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Overcoming Negative Emotions at Work

You’re bound to feel some range of emotions while at work.  If you’re working in the right place, most of them will be positive feelings such as excitement, gratitude and inspiration.

Unfortunately, there will be times when negative emotions make their presence known.  What’s important to remember is that how you manage those negative feelings can largely affect your opportunities for success.

There most common negative emotions that a person experiences at work are fear, rejection, anger and frustration.  Keeping those in mind, here are some suggestions on how to manage those feelings in a way that allows you to become better and more productive.


Look at your situation with a more objective lens, “Is your career or business at risk?” If not, you may just be feeling nervous or excited. If the situation is really serious though, do something physical like take a walk. By the time you return, have an action plan ready for how you’re going to handle the situation.

Recall the times that you’ve successfully handled a similar situation or anything that was personally challenging. Then take the first step in that action plan.


Do you respect the opinion of the person who “rejected” you? If not, then you could consider it to be a backhanded compliment.

If you DO respect this person’s opinion, ask for some clarity on the situation. The only way to find out is to ask them, despite how intimidating the encounter may seem.

Finally, realize that rejection can be an illusion.  People don’t always interpret events the same, so it’s possible you didn’t see the situation as it was meant.


If you’re feeling angry, the first step is to get some distance from the situation.  Whatever it may be, do something that is going to distract your attention for a short time.

Once you’ve calmed down, figure out why you’re angry.  In every case, it’s because someone violated a standard of yours that is deeply important. Next, figure out how to communicate with the person who made you angry, explaining the importance of that standard so it doesn’t happen again.

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