How can you manage your anger at work?

April 27, 2022

Sustained levels of stress and pressure can drain emotional resources and make anyone more likely to get angry at even the slightest provocations, according to Harvard Business Review.

Although angry outbursts can be upsetting, anger is not inherently bad and can be used strategically if you know how to channel it.

Following are tips for channeling your anger in a more positive way.

  • Acknowledge a violation occurred. If you are hurt because of an unfair decision or made to feel unworthy, you are allowed to feel angry. Do not immediately take your emotions out on another person but acknowledge your anger. Research shows anger can be a healthier response than fear because it triggers feelings of certainty and control, which are less likely to lead to the adverse effects of stress.
  • Avoid excessive venting. Blowing off steam is not as productive as you might think. When you rehash the same problems without trying to understand or solve them, it can make you and the people listening to you feel worse.
  • Identify the specific needs behind your emotion. Research shows focusing your attention on the need behind what you feel gives you a more objective view of the situation and better protects your emotional well-being. Questions you can ask include: What triggered my anger? What feelings are underneath my anger? What do I need to be okay right now? What longer-term outcome would make me feel better?
  • If possible, talk about your emotions without getting emotional. First, give yourself time to calm down. If your anger was triggered by someone else’s anger, you may want to share how their actions affected you. To prepare for that conversation, clarify your goal, what you would like to say and when you will say it.
  • If you cannot communicate your anger, indirectly address your needs. Sometimes, you are angry about something you cannot change. Look for ways to remove yourself from the situation or indirectly address your needs, such as seeking support from friends or a therapist.
  • Channel your anger energy strategically. When channeled strategically, anger can increase your confidence and make you certain you are capable and strong. You can use anger as motivation to effectively advocate for yourself. For example, if you believe you deserve a promotion but have been scared to ask, think: What would I do if I were the type of person who got angry about this?

Although anger often can be associated with outbursts and meltdowns, when properly harnessed, it can help you make positive changes.

Tags: Business


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