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5 Constructive Ways to Deal With Anger at Work 

In an ideal world, no one would get upset at work. But no workplace is ideal—and no one is perfect.

The next time you’re tempted to tell someone off, see if the following suggestions can help you keep your cool. You’ll be doing your part to create a more open and productive work environment—and growing your reputation as a level-headed, trustworthy colleague.

  1. Monitor your mood. Are you letting stress build up? If so, you might find yourself grumbling, frowning, or withdrawing. Identify why you’re stressed and see if you can use your anger to make positive change instead of stewing (and eventually exploding).

  2. Identify your preferred outcome. What kind of change would help you feel less stressed? Knowing what you’d like to see happen before approaching a coworker means you’re more likely to get what you want (and avoid a vent session or yelling match).

  3. Be sensitive to timing. Are you about to blow? Then it’s not the right time for a solution-oriented discussion. Take a walk. Talk with someone unrelated to the conflict (like a friend from another department or professional counselor). Distance can help you think more clearly.

  4. Go to the source. Whenever possible, speak directly to the person you have a conflict with. Be as specific about why you are upset as you can. Express yourself respectfully and in private. Let them know you’re seeking a solution, not a fight.

  5. Stay open. Understand coworkers may also have issues with you. While facing an upset colleague is never fun, resist getting defensive. Take a breath (and a walk if necessary) and consider what’s being said. If what they say has merit, own up to your part in the situation and see what you can do to make it right going forward.




Online Medical Reviewer: Godsey, Cynthia, MSN, APRN, MSHE, FNP-BC
Online Medical Reviewer: Kenneth Turley, Raymond, BSN, MSN, RN
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2019
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