Quantcast
How To Control Your Anger At Work | Fairygodboss
Mystery Woman
Tell us more for better jobs, advice
and connections
Don’t miss out on new opportunities.
YOUR TOPICS
Your feed isn’t personalized yet. Follow topics like career advice, lifestyle or health.
YOUR GROUPS
Discover and join groups with like-minded women who share your interests, profession, and lifestyle.
COMPANIES YOU FOLLOW
Get alerted when there are new employee reviews.
YOUR JOB ALERTS
Get notified when new jobs are posted.
Editorial
5 Ways To Curb Your Anger When Work Is Driving You Up The Dang Wall
Drobot Dean / Adobe Stock
Melody Wilding
star-svg
26
Comment
At one point or another, we’ve all felt totally irritated while at work: You pull an all-nighter on a project that then gets scrapped, a client criticizes your team for no apparent reason or you have a lazy co-worker who shows up late for a meeting again, dumping all the prep work on you.

It’s perfectly natural to experience a wide range of emotions in the workplace — including anger. Negative emotions are bound to come up on the job just as they do in our personal lives — and that’s not a bad thing.

Learning to productively and effectively communicate your emotions is key to boosting your emotional intelligence, which can make you a better leader and boost success across the board. In fact, getting fired up can motivate you and give you more focus to solve the problem at hand.

Here are five ways to deal when work’s making you angry:

1. Learn your Triggers

Understanding who and what makes you angry is key to heading off a full-blown freak out. Pay attention to the circumstances and people present when you get angry so you can better anticipate and manage your reactions in the future.

For example, if one particular colleague pushes your buttons, build in breaks during times when you know you’ll have to work together. This will give you space to disrupt any rising emotions that crop up if he provokes you and will help you avoid a hair-trigger reaction. No one likes being angry, so by anticipating triggering situations you can stay calm and collected.

2. Don’t Fight The Feeling

When anger arises, we’re often quick to respond by rationalizing, blaming others or trying desperately to calm ourselves down. Instead of jumping straight to intellectualization, acknowledge that your anger is legitimate and normal. Anger is deeply embedded into our evolutionary code. It’s how we fend off dangers and threats to our wellbeing.

The next time you feel yourself getting angry, understand that trying to simply avoid it won’t help. Find a way instead to release or disarm your anger in a healthy, self-respecting way. Try telling yourself, “What I am feeling is natural, but it doesn’t serve me.” Accepting your reaction – rather than fighting it – will calm you down and free you to focus on problem solving.

3. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem

While it’s easy — and can initially seem comforting — to dwell on what’s making you angry, this isn’t going to pay off in the long run. Ruminating is damaging because it takes time and mental energy away from problem-solving, leaving you stuck in negative emotion. Instead, focus on what lessons you can learn from the situation so that you move on in a productive way.

Avoid making sweeping statements like, “Whenever Jane asks me for reports, she never gives me enough notice.” Instead, try saying, “I was late on a deadline because I was asked for the reports at the last minute. I’ve noticed that this has happened in the past. How can we put a better protocol in place to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future?”

4. Disrupt It

If your temper is about to boil over, the first thing you need to do is find a way to disrupt the automatic thought pattern that’s been triggered. Physically disconnecting from the situation can help: Take a walk, step away from your desk to call a friend or take a few deep breaths.

Practicing visualizations is another tactic that can help you manage anger in the long run. Picture yourself when you’re reacting to your anger. How do you look, feel and sound? Do you like this image of yourself? Then, imagine yourself managing your anger appropriately, addressing the situation in a calm, constructive way. By taking a mindful approach to your anger, you have a better chance of harnessing it constructively and not allowing it to dominate you.

5. Choose Your Words Carefully

If and when you do decide to confront the situation that’s making you angry head-on, be sure you’ve first spent some time identifying and articulating your feelings. Emotional labeling is important because it can minimize miscommunication and help you clearly assert your thoughts, opinions and desires. Speak to your boss or  whoever is upsetting you the way they would like to be communicated with.

For instance, if they value straightforward, results-oriented language, keep that in mind when addressing the problem. Ask them to describe the situation from their perspective as well to keep the lines of communication open and even. Here is a vocabulary worksheet that can help you find the exact words to express what you’re feeling in the most appropriate way possible. 

Throughout your career, anger is an emotion you’ll confront and need to learn how to manage in order to become a leader. The key is to be sure you’re equipped with the right tools to handle and communicate your anger effectively, professionally and in a way that’s beneficial to your career over the long-term.

--

Melody Wilding helps ambitious women and female entrepreneurs master their inner psychology for success and happiness. She teaches human behavior at The City University of New York and is a nationally recognized Master Coach who distills psychological insights into actionable career advice. Learn more at melodywilding.com.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women.

Join us by reviewing your employer!

Comment
No Comments Yet

Looking for a new job?

Our employer partners are actively recruiting women! Update your profile today.

tag with leaves
girl-one-image
The Fairygodboss Feed
We're a community of women sharing advice and asking questions
background-svggirl-two-image
Start a Post
Share your thoughts (even anonymously)...