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Seeing Red: Redefining Anger In The Workplace There's a special kind of strength and support to be found in teams that like to keep things real- and losing your cool is a part of that.

By Aby Sam Thomas

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Of all the emotions that stand the chance of being displayed at work, anger seems to be the one that most of us are absolutely wary of. Not only are we absolutely apprehensive of facing the brunt of another's outrage, many of us also shy away from exhibiting any ire whatsoever even if the situation demands it.

It's easy to understand why though- most of us have been trained to believe that airing our aggravations in the workplace is unprofessional and not conducive to a healthy company culture. But how wholesome can a work environment be when it's one where you have to keep mum and carry on a charade, even when your sensibilities are being assaulted on a day-to-day basis?

I feel like the reason why anger gets such a bad rep in the workspace is because of its potential to become disrespectful and thereby make the environment we spend an estimated one-third of our lives in toxic as hell. And while it certainly should not be allowed to go unchecked and without fear of consequence, I believe that it's important to recognize that anger is as human an emotion as joy. And so, if we're willing to make space for the latter in our workplaces, we need to learn to do the same for the former -or any other feeling, really- as well.

Related: Passing The Torch (It's Not The Entrepreneurial Failure You Might Think It To Be)

As I see it, the key to making anger an emotion for good in the workplace lies in how it's displayed, as well as in what happens after it makes its presence felt. If, for instance, the anger can be properly justified, then what needs to happen is a careful (and constructive) conversation that should lead to the necessary solutions being put in place for the same. On the other hand, if one's emotion is misplaced, then the reaction to it needs to be studied but empathetic- and the instigator also needs to be open enough to see the error in their judgement or reaction.

A healthy workplace, to me, would be one where every member, regardless of rank, age, or gender, feels safe and confident in expressing what aggravates them, and, perhaps more importantly, also be heard with the common goal of making things better for everyone involved. Personally, my team and I have a penchant for finding the humor in our outbursts after our nerves have suitably calmed; they often morph into treasured memories down the road. There's a special kind of strength and support to be found in teams that like to keep things real- and losing your cool is a part of that.

Related: Reflections On When The Right Thing To Do Isn't What Gets Done

Aby Sam Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

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