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The workplace can be a stressful place and tension between co-workers is very common. A recent example of this was this past Friday morning, August 24th, 2012.   Jeffrey Johnson was apparently distraught after being laid off from his job in the garment industry last year.  He couldn’t get past his anger issues and he would continue to return to the company, instigating confrontations with another employee during each visit.  The two men filed harassment complaints against each other, but the arguments continued on.   The situation came to a head last week when Johnson completely snapped and went to his old office, this time shooting and killing this co-worker.  Two people were killed, including gunman Jeffrey Johnson and 9 people were wounded all because of a simple argument between two co-workers.  This behavior could have easily been avoided if the gunman had effectively utilized therapy and anger management techniques.

Here are 5 simple techniques you can use to deal with your anger towards a co-worker to help eliminate this kind of anger and hatred from escalating: 

#1 – Change your self-talk.  Often times individuals interpret situations when they get angry that cause negative feelings to arise.  For example, if you are late to a meeting, do you think that everyone is disappointed in you because you haven’t met their expectations?  Learn to change this conversation with yourself, so it doesn’t cause angry feelings. 

#2 - You might want to invest into a handgrip or a squeeze toy. If you work at a deskjob, you can sit and squeeze the grip or toy. This has been scientifically known to help release tension and relax your mind. Squeezing something or having something to grip in your hand releases some of that tension you've built in your muscles which makes them tight. 

#3 – Take a timeout from the situation.  Count to 10, breathe deeply and go on an adventure in your mind to reduce some stress, anxiety and anger all at the same time. Imagine a place you want to be and truly put yourself there. Close your eyes and just try to imagine what you want to be doing at this very moment. If you have access to headphones, put them on and play some soothing and soft music. 

#4 - Don't try to encourage debates or arguments as this will only cause the situation to deteriorate.  Try assertive communication.  Try to be polite and respectful while expressing your feelings in a clear and calm manner.  It’s not just what you say, but how you say it that will gain you respect with your bosses and co-workers.

#5 – Try to use humor to resolve and diffuse anger.  If things are tense between you and a co-worker, look at the brighter side of the situation and bring up something funny about what has happened.  This will relax everyone and help calm things down.  

Being angry isn't healthy for anyone. Besides the devastating things it can do to your cardiac system, your brain and other vital organs, no one wants to be around someone who is always shouting or angry. If you're an employee that's having issues keeping their anger under control, you might benefit greatly from taking online anger management classes. Online classes are completely anonymous, they offer great support and are great for anyone looking to stay under the radar without letting their friends and family know they have a problem.  

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