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It is up to you to manage anger properly at work

December 2012

Everyone - even the most temperamental and level-headed among us experiences anger in life, particularly at work where we spend eight hours a day.

For many people, the changing nature of the workplace is partly to blame. During these economic downturns, more is expected of employees, but there are less and less financial rewards and job security to balance the greater demands. The result is employees feel increasingly frustrated, anxious, and angry.

Unfortunately anger spells trouble. The workplace environment may not be much fun. Fury over work can make your home life tense. After all, few of us can completely separate our jobs from the rest of our lives. That's why it's essential to learn to manage your work anger before it harms you.

Psychologists say we have three choices when faced with something that angers us: venting, that is yelling or snapping at co-workers, resulting in stress and they will avoid you; turning anger inward; stopping being hard on yourself, cooling down and reflecting on the situation.

So, how can you manage anger at work to make 2013 prosperous? If you find yourself having tense, angry feelings, try these common sense techniques to manage your anger.

  • Change your habits. Do not take on too many tasks, especially if you already are overloading yourself. Manage your time better.
  • Forgive those who anger you. If a co-worker upsets you, or if you and an offender have had harsh words, talk to him or her. Forgive, apologize (many times the apologies are mutual) and do not hold a grudge.
  • Relax. Take deep breaths, count to 10 slowly, or just close your eyes and say "relax." If you're really agitated, excuse yourself for a minute and get a glass of water.
  • Remember, it's not always about you.
  • Figure out your boss's hot buttons and then don't press them! View people as they are, rather than as they should be.
  • Deal with anger at work on the spot, or at least on that same day. In general, little tempests are always better than big storms.
  • Pick your battles. Some work woes are not worth fighting over, save your breath for more critical matters.
  • Discuss your anger with friends, loved ones or those who anger you. Talk it out. Let people close to you know what is on your mind. Do not hold it in. Calmly tell others when they upset you--they may not realize it.

Lastly, act smart when you're mad. Turn the situation into an opportunity to make a positive change.

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