We’ve all felt frustrated or angry at work before. Whether a project you’ve poured a considerable amount of time into isn’t well-received, you and a colleague have a heated disagreement, or small challenges snowball into a major problem, it is not a fun experience.
Despite this commonality among working professionals, how you react to these types of situations is key. While it can be cathartic to blow off steam by letting loose for everyone to see, it more than likely won’t help your cause. That’s why you’ll want to have a strategy in place for ensuring you maintain your cool.
Looking to cool down after an aggravating moment at work? Here are three strategies for checking your frustration:
Walk away from your desk
Controlling your emotions immediately after someone or something frustrates you at the office can be extremely difficult. However, it’s important to keep your gut reaction to a bad situation in check. Instead of losing your cool immediately, the first thing you should do is step away from your desk. Whether you head off to the bathroom or the water cooler to get a minute alone, walking away from a spot where anyone can approach you at a time where you could snap maybe best. Go somewhere you aren’t able to take your frustration out on someone and take a deep breath.
Vent to someone you trust
If you have a coworker who you also count as a close friend, you’re in luck. While blowing off steam to family and friends can often do you a world of good, you may be looking for something more. In particular, you may be looking to vent to someone who has a better understanding of the situation and office dynamics. With this knowledge, a colleague might be able to console you more effectively and provide better insight if needed. However, make sure the person you turn to is someone you absolutely trust and that you can ensure they won’t get caught in the middle of the conflict!
Write an email (but do NOT send it)
Sometimes the only thing that makes us feel better is expressing our feelings to the person who caused the frustration and stress in the first place. However, you don’t want to initiate any sort of confrontation that could make matters much worse. So what to do when you want to vent, but want to minimize the situation? Compose an email (addressed to you to avoid a really awkward situation) aimed at the point of conflict. Write down everything you want to get off of your chest. Then, when you’re done reading it, send it to yourself, and then delete it. You might not think this will help since you aren’t actually discussing the incident with the person who started it, but you’ll be surprised by how much better you feel. Taking a step back and blowing off some steam might also help you address the issue with more rationale and confidence when the appropriate time comes.