Working in higher education is very rewarding. However, the pressures of high standards of excellence throughout the community, productivity expectations, limited resources, and different multidisciplinary approaches can sometimes lead to frustration and anger. Anger is a common, normal, and valid emotion, but it cannot be expressed through dramatic, intimidating or threatening behavior. It is important to treat colleagues and students with civility and respect. When an angry outburst occurs, we may say or do things that will damage relationships, affect the workplace and cause ourselves and others great distress. If you (or someone close to you) find yourself impatient and irritable with colleagues or students you may have an issue with anger management Explosive outbursts, screaming, behaving unprofessionally or disruptively can compromise work standards. Condescension, verbal aggression, criticism, contempt, passive aggressive behaviors and sarcasm can be subtler forms of anger that can also damage relationships.
Take this quick true/false ANGER quiz:
- I am often irritable and cranky
- I am on guard to keep others from taking advantage of me
- I have angry outbursts
- I can make degrading comments or insult people
- I often feel stressed, pressured, or in a rush
- I often feel unfairly treated or disrespected
- I am often aggressive to force my opinions on others
- People have told me that I can be a bully
- I think a lot about how to retaliate when I have been criticized
- People avoid me at work or at home
- Sometimes I have been so angry I have wanted to hit someone, or have actually hit someone
- I feel like I am always fighting with my partner, family members, or someone at work
- When someone cuts me off in traffic, I am enraged
- People in my life sometimes seem afraid of me
If you answered true to three or more of these statements, you may benefit from talking to someone about learning to manage your anger. If your anger or violence is directed only at your spouse/partner, this may be a sign of an abusive relationship.
There are many resources to help manage the anger, both on campus and off campus. Please reach out to speak with someone about your concerns. Helpful resources are included on the right side of this webpage.