Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

 Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

It’s natural to get angry sometimes. But on the job, you need to be very careful to control your behavior when you’re feeling that way. Here are some tips to help you deal with angry feelings.

  • Know why you’re angry. Are you unhappy with a situation, or did someone say or do something to upset you? Were you feeling frustrated or stressed even before this happened?

  • Try to understand the other person’s viewpoint and intentions. Don’t assume that he was trying to embarrass you or make you feel bad about yourself. Could he actually have been trying to help you?

  • Take a “time out.” It’s important not to lash out when you’re feeling angry. Instead, take some time to clear your head. Count to 10 before answering, or take a deep breath and let it out. If you’re still upset and unable to respond calmly, you can say, “Can I please have a minute to think? I want to make sure that my answer comes out the right way.”

  • Keep angry words in your mouth. Don’t open your mouth to speak until you can do so calmly. Words said in anger can hurt relationships and get you in trouble. You can never take angry words back, so it’s always best not to say them in the first place.

  • Think before you speak. Plan what you are going to say – and how you are going to say it – before answering. A calm and respectful response can help solve problems, but an emotional or hurtful one tends to make things worse.

  • Use self-talk. “Self-talk” is when you have a conversation with yourself in your head. Tell yourself to stay calm. If you’re angry because a supervisor or co-worker has pointed out a mistake, remind yourself that no one is perfect. If someone is being mean to you, coach yourself to be the better person. The important thing is to remain professional.

  • Have happy thoughts. Try to change your mood by reminding yourself of a favorite memory or a fun event planned for a weekend.

  • Let go of bad feelings. Don’t allow yourself to stay angry or hold grudges against other people. The person that this hurts the most is YOU!

  • Get help. If you spend a lot of time feeling angry, or if you have trouble following the tips provided, make an appointment with a doctor or counselor. If you’re unsure how to go about this, contact the Human Resources Department. These conversations are confidential, and will help you feel better about yourself and your job.

While you can’t always stop yourself from becoming angry, you CAN learn to deal with these emotions in a good way. Following these suggestions will help improve your ability to handle challenging situations, and make your workday more enjoyable and productive!

For more anger management tips, check out our "Understanding and Managing Your Anger" post.

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