Why it’s Totally OK to Get Angry in the Office

We’ve always been told to never show our emotions at the office. Anger is definitely one of those emotions to never showcase. Angry people are simply not allowed anywhere near the confines of a corporate office. You can’t blame management for imposing such ideals. Just picture all of the rage and frustration that would have to be dealt with. Remember, an office setting is usually what adds to our anger in the first place; that with endless paperwork and colleagues sucking their teeth. 

See AlsoThe Disgruntled Worker – 5 Ways to Handle an Angry Employee 

You don’t want to start chewing into your colleagues, breaking the keyboards or pouring coffee on your boss’s lap. This is the kind of stuff we just leave in our imagination. Lately, however, career experts are suggesting that it’s OK to get angry in the office. 

One of the main reasons as to why it’s perfectly acceptable to now employ rage into your career skills is because it showcases your dedication to your job. Let’s face it: if you’re getting angry a la George Costanza because you can’t find a working pen or because you were unable to finish a project on schedule then it shows that your job is important to you. On the other hand, if you’re indifferent and passive, then it depicts you as someone who is just phoning it in and waiting for 5 p.m. to come about. 

Here are seven other reasons as to why it’s OK to get angry at the office:

1. It's Good to Feel Angry

When you’re home alone and you get angry, you need to yell, scream, bite or break something. You let out your inner Angry Grandpa. And you know what? After you’ve broken that $500 computer or that brand new China plate, you feel fantastic. You’ve never felt better. You’ve let go all of that rage. Well, it’s similar at work. If you’ve been stressing out all day and various characters on your keyboard haven’t been working from the moment you arrived at work, then the one solution is to get angry. You don’t have to issue your vitriol to a colleague- use it instead at your computer. Better yet: go for a run cussing! 

Remember, suppressing your anger will just lead to ulcers, tumors and heartburn.

2. Stay in Control of Your Anger

The common mistake that angry people make is that they misdirect their rage and anger. When we’re irked, we’re not in control of our emotions. Try your best to be in control of your anger. One way to do this is to direct your anger into your work. When you’re frustrated by management, irked by the inefficiency of the computer system or the antiquated corporate culture, apply all of that anger into your projects, tasks and overall work. You could perhaps create your magnus opus with your rage. 

3. Hey, Steve Jobs Did it

Remember, some of the greatest of minds of the 21st century were angry at work. Who exactly? Well, Steve Jobs is one and Jeff Bezos, is the other. Once again, though, neither Jobs nor Bezos became bitter and angry with their subordinates. They didn’t draw their ire from banks, managers or the janitor. They got angry but then threw themselves into their work. What came out of it? Apple and Amazon, two of the most lucrative companies in the entire world.  

Who knows what you could accomplish with that vein popping out of your neck right now? Just unleash some of that anger right now and pour it all over your project!

4. Get Angry at the Task

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People filled with rage don’t know what to take out their frustrations on. They’re just mad overall. When they go to a coffee shop, they’ll start banging the cutlery and coffee cups. When they go home, they start yelling at their kids. When they’re at work, they’re slamming doors. Having anger engulf your life isn’t the solution. When you’re working on a problem, you have to get angry at the problem itself as opposed to something or somebody else. That’s why you’re angry in the first place, anyway. 

5. The System is Inefficient

Your superiors may wonder why you’re getting so enraged at this very moment. Some of your co-workers may also be wondering why you’ve been snippy with them all day. Well, this anger may help draw their attention towards the system that you’re getting frustrated with. If you’ve been passive aggressive for quite a while pertaining to the system and it hasn’t worked then perhaps being mad can finally get the system improved, fixed or replaced entirely! This will lead to our next point. 

6. Science Says It's Good

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Want a good excuse to get angry at work? Cite science. That’s right! 

A study published in the Human Relations Journal, suggests that expressing anger at the office can lead to solutions to problems. For instance, if the copying machine is on the brink of destruction then getting angry about it can get more people to acknowledge the problem and get it fixed. 

Moreover, another study discovered that negative emotional events in the office often led to a positive outcome most of the time. When a manager maintains a "negative affective tone" with the employees, which is similar to being dissatisfied with something, then employees and teams will try to perform better and ensure their manager is more satisfied. Essentially, teams with a negative manager didn’t settle for anything less and delved deeper into problems.

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7. You'll Look Busy When You Don't Want to be

Looking angry, gives off the impression that you’re hard at work. This is especially important when you don’t want to be doing anything. You just want to sit back, do your crossword puzzle and wait to go home. You can pass the time by doing nothing by portraying yourself as annoyed, angry or irked by whatever it is. Sitting at your desk and pretending to be angry will definitely help you kill time! 

You’ll always look busy when you’re angry, sitting there, frowning.

8. It Could be Contagious

Are others on your team passive, quiet individuals who won’t squawk when the company is failing in the most basics? Well, your anger could become contagious and prompt others to get angry, or at least show some sort of emotion from time to time. When working at a white-collar job, we all become mundane robots over time, with very little emotion. We’re pretty much like Keanu Reeves without all of the money. If you get angry then maybe others will, too.

See Also5 Things Not to Do or Say When You are Angry 

Being angry at work usually comes with negative connotations. Many conclusions are garnered when someone is angry at work: you need anger management, you’re a disagreeable person and you’re very hard to work with. This is incorrect. We all get angry. It’s just part of who we are. It’s important, however, to be constructive with our anger. Breaking stuff isn’t constructive. Taking that anger and coming up with solutions to intricate problems is constructive. Do this and you’ll be one of the most productive people in the office. 

Of course, as previously mentioned, pretending to be angry, too, does have its advantages! 

Do you ever get angry at the office? Let us know in the comments section... 

Human Relations Journal




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