When I was in grade school, my best friend was Sharon. There were six kids in her family, so eight people total – all living in a small Manhattan apartment.

Not surprisingly, Sharon’s mother occasionally experienced moments of frustration where she would say to one or more of her children, “You are on my last nerve!”

Somehow, I have never forgotten that phrase.

Honestly, we’ve all experienced this. One too many requests for our time. One too many emails about something stupid. Our co-founder or partner not making a decision. It’s the final domino that tips over the rest and you are ready to blow.

We’ve all been under a lot of stress recently, and often in too close quarters with people for too long. There’s a good chance that someone or something is going to be on your last nerve right now.

Here is some advice for how to avoid going off on someone, so you don’t have to apologize for the next day, week, month – or lifetime.