The Right Storm


Master Don Juan
Feb 14, 2024
Reaction score

Written in '14, before having a meltdown over the slightest provocation(Real or Perceived)became mistaken for some form of higher wisdom, we could all benefit from remembering the following:

"Over the past decade, the phrase “desk rage” has joined other rages such as road rage, air rage and computer rage. There is even CEO rage, exemplified by the outbursts of the late Steve Jobs. Anger in the workplace tends to be pigeonholed as a “rage” because there is an underlying assumption that it is a bad thing.

In fact, not expressing your anger at work may be far worse. Findings from the Harvard Study of Adult Development suggest that displaying some anger can be good for your career and that being continually upbeat may be self-defeating. The researchers found that men who kept their anger bottled up were likelier to say they had reached a ceiling in their careers.

Another study, by The Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University, has shown that not displaying your anger can make you ill. “People who did not show that they were angry at work had an increased risk of cardiovascular disease,” says associate professor Constanze Leineweber.

This does not mean you should freak out in the office. Instead, you should recognise that anger is a natural emotion and use it judiciously. So, how do you “do” angry?

Mike Leibling, a career coach and author of Working With the Enemy, says the trick is to distinguish between “feeling anger” and “thinking anger”. The explosive “feeling” stage normally lasts about 20 seconds; if you direct your feelings at someone during this time, it is likely to be uncontrolled rage for which you may have to make a grovelling apology later.

Instead, Mr Leibling advises that you calm down before expressing anger: “You might leave the room for a minute or two.” When you return, be angry but controlled. The point is to make a choice, rather than being a slave to your emotions.

Having got the right moment, what should you actually say? First, avoid making it personal: “This project failed because you’re an idiot” does not allow much room for the other person to respond. But if you explain you are angry about the failure itself you leave open the possibility of a constructive discussion.

When you are more irritated than angry, you can express your feelings by a change of voice: but is your target emotionally intelligent enough to take the hint? “Sometimes you really do need to tell people,” says Mr Leibling.

If you feel permanently angry, it is probably more properly called festering resentment. In this case, focus on identifying the cause and putting it behind you. Also, being constantly angry with someone may indicate that you are in fact angry with yourself for not dealing with them. Again, this can cause long-term stress. As Ms Leineweber says, “it is always better to speak to the person”.

Finally, use anger sparingly. If you snap at people daily, not only will they be anxious around you, they will not take you seriously. “You should aim to be adult enough to manage your emotions, but human enough to lose your temper occasionally,” says Mr Leibling"
Last edited: