The Acceptable Way to Get Mad at Work

Most of us spend more time at work than we do anywhere else, so why is it so surprising that work can make us so angry?


While building your business or your career, you are often judged more on how you handle tough situations versus how you handle the easy ones.  You cannot afford to alienate your team because something got under your skin.

So how do you deal with situations that just make you angry?  Here are some tips:

Remain calm and respectful.

Don’t lose your cool in such a way that you hurt those you work with for unnecessary reasons.  This can be hard for those of us who are “driver minded” since we see things pretty black and white.  Choose your words in a way that will convey your emotion without ostracizing anyone on your team.  My simple motto for times like these is: Be Raw, Be Real, but Be Respectful!

Get the WHOLE Story before you go into orbit.

So many times, we only get a sliver of the story and decide to go nuclear.  Take the time to research all of the facts before determining if this is truly a melt down moment.  You have to remember too that perception is different with everyone so form your own perception of the events of a situation.  And during this phase, remember rule #1 listed above.  It will help you gather real data, not just the data others think you want to hear.

Go to an accountability partner to blow your stack.

It’s always good to have a few people around you to confide in during times like these.  You must be sure they will be honest with you though.  Do not surround yourself with “yes” men/women who will only stoke the fire of rage.  Have someone who is willing to tell you to get over yourself if the situation calls for it.

Determine why the situation is making you so angry.

Sometimes there are external forces from our personal life or emotional state that cause us to get angry over little things.  When I am dealing a lot with personal issues, issues at work tend to set me off quicker than if all was quiet on the personal front.  A good step to take during this evaluation is to ask yourself, “How much of this is me and what’s going on in my personal life/emotions versus how much is actually the situation?”  This is a good time to get a reality check and determine if the situation really requires the amount of energy needed to truly be angry.

Once you’ve gone through these steps and determine it’s time to have a tough conversation at work, be methodical and thoughtful about how you approach it.  To make things easy, I wrote a blog post called, “How to have tough conversations and be successful” where I provide a template I use to conduct such conversations.

Remember, sometimes the things that makes us livid today are things we won’t remember in five years.  Take the time to put things into perspective and act accordingly.  Work is not what or who you are, it’s just a piece of you so don’t let a situation at work destroy the energy you could be providing elsewhere in life!

Recommended reading: 

Amazon Book List
Click here for a list of great books to help you with this subject!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.