is to objectify the situation. In other words, I try to see everything as an OBSERVER, not a participant. That allows me to really see what is happening with the patient: the furrowed brow, the angry hand mannerisms, the loud voice, and that allows me to do an ASSESSMENT and an INTERVENTION. Maybe the patient is in pain, needs a referral to social services because he isn't coping with his illness, etc. Another way is to just repeat what the person said, like, "You're upset because your food is cold." Then shut up and wait for a response. OR, another good answer would be, "what can I do to correct this for you?" The point is that when you see people's bad behavior as a SYMPTOM (anger, fear, feelings of helplessness, poor coping, etc.), you can deal with it appropriately. Tell yourself that you will CHOOSE, instead of just knee-jerk react, how to calm the situation down in the best way. Those are my tricks for keeping my mouth under control. You'll find your own ways, too.