Reasons that bring anger and resentment at the workplace

Reasons that bring anger and resentment at the workplace

Do you remember the last time you got angry with your colleague or your boss, or generally with your workplace? And why? May be you did not get the promotion you expected! May be your colleague got the recognition while you slogged all night to prepare the report or even worse your boss is never happy, no matter how hard you work.

Let’s quickly see the top five reasons for employee disappointment and anger at work (excluding client and personal pressures)

Employer not meeting the employee’s expectation during appraisal —a raise, a change in designation, or promotion.

Employee not given free hand to take decision related to his or her role/ project
Constant pressure of work and high expectation from the employer,
Frequent changes in the project work/ schedules or in the role.
Better pay to another employee for the same work.

It is but natural for an employee to feel hurt, angry, discouraged when facing such situations. And while you feel the anger, you may never even realise that your anger, anxiety or expression can seriously impact your colleagues, your workplace and the whole organisation.

“Anger never solves anything, it builds nothing, but it can destroy everything.”

Anger is one of the many emotions we feel and is nothing to feel bad about. Feeling the emotion is not wrong. Letting it get toxic is wrong.

It is very important for each of us to reflect upon such emotion and see if the emotion is causing harm to you, your colleagues and your career.

Please get it right, it doesn’t mean that you can never get angry. Anger is a part and parcel of life. You cannot do anything to avoid it and you should not curb it. You should also not let it control you to an extent that you act out and worsen situations.

Find the reason behind your anger, which is unclear at times and find a solution to it. This is even more so at the workplace, be it with your boss or your colleagues or your employer.

In other words, you should use your anger towards solving an issue instead of making it worse. “You will not be punished for your anger, but you will be punished by your anger”

Compiled below are a few tips that will help you deal with your anger constructively:

1. Embrace the feeling of anger

Difficult as this may sound, you must learn to embrace anger. The notion that anger is poison is true but curbing it, keeping it to yourself, and trying to stuff it inside is even more dangerous. Keeping your anger to yourself can mentally destroy you. But you shouldn’t be vengeful either. You should learn to accept that fact that everyone gets angry and that you can channel the anger to achieve the required results instead of letting it get the better of you.

2. Learn about the types and reasons

Anger may be of different types in different forms. Some people are explosive when they get angry. They burst out on the spot and say or do things that they eventually regret. Some others try to curb it in and avoid talking about it. There are also people who use sarcasm, irritation, and passive aggression to channel their anger. All these methodologies are self-destructive.

3. Dealing with your own self during anger

It is important to recognise the feelings that may lead to anger. When you end up in an argument at the workplace, first try not taking the interaction personally, secondly do not get into a battle of egos, and lastly avoid competing with your own anger.

Here are some tips to manage your anger in the right way:

1. Explosive anger:

The best way to deal with this type of anger is to wait. When you are angry, you will not be able to feel anything else. You will only see the mistake or the problem and in this state, you will make the worst decisions. Take some time to calm down and get back to the situation with a calmer mind.

2. Curbing it in:

Avoiding a situation will not give you any solutions. You should take it head-on but gently. You should believe that you could only better after solving the problem. If someone hurt you or if a colleague made a mistake, you should confront that person in a positive manner.

3. Sarcasm:

Stop hiding your anger behind sarcasm. Start saying things straight. This will keep you from getting bitter and using comments that can damage feelings.

4. Irritation:

People who are constantly irritated don’t usually know the reason behind their anger. Identify the cause and you’ll know why even a dirty sock makes you fume.

Mr Sriram is the Founder & Chief Mentor of Kuza Biashara Limited, a capacity building organization coaching youth & SME owners in Kenya. He also chairs Entrepreneurs’ Organisation for Africa.

E-mail:, twitter @Sbharatam

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