Quickly turn off your anger

AngerYou are so angry at a co-worker, employee or customer that your blood is boiling. Letting the anger fester will only hurt your career, so take these steps to cool off and move on:

Don’t try to just forget about it. It won’t work. Your anger will remain and fester, and the relationship will continue to suffer. It also increases the odds that you will blow up at the person at some point—likely for unrelated or benign issues.

Think about what the person did to you. If you really give it some thought, does it seem as egregious to you? Can you empathize with the person or justify the behavior? Can you see why the person acted a certain way? If so, forgive the person. Extend the olive branch and move on.

Stop ruminating. What do you do if you can’t forgive the person? Start with distancing yourself from the situation. If possible, distance yourself from the person; but, more importantly, distance yourself mentally. Pour your energy into a project, and focus on the positive things in your life.

Look at the situation from a different perspective. Imagine the situation from the perspective of your most level-headed friend or co-worker. That helps you to remove the emotion from your thought process.

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Search for a positive outcome. In most cases, you can find something good in any situation. Perhaps the person’s transgression created an opportunity for you, such as impressing your boss after you cleaned up the person’s mess. Or being on the outs with your work friend forced you to connect with other co-workers. At the least, you learned a lesson about who you can trust and count on. Once you feel better about the situation, you can start to move on.

— Adapted from “How to Coach Your Brain to Stop Being Mad at Someone,” Art Markman, Fast Company, www.fastcompany.com.