Mixing feelings with work? Never! Society usually tells us to keep our work problems and home problems totally separate, which ends up making a lot of people feel like they can’t bring their feelings with them to work situations.
Here’s the reality: Feelings are inevitable at work. Just like any situation in life, you’re going to experience feelings and emotions in your work environment. You can’t always act on these, but you can embrace them and know when and how you can express them. Start with these three strategies!
Go Directly to the Source
If you need to have a difficult or uncomfortable conversation with somebody, your best bet is to cut to the chase. Go directly to the source and ask to have a mature discussion. Office politics tend to confuse and exacerbate the situation, and it’s much better to involve yourself directly with someone rather than engage in gossip beforehand. Because you’re in an office environment, you can always set up a meeting with your coworker or boss to hash things out. Otherwise, if you prefer a more casual setting, ask to get coffee or go for a walk outside of work.
Remain Calm and Know Your Stance
Work environments can be stressful, but don’t let that disrupt your calm disposition. Going into a discussion with a sense of calm is really important. You may be taking a bold stance, and that’s perfectly fine. But you should make sure you stay calm about it and don’t get heated. Be confident that you know what you’re doing, and don’t let that change as the conversation begins to take form.
Remember Your “Why”
At the end of the day, you and all of your coworkers are there for the same reason. You’re not trying to disrupt the structure or success of the company, nor are you trying to stir up unnecessary drama. You all have a “why” or a reason to be there. Your job is important to you, so try to remember this throughout your conversation. You’re trying to work through this and talk it out because you want to improve things, not make anything worse. Don’t forget that!
We’ve covered three common sense strategies for expressing your feelings at work, but you’re not limited to these three. Every situation is different, so take some time to think about yours and create your strategy accordingly. Last but not least, being aware of what triggers your negative emotions, and which types of feelings you face most often is vital. When those emotions begin surface, immediately start your strategy to interrupt the cycle. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to pull yourself away from negative thinking.