Addressing Tension And Anger With Openess
Q: I suppress my anger and if I do release and get angry for an instance I apologize. I thought that was the right thing to do. I expect her too to do the same. Which she doesn’t do. She gets angry and stays angry, seeming to build on past hatred. What simply should I do?
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Maria, I read your book about the power of forgiveness and acceptance.
I have a lady at work that seems to be angry quite a bit of the time at me. I suppress my anger and if I do release and get angry for an instance I apologize. I thought that was the right thing to do.
I expect her too to do the same. Which she doesn’t do. She gets angry and stays angry, seeming to build on past hatred.
What simply should I do? I am her supervisor. I am quite tired of so much tension in the workplace.
I try and do a real good job of being polite but much of the time I don’t feel it in my heart. I don’t carry hate or anger around much but feel frustrated.
According to the book I just accept how I feel and move through it. I don’t think I want to approach her with that idea.
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The first thing I would suggest is the obvious; have you tried to have an honest and open conversation with her, just the two of you in private?
Here’s something you could do if she’s open to it: http://mariaerving.com/communicate-effectively/
That can be done with all kinds of relationships, just tweak the questions so that they fit into your particular concern.
I assume you suppressed your anger because you thought it’s not spiritual to have such feelings?
That’s a common trap of the ego, to pretend to be spiritual by faking, avoiding and trying to be spiritually noble and righteous.
No, it’s not good or healthy to suppress anything.
When being a supervisor or some other kind of leader it’s – in my opinion – even more important to have integrity and show some backbone and address that which is not healthy, which in your own case has to do with the fact that the tension between the two of you is creating a toxic environment and might be affecting the other employees as well.
So it’s actually your responsibility as a supervisor to see to it that the work-place is a healthy environment.
So you could approach her that way, letting her know that you are concerned and wish to correct that which is not in balance.
Maybe it has nothing to do with you even. That’s why it’s important to communicate openly and respectfully with each other and hear each other out.
But regardless of the reason for her behavior, is that an okay way to be in the work-place do you think?
Maybe you need to sit down with your boss to look closely at what standards you wish to run your business based on.
I’m just looking at it from my own personal point of view, I would never accept my employees (if I had any) throwing fits and poisoning the environment where I have chosen to be in and create for my business.
There’s clearly some built up resentment going on and the only way to find out what it’s all about is by talking with her and clearing everything up.
You wrote; “According to the book I just accept how I feel and move through it. I don’t think I want to approach her with that idea”.
Yes, you accept the feeling, and you move through it by acknowledging it, not by suppressing it. (Just because it’s there it doesn’t mean it has to be acted out, it can simply be allowed to be there and be seen, like any other feeling).
Until you do, it will keep coming up and it will keep building up to more and more frustration and resentment.
Here’s an article that you might like:
You have to honor that there’s those feelings present without indulging in them. You deal with ‘what is’ in the moment, and if there’s anger coming up, then you need to look at that anger closely without identifying with it.
And without blaming the other person of course!
Just address it as it comes up, and it doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.
Uncomfortable maybe, as the ego prefer avoiding life and situations that are slightly uncomfortable, but what option do you see yourself having in this matter?
These two questions might be helpful for you:
Just forget about the dreams-part (that’s an old post written by the “old me”); these questions can help you get perspective, it will help you see the bigger picture and you will more clearly see which way it’s going depending on if you chose to address it openly and honestly, or if you’ll continue keeping your mouth shut, hoping it will go away by itself.
Here’s another article you might like:
Feel very welcome to share with me how everything goes.