Anger is a normal emotion that everybody experiences from time to time. It can even be helpful when used appropriately to assert oneself, particularly when engaging in a negative confrontation. However, if it is not controlled, it can negatively affect a person’s wellbeing, relationships and work. Since work can often involve stress and engagement with difficult relationships, this is an area that many people can experience a heightening of their feelings of anger.

You may have an employee who has been showing difficulties in controlling their anger while at work. Alternatively, you may have noticed yourself being unable to control your anger at work, or it may have been brought up to you by your boss or colleagues. Some other signs that an individual may have difficulties managing their anger include:

  • Experiencing a continual feeling of irritability, rage or anxiety while at work, and particularly when talking to certain customers or colleagues
  • Defending oneself when somebody provides advise or criticism
  • Feeling unable to control verbal, or even physical outbursts, either with colleagues or when alone
  • Experiencing an increasing number of difficult relationships and conflicts at work
  • Feeling down, regretful or apologetic after experiencing an explosion of anger

Often, anger is caused by a build-up of negative emotions which are not being released in a more constructive, appropriate way. It is common for people to find difficulty in identifying specifically what triggers their anger, and therefore to feel unable to control it when it arises. This is particularly a cause for concern when it begins to affect job performance or put a person at risk of losing their job.

If you would like assistance in better understanding your emotions and finding strategies to prevent your anger from affecting you in the workplace, there are a number of VCPS practitioners who are specialised in this. Alternatively, if you are an employer seeking help for your employee – we have practitioners who specialise in workplace support in particular. Some ways that our practitioners can help include:

  • Identifying the cause and triggers of the anger, and helping to adjust any unhelpful thoughts and behaviours that cause an outburst
  • Form personalised strategies that assist to remain calm in stressful or confronting situations
  • Find more appropriate ways to be assertive and manage confrontations without damaging relationships
  • ¬†Identify unhealthy relationships in the workplace and find ways to improve these