Anger is a perfectly normal emotion that we all experience from time to time. However, getting angry in the workplace is frowned upon, and that is for good reason.
Whether it’s poor performance from a colleague or a rude customer, getting angry at them will likely make matters worse, and could lead to being severely reprimanded, potentially even risking your employment.
So, what can you do to manage your anger in the workplace?
Here are some tips that may help reduce anger before it gets out of hand:
1. Leave. Remove yourself from the person or situation that is causing the anger. Giving yourself distance will give you time to cool off, so go for a short walk, or just go somewhere quiet while you compose yourself. Chances are once you return to the situation things will be a lot calmer.
- If you’re unable to physically leave the situation, try to make some space in your own head by doing another task for a minute or two, such as checking your Facebook or Twitter feed.
2. Count to 10 while taking deep breaths. This is a tried and tested method of mindfulness. Taking a few deep breaths while counting to 10 will give you a few moments to reflect on the situation and decide to respond instead of reacting.
- This method of breathing also slows your heart rate while giving your cells an extra boost of oxygen. This also relaxes your muscles.
- So, this breathing technique gives both your mind and body a chance to calm down.
3. Talk to someone you trust. Simply telling someone what has happened will help calm you down and put things into perspective.
- We all have that one work colleague that we trust above all others, whose opinion we value. Seek them out and talk to them.
- Your colleague will understand the office dynamics and will be able to see your point of view. They may also be able to offer sympathy and suggest some alternative solutions that you may not have thought of.
4. Write down how you feel. Rather than losing your temper and exploding at someone, would it not be better to walk away and write down how you are feeling?
- Writing down how you feel can help exorcise some of your demons. Just ensure that you don’t send the email, message, or letter to anyone.
- When you’re feeling a bit calmer, you can reread the letter and then destroy it.
5. Get some emotional support. If you’re feeling pressure at work, tell your loved ones or close friends about it. They may be able to help. When you feel wronged by a work situation, your loved ones can uplift you and help you feel valued by someone you respect.
6. Recognize your triggers. What is it that causes you to get angry? Once you recognize your own personal triggers, then you can learn when to take a step back before your emotions overcome you.
7. Give yourself a reward. If you keep your calm during a particular situation where you would normally get angry, then reward yourself. This is a mental reminder that good behavior will be rewarded.
Put these tips to good use. Practice them every chance you get and soon, your workplace anger will be a thing of the past.