WORKPLACE / MAY. 03, 2015
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5 Things Not to Do or Say When You are Angry

Anger is a powerful emotion. Aristotle understood the power behind anger when he said, “Anybody can become angry. That is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way—that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.” Anger handled in an effective manner can be turned around for positive purposes. However, when handled negatively and followed by wrong actions or words, anger can hinder any positive progress. This article will address 5 things that you should not do or say when anger has overtaken your mind.

See Also: When Should We Vent Our Anger During Negotiations?

1. Refrain From Venting

Venting in the right way can be a good outlet for letting go of your anger. However, there are several instances when venting is a really bad idea. For example, you may be involved in a workplace issue where you become angry with your co-worker or manager. Venting about the situation to a non-employee can become a conflict of interest if you share too much and discuss things that should never have left the office. Another example of when you should refrain from venting is posting a rant on social media. Once you post something online, it’s always on the Internet. Venting online right in the moment of severe anger can cause you to post words that you will most certainly later regret. The third example of when you should not vent is to send an angry email. Sure, you’ll be able to write a lengthy rant regarding your feelings. However, once you send the email, you cannot take back your words. Most of the time, after you cool down, you will realize that you really didn’t want to say all those things written in your email. If you have to vent by writing something down, write in a journal or in a document, but never in an email. In your anger, it’s too easy to hit that send button.

2. Refrain From Arguing

When anger takes over control of your mind, the smart thing to do is to walk away from the argument or tense situation. Staying to vent your anger in an argument will only cause more trouble than it’s worth. When we’re operating in anger, our emotions take over, and our rational tendencies are held at bay. We generally say things we later regret. For example, if you are in the middle of an argument with a colleague, spouting off the first insult that comes to mind will come back to haunt you; especially if you’re speaking to your boss or manager.

Taking a step back and leaving the argument will allow you the opportunity to give your emotions a cooling down period. Rational thought will begin to process the situation, and your perspective should turn around so you can see the issue in a new light. Remember to deal with the issue once you have calmed down and can behave in a rational, mature attitude.

3. Refrain From Over-Analyzing

When you are overtaken by anger, everything you’re experiencing seems to be larger than life. That’s why we react so ridiculously immature during those times. Knowing how to refrain from over-analyzing the situation is important in order to respond and not react to your anger. Even if you leave the tense situation and cease from physically acting out on your anger, you can still hinder the recovery progress by over-analyzing the situation. For example, fixating on the “wrongs” that this person did to you will only hurt you and not help the situation. Take a step back and focus your attention on proactively dealing with your own anger before trying to discuss your feelings with this person.

4. Refrain From Driving

Driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do when anger has overtaken your mind. First of all, you are not focused on the road, traffic or looking for pedestrians. You are focused on your anger and wanting to release it—either by venting or acting violently toward the object of your anger. Driving while angry can cause you to get into an accident and possibly harm yourself or someone else. If you have to leave the situation, go to another room or take a walk outside, but never get into a car to drive when anger has overtaken your mind.

5. Refrain From Drinking

Drinking alcohol impairs your judgment. Mixing drinking with being angry adds an additional sense of impairment to your judgment. Not only are you impaired from drinking, you are also impaired by focusing on the angry emotions and your perspective is completely negative—headed toward destructive tendencies. Additionally, our inhibitions are lowered. So, if we wouldn’t necessarily react violently to someone while sober, we could act out aggressively when angry and drunk. When anger has overtaken your mind, it is vital to do everything in your power to stay focused on controlling those emotions. Alcohol will only add fuel to the fire by impairing your judgment and lowering your inhibitions.

See Also: How to Manage Anger in the Office

Learning how to effectively handle your anger is a key component toward becoming a mature and responsible adult and professional in the workplace. When anger has overtaken your mind, it is vital to refrain from venting, arguing, over-analyzing, driving and drinking.

Have you suffered from anger issues? How did you deal with them? Your thoughts and comments below please...

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