For a good part of my life I have witnessed anger in the workplace and personal life. It often involved people reacting without thinking (or considering the implications to what they say or do) and inappropriate behavior. Being coolheaded, calm, thoughtful, channeling anger to make it productive, and being mindful are all very healthy behaviors. Controlling your anger, and yourself, can help you in your personal life and also create the foundation for career success, which may result in higher incomes.
I have had family show tremendous anger and fight among themselves and with others. I have witnessed employees and co-workers exploding in rage at work, thereby hurting their career and, in effect, earning potential. There was even a SCORE client I mentored that stormed out of a room in rage and saying ridiculous, inappropriate things to myself and my co-mentor who were volunteers just trying to offer guidance/help. I have witnessed, and been the target of, fits of rage, anger and even emotional abuse over my lifetime, and there are always negative consequences to that type of behavior. Anger has also severely damaged other relationships in my life.
The “emotion” of being angry is a normal reaction that can come up at work, in personal life or anywhere. But it is what people do when they feel that way, how they channel it and react that differentiates them. Should someone be short and spew hateful/angry things (like some presidents!), or channel it into something else, even addressing the problems and building healthy environments from it. It is OK being angry, but there is a need to manage those feeling in a calm, collective, coolheaded way.
There are countless tips and suggestions out there for what to do so that you do not wreck your career or relationships. Or tips on how to channel it to increase your chances for professional success or so you do not wreck a personal relationship. Here are a few that stood out to us.
-Understand what makes you angry so you can prepare for it. Know yourself. That way if/when those triggers come up, you will be aware of them and be ready to start to feel anger and have a plan in place to address it/channel it/and stay coolheaded.
-Disconnect from the anger, and take space/time – This I think is the big one. I have been around a number of hot headed people who react and blow up, saying hurtful, inappropriate thoughtless things without thinking about it. So many people speak and react without thinking. I have had some co-workers in the corporate world blow up and say how they apparently have truly felt without thinking about the ramifications of it. It killed their careers.
If you understand what makes you angry, or even if you don’t and you feel anger coming on, take a step back. Take some space. Take many deep breaths, go for a walk, or heck, leave the office go home and go to sleep. Or call an employee help line for immediate counseling. Or if you are at home, go to sleep and rest overnight. You can go to bed angry…it is much better than saying damaging things in a fit of rage that hurts your job and/or relationships. Another option at work is to talk to an HR department to get some guidance, as some departments will offer advice/counseling/refer the employee somewhere.
-If you feel like you are going to explode, and nothing will stop you and it is impossible to stay coolheaded on an everyday – consistent basis, then seek professional help. At the workplace this may be an employee help line, which many companies now offer for free. At home, this will be a professional therapist.
-Live a healthy lifestyle – We have tips on our blog about this. Many of the things can be done for free, including meditation, taking a walk through a park or nature, stretching, unplugging from a device, eating healthier, free exercise and more. In general, living a healthy life can help reduce spells of anger and keep people coolheaded. Find a list of
Here is a decent reference to controlling anger. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/anger-management/art-20045434 This will apply to both work and personal matters. What do readers do when they get the emotion of angry? As maintaining calm and cool headiness in difficult situations is imperative in the workplace and all aspects of life before it damages careers and other aspects of your life.