Manage Your Anger to Keep Your Cool at Work

By Charles H. Elliott, Laura L. Smith, W. Doyle Gentry

Part of Anger Management For Dummies Cheat Sheet

One step toward truly managing your anger is to learn to keep your cool at work. If you’re tired of being disgruntled, dissatisfied, and disheartened at work, here are some things you can do to remedy the problem:

  • Accept the reality of your situation. Not everything in the workplace can be changed. Stop focusing on how things should be and instead deal with them as they are.

  • Stop personalizing the issue. Just because you didn’t get the raise you wanted or you’re on the wrong end of some company policy, it doesn’t mean that everyone is out to get you. Try to figure out how much of the issue you really own versus how much is due to outside forces.

  • Pull back. Stop giving 120 percent at work. Set some healthy limits on the energy you expend on the job — save some for other things like family, friends, recreation, and perhaps a spiritual life. Balance will actually give you more energy at work.

  • Look at the glass as half full. Instead of thinking so much about all the things you don’t like about work, think about something positive instead — something you have control over, some part of life where you don’t feel like a victim.

  • Find some benefit in what you do at work. No job is all bad. What’s the silver lining in the way you make a living? What is there about work that you’re grateful for?

  • Get some exercise. Regular, moderate exercise is a way of detoxifying your anger after work. That 30 minutes of exercise on the way home from the office can make all the difference in how your evening goes.

  • Be forgiving. No job is perfect. It’s important to forgive your employer for that! And forgive yourself for being employed in a situation that can be difficult and frustrating.

If you really have a terrible, unchangeable job situation, realize you probably have options. Develop a résumé and job search plan. Consider extra school or training. Just knowing you have options helps you calm down.