When Anger Hits, “Smart” is the First Thing to Go

“You will not be punished for your anger,
you will be punished by your anger.”
– Buddha

Have you ever watched a conflict unfold from a distance? When you’re not a participant, it can seem completely irrational, even though it is deadly serious to those in the midst of it.

One of my colleagues says that when anger hits, ‘smart’ is the first thing to go. It’s a great observation, because when emotions take over, if you aren’t paying attention your reasoning mind can begin to shut down.

Anger often comes without forethought. You can be in the middle of a conversation with everyone from a co-worker to your teenager, and suddenly the heat of anger comes to the surface. If you let it get to you, you dig in your heels and become inflexible.

It’s difficult to resolve these situations in the moment because your balanced brain isn’t performing. The cliché, “let cooler heads prevail”, is something to remember. When anger dissipates, reasonable thought returns and it’s much easier to resolve differences.

Keep in mind that anger isn’t always visible. It’s easy to identify it when someone starts emoting heatedly, but many people don’t express it outwardly. They take it all in and process it internally. They’re angry, too; they just process differently.

We can’t eliminate anger, but we can manage it. It’s not the solution to make your point.

This is especially important for leaders because our employees look to us as role models. They may not say anything about it, but if they see you upset regularly, it almost gives them permission to behave the same way.

And who wants to work in a company like that?

Have a great day!​​​​​​

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *