I’ve been working with a very angry colleague lately, and then at the end of the day I jump on Twitter and all I see is anger and partisanship (and the occasional joke, which I desperately need). Does anyone else feel the need to say that abusing people by yelling, tweeting, or degrading them will damage your relationships and stop any productive conversation in its tracks? Don’t get me wrong, it is okay to be angry and respectfully state it. However, in order to move forward in our work, political, and social conversations, we need to find a way to get past the anger, let differences go, and find a solution (a big sentence and a big lofty goal). I am reading my own words and laughing because writing that is so much easier than doing it.
In the interim of finding a solution to my angry colleague’s loud opinion and nasty tweets, I have decided to try and meet anger with kindness. Over the past week, I have focused on 8 positive social interactions (aka kindness), and while my angry colleague is still there, I have become more calm and balanced. Here they are, let me know if they work for you.
- Smile often
- Greet others (e.g., hello, good morning)
- Thank people
- Remember people’s names
- Admit mistakes
- Recognize others’ achievements
- Be courteous and polite (e.g., please, excuse me, hold the door open for others)
- Laugh at myself, not others
From a simple hello, to holding the door open for the person behind you, to writing a thank you note to a coworker, positive interactions are a good alternative to meeting anger head on and can help your emotions stay in control. How do you respond to anger?