How to Avoid Workplace Anger's Corrosive Effects
Cheri Swales | Monster Contributing Writer
Mad that you were passed over for a big promotion again? Livid that the bootlickers always seem to get ahead in your organization? Perhaps it’s time to consider whether the anger itself, however legitimate, is holding you back. Evidence suggests many of us are walking around the office feeling resentful, though we may be unaware of the cumulative toll bitter actions take on our careers and coworkers.
Workplace anger is not only potentially harmful to the organization, but it can also cause serious health problems, including chronic anxiety, depression, high blood pressure and heart disease. Learning to deal with your anger constructively will improve your well-being and make you a more desirable and promotable employee.
Why Are So Many Employees Angry?
I spoke with 12 employees from a variety of businesses about their anger at work. Each felt that one or more of the following caused the anger:
- Employee was promised a raise, promotion or important project, and it did not happen.
- Employee was told to do something he felt was wrong or incorrect.
- Employee could not live up to a supervisor’s expectations, because the expectations were too high or continuously changing.
- Supervisor was a micro-manager and criticized employee frequently.
- Employee felt better qualified and skilled than his supervisor.
- Another employee doing the same job made more money.
Sometimes the anger may stem from outside sources. Many times, employees are dealing with stressful events in their own lives, and the resulting anger can carry over to the workplace. Divorce, a death in the family, financial pressure and serious illnesses can all cause an individual to become overwhelmed and irritated. Rarely are we taught to deal with loss and stressful situations, so we tend to bury those feelings, which can turn to anger or rage over time.