How to Stay Calm When Angry at Work: Suggestions to Try
Joey McDowell is an experienced writer and editor originally from the Dallas area. A firm believer in a well-balanced lifestyle, Joey applies this forward-thinking approach as the editor-in-chief of The Idea Trader. He travels extensively to find compelling stories and insightful individuals.
When you work with other people, and we all do, to some extent, there are bound to be disagreements and problems that arise.
Sometimes these situations will make you angry, and when you find yourself angry at work, it can be difficult to continue with your tasks or even be near your coworkers.
And if you’re consistently angry at work, for one reason or another, your job performance may start to decline, putting your career at risk.
So don’t bottle up that anger. Find the source and deal with the problem as logically as possible.
Here’s how to stay calm when angry at work by using just a few simple techniques.
How Big is the Problem?
One method that can help you deal with frustrating events or people in the workplace is to assess the situation as objectively as possible in order to determine how much you should care.
To start, ask yourself whether it’s a minor problem or a big problem.
It’s a Minor Problem
Minor workplace problems can still be very frustrating. The good news is that they don’t tend to last for very long.
Let’s take a look at a brief example of a minor workplace problem.
Maybe a coworker has been using your workplace mug recently. Maybe you’ve even made a point of asking them not to use your mug, but so far nothing has worked.
This is definitely a clear sign of disrespect, but the other person may not see it this way. To them, all the mugs in the office may be considered fair game, especially if they’re left in a community space such as the office kitchen.
And while this can certainly be a cause for anger, the problem itself is minor and can be remedied fairly easily.
Simply keep the mug near your personal workspace. Your coworker will no longer have the option to use it.
At worst, you can bring the issue to the attention of your human resources rep. But acknowledging the fact that the problem is minor can help prevent you from becoming angry.
It’s a Big Problem
An example of a more serious problem would be when a coworker blames you for their mistakes on a regular basis.
As a result, your reputation in the office, in general, may suffer.
If these claims are being made without any legitimacy, then this can certainly be considered a major workplace problem, and one that is likely to make you very angry until it’s resolved.
Removing yourself from a frustrating situation can do wonders for your mental health, especially since they give you an opportunity to calm down and relax.
Fortunately, there are a few good ways to do this within the normal structure of the workplace.
Take a Break
Work breaks are offered to employees for a very good reason. These breaks are a chance to step away from the office and be reminded of the world outside of work.
If you’ve been very angry in the office recently, you should always try to take your daily breaks and do anything else that has nothing to do with work.
By the time you come back to the office, you’ll most likely have a more positive attitude overall.
Return to Your Personal Workspace
If the source of your workplace anger is that you’ve had to work in close proximity with others as part of a group project or you’ve had a lot of meetings lately, then returning to your own workspace can be helpful.
It will give you the chance to cut down on distractions and do the best work you possibly can.
Don’t Bring the Problem Home with You
If your workplace anger is a recurring problem that has spanned weeks or even months, then it’s important to not bring the problem home with you.
Time at home should be an opportunity to relax and forget about your workplace troubles.
If you have a hard time distracting yourself from the problems of the day, even long after you’ve left the office, then you may want to take up a new hobby or spend more time socializing with friends.
Take Care of Yourself
Regardless of the source of your anger, you should never let your frustration prevent proper self-care. No matter what’s happening at your place of work, you still need to look after your physical and emotional health.
For example, you should still place a great deal of importance on getting enough sleep each night and eating healthy as much as you can.
These basic steps will help you deal with problems in a more honest and healthy way. Never disregard the importance of taking care of yourself, regardless of your situation.
Of course, the best way to stay calm at work is to resolve the problems that are causing you stress.
Let’s take a look at some important steps to keep in mind while working toward a long-term solution.
When you work for a large company, there are almost always established procedures for bringing a problem to the attention of a superior.
If you have a copy of your employee handbook at your convenience, you can simply review these steps.
But if these procedures have not been made clear to you, then your first step will be to speak with a human resources representative about your problem, in detail.
From there, they will be able to help you work out how best to resolve the issue.
If another coworker is involved, then they may ask both of you to sit down together to work toward a potential solution.
If the problem is rooted in company policy, then it may be significantly more difficult to find a solution that will work for all parties involved.
No matter what the situation is, remember to remain patient. Companies can often be slow to resolve problems, even if the problems are very serious.
You’ll need to remember that it takes time to achieve real progress. Keeping this in mind will help you stay calm while a solution is reached.