Creating Workplace Harmony:
Discover and Release Hidden Causes of Tension
by Brenda Shoshanna
There is nothing that disrupts productivity and satisfaction at the workplace as much as tension that is not handled and continues to escalate unchecked.
It is so helpful to take a step back and discover the truth about anger, what it truly is, where it comes from, why it arises, and how to stop it on the spot. To do this, we must open our eyes and disengage from the many lies anger tells us. Anger tells us many lies. One common lie it leads us to believe is that there is little we can do to stop feeling that way. Nothing can be further from the truth. We always have a choice about how to handle the feelings that arise.
Anger Is A Choice We Make
Believe it or not, anger is a choice we make. We feel justified in being angry, and this justification stokes the flames and keeps the problems alive. Once this justification sets in, we choose to hold onto our anger until we can get revenge. In order to choose out of anger, we must first truly realize the terrible toll it takes upon us. The best gift you can give yourself is a diet from anger, one kind each day.
Why We Choose Anger
Why would we choose anger? For starters, many become addicted to anger. Anger gives a false sense of power and strength. A false sense of decisiveness is created. It becomes easier to take action (though the action is almost always off base).
However, the rush an individual gets from anger is counterfeit, a substitute for real strength. After the anger passes, and the consequences of the anger set in, the person usually feels weak and depleted. Often there is considerable regret for words spoken or action taken rashly. Real strength includes the ability to refuse the false rush anger brings us, to have the power to see the entire situation for what it really is and respond with clarity and compassion.
Anger also can become a person's identity. Some of the identities anger assumes includes the tough guy, the bully, the martyr, the controller, the tease, the passive aggressive person, who will give you what you need after you've asked for it a hundred times.
"Who would I be without my anger?" people say. When one is addicted to anger, it becomes the person's identity. They feel that without their anger they would become weak, a doormat. Anyone could do what they wanted to them. Actually, the opposite is true.
Putting A Stop To Anger
Contrary to popular expectation it is not at all difficult to release anger. When we are in a dark room all that is needed is a little bit of light in order for the darkness to disappear. The same is true with anger - all that is needed is for a little compassion and wisdom to enter the situation and the darkness of anger quickly subsides. When an individual feels accepting of himself, when he/she feels loveable and strong, what need would he/she have of anger? Then, compassion is always a natural response. When an individual feels strong and good about him/herself, they will not see others as enemies, but as friends. At that time, of course, it will be difficult to keep the flame of anger to keep burning.
Steps To Releasing Anger Quickly
There are different ways of releasing anger easily. However, the first step is the willingness to do so. Ask yourself if you are willing to do this. If you are not, stop for a moment and become aware of the effects of anger, has it hurt the person you are angry with as much as you? What price have you paid for the anger you hold onto?
Once you determine you are willing, there are many easy steps to take to rid oneself of anger. Below you will find a summary of some steps to take to stop anger on the spot. It is good to be able to choose your own response, not to be at the mercy of anger within.
1- When anger arises, do not justify it, but see it as a poison. Feel the emotion, as it is. Do not repress and deny the anger, but simply experience it fully, and then put your attention on something else. As you do this, the anger has no chance to take hold. It simply flows through your being and dissolves.
2-When anger arises, look for the best about that person. Find something wonderful about them, and if possible let them know. Rather than focus upon what is bad or negative, immediately change your own point of view. Watch how things change then.
3-When anger arises, put the situation in the largest possible context. Anger acts to close down our perception. Immediately open your perception up. Remember this is not the end of the world. It is only one small incident. Put it in the context of an entire life.
4-When anger arises, stop telling yourself that the other person is wrong and you are right. Let them be right for a little while. Tell yourself that you have plenty of time to be right later on. It is more important to preserve harmony than to be right at that moment. (When the anger subsides you'll get a whole new view of the situation anyway).
5-When anger arises, think of some ways in which that person has been kind to you. Find a way to acknowledge that. Speak kindly to the person.
6-When anger arises realize that what you give the other person, you will simultaneously receive in return. Ask for another way to see the situation. Wait and allow a new perception to arise. Just wait. It's okay to say and do nothing.
7-When anger arises, say to yourself, "Like me this person has suffered, like me this person is trying to be happy, like me this person will face loss and death."
8-When anger arises, do not take it personally. Realize that how this person behaves says more about him/her than about you. Realize they are someone in pain, lashing out, calling for help.
The way we view the other very much affects our response to them. You cannot control the way the other behaves, but you can control the way you choose to see them. Choose positivity, choose health. Do not choose to be caught in the quagmire of pain.
Life is a flow and process - in this flow we all contain everything. Good turns to bad and the other way around. Someone who is very angry one moment always has the possibility of waking up and being filled with love. For everyone, there is always the possibility of change, growth and renewal. When you see others that way, you help them grow,d are able to activate their inner resources and be the best they can.
About the Author
Dr. Brenda Shoshanna, psychologist, speaker, and author of The Anger Diet, (30 Days To Stress Free Living), http://www.theangerdiet.com ,offers a program Creating Workplace harmony for organizations. Program deals with constructive anger management, healthy communication, relationship balancing and creating natural harmony. Contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website at http://www.brendashoshanna.com . .