HOW TO: Tips to Managing Anger

Do you have that one colleague that just makes you want to drive your fist into a wall? That teammate that makes you want to scream into your pillow at night when you are far away from the office?  Or maybe it’s a boss that just drives you insane, until you feel like you want to pull your hair out? Well, I would have you know that anger is a perfectly natural emotion.



Like every other emotion, anger is a pointer to something – to tell you something’s wrong. The thing with anger, though, is that it has such a wide range, from mild irritation to full-fledged rage. And when not well managed, anger can be completely destructive, whether it’s at home, with family, or in the workplace with colleagues.

Poorly managed anger is toxic, and could either lead to messy outbursts, or equally toxic withdrawals. Either way, the only healthy way to get along with that “annoying” person is to understand how to properly manage anger.


Here are some tips to anger management:




  1. Get away from the situation: The feeling often comes with a surge of adrenaline, a surge of energy that urgently needs expression. Taking a walk is a great way to let out this trapped energy, as well as a perfect avenue to keep you from punching the wall… or that person’s face.


  1. Count: This is one of the oldest tricks in the anger management books. But it’s still relevant in managing anger. The trick is to count slowly under your breath, taking your time to focus on each number for a couple seconds while counting. Here’s a simple guide: if the offender is a junior, count to 15. If the person is an equal, count to 20. If the offender is a senior, count to 30, and feel the anger dissipate.



  1. Mental yoga: Yoga is one of the most relaxing things ever, but you might not be able to do yoga right there in the general office, or your boss’s office, so a good substitute would be to do the yoga routines in your mind. Breathe deeply as you move from downward dog to cobra to the warrior pose in your mind, at the same time repeating calming phrases like “take it easy”, “calm down”


  1. Use the “I”s instead of “you”s: Try to swap blames for expressions. For instance, say things like “I don’t like that you’re leaving all the work to me” instead of “you’re always leaving all the work to me! I hate that!”




  1. Pause: Things hardly ever look the same when time lapses. Try not to react immediately, giving yourself and the other party time to review the situation so that the ensuing conversation is objective rather than reactive.



Dealing with anger the right way helps your health, and creates better relationships with your teammates. It is best to manage anger effectively, to keep from disruptive outbursts. And if all these don’t work, you might want to consider therapy

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