Mourinho, whose United side host Sunderland at Old Trafford today, has twice been sent to the stands and serve two touchline bans for letting his emotions get the better of him.
And the self-appointed Special One admitted he has made a conscious decision to change the way he operates during certain matches – for fear of being sent off again.
“Against Everton I sat for 90 minutes, when I love to be on the touchline,” said Mourinho. “Do you know why? Because I’m afraid to be sent off.
“I don’t change my nature or my passion, but I feel I have to act like this. I like to be closer to the game, like to communicate with the players and be closer to the touchline.
“But in some matches away I prefer to be in the position where I don’t have that feeling.”
Mourinho, speaking to United We Stand fanzine in a wide-ranging interview, also insisted he was happy living in Manchester, despite describing attention from photographers as a “disaster”.
And the former Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss said he was so content with life at United the only way he will leave is if the club decide to sack him.
“I’d like to stay for a long time,” said Mourinho. “Man United will get rid of me when they want, not when I want, because I don’t want to leave.
“For me as a football manager, London, Milan, Madrid, Manchester, Beijing or Shanghai is the same.
“I don’t go to cities to enjoy cities, I go to cities to work, to be a football manager. I go to make people happy.
“I’m here to do what I’m doing. I’m here to arrive at the training ground every day at 8am and leave the training ground on a normal day at six o’clock.
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“Then I leave, have dinner and rest. I’ve chosen the job I want to have and I’m in the club where I want to be.
“I had success and periods where I won titles – but I was not fully happy with what I was doing.
“I felt that I could do better and give more. but in this moment I’m happy with what I’m doing and I’m going to chase the ultimate happiness in football, which is winning matches and winning titles.”
On the challenge of taking United back to the top, Mourinho said: “It’s much more difficult to win, to be dominant, to have a monopoly.
“But the expectation in relation to what the club means and the history of the club means there is a contradiction.
“In the Premier League right now there are clubs with 5 per cent of United’s history and probably in this moment they are better equipped for success.”
*The full interview with Mourinho is in the January edition of United We Stand, on sale now, price £2.50. For further information visit www.uwsonline.com