Share this Article

Anger is one of the most base emotions, humans experience. Feeling angry is not always a bad thing. It can allow you to express negative feelings or motivate you to find solutions to problems. However, excessive anger can be problematic. Have you ever worked for someone unable to manage their anger? If you have, then you know it can affect individual employees, the environment at the office, and even the net performance level of an organization. It is important to know how to deal with people with anger issues to maintain a healthy work environment for yourself to the greatest extent possible.

The employees who find themselves the target of their boss’ outbursts often feel demotivated, unconfident and nervous. It can be very hard for these employees to remember not to take it personally. They can begin to doubt themselves and feel insecure about their work, which can negatively impact their performance. However, it is important to understand that you, as the affected employee, are simply an outlet for anger caused by a deeper issue. Try to understand what it is about the situation that could be triggering for your boss, and work to change it. In some instances, especially when your superior suffers from a degree of Intermittent Explosive Disorder, the anger they displayed is simply unjustified. In these cases, there is very little you can do to keep them from having anger episodes, but you can take control of how it affects you.

Being thoughtful about your timings may allow you to avoid the majority of their outbursts. Perhaps they are more amiable after a cup of coffee. Staying calm when your boss is screaming at you is very important, although it may seem impossible. It is always advisable to defer to them in the heat of the moment and ask for a private meeting at a later time. You can begin such meetings by offering gratitude for the criticism they provided (even if it was expressed inappropriately). This can lull them into a sense of security which can set the right tone for your conversation with them. You can also address their expectations from you, saying that you would like to understand their perspective so as to perform better. If this conversation is approached and handled tactfully, it might make a difference in the boss’ behaviour towards you. This can allow you to feel less stressed about having to tread on eggshells around them all the time.

That being said, your boss’ anger is not something you can control. If it starts to affect your mental health or presents a physical danger, you might need to think about changing where you work or by approaching HR.

There are specific books1 available with a series of self-help exercises, which can be used by one and all to work on their anger and have an impact on the individual’s conduct at work. These books come with a series of cases and a practical approach helping to deal with one’s anger. Such ready reference books seem to be the perfect self-help for individuals seeking a way to conquer their anger and rage at the workplace. Taking aid from these books can also help people with anger issues by providing insight into why they behave the way behave so.

Title image


[1] “Stress Diaries: From the Eyes of a Therapist” sold by Amazon online, Kindle edition.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of India and Defence Research and Studies

By Dr Rachna Khanna Singh

Dr Rachna Khanna Singh, the Senior Fellow with DRaS is a Mental Wellness Expert, a TEDx Talk speaker, focused on Relationship, Lifestyle & Stress Management. She heads the Department of Holistic Medicine & Wellness at Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon and the Founder and Director of The Mind & Wellness Studio, Delhi & NGO ‘Serve Samman’. Dr Rachna is a visiting lecturer and faculty member of various esteemed educational institutes worldwide such as IIM, IIT, BITS PILANI, Delhi University, NMIMS, Amity University, Himachal Medical Colleges, University of Exeter, University of Minnesota, Royal College of Physicians, etc.