4 things to do instead of flipping out at work

You know the feeling: something doesn’t go your way at work and you want to fly off the handle — but you can’t.


Deep breath.

Here are four things to do instead of risking your future at a company because you showed how upset you really were.

Pinpoint the problem

“Assess the situation” is the first tip provided in a Robert Half blog post.

“When you find yourself dealing with frustration, step back and determine what the specific problem is. Are you just tired? Did a coworker say something hurtful? Write it down. Simply knowing why you feel frustrated can help you overcome it.”

Recognize that you actually do have control

Dr. Laurie Nadel, a psychotherapist and author of The Five Gifts: Discovering Hope, Healing and Strength When Disaster Strikes, told Glassdoor about how we shouldn’t fall into this trap.

“Frustration is frequently a reaction to our perceived helplessness in a particular situation. But we are not helpless. When we express frustration by blaming someone else, we are missing out on an opportunity to reposition our response to that sense of helplessness.”

Talk to someone else

This just might help you gain insight. Jocelyn Wong, now the chief marketing officer for home improvement company Lowe’s, wrote in Fortune about how this practice could help when your job irritates you, as part of the publication’s Fortune 500 Insiders Network.

“If you’re feeling annoyed, it’s important to seek advice and get a second opinion from an objective person you trust. They can help you take the emotion out of your assessment and think clearly. Leverage a mentor or perhaps an old boss.”

See people through different lenses

Turning the tables could be a coping mechanism that works for you.

Alison Green, author of the Ask a Manager blog, writes in U.S. News & World Report about finding more joy at work— one of her tips is to “find people amusing, not infuriating.”

“When you have to deal with frustrating people, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to see them as entertaining rather than enraging. The department admin who refuses to take any request out of order, no matter its actual priority? Talk to her boss about the problem, by all means, but then resolve to find the humor in her extreme rigidity. The colleague who hoards information and gets defensive at any effort to encroach on what he sees as his turf? Reframe him in your head as Gollum from ‘The Hobbit,’ and your blood pressure might stop increasing every time you have to interact with him.”