Suppressed anger in the workplace v unregulated anger in the workplace – which is more toxic?

Neither suppressed nor unregulated anger in the workplace has a positive outcome in the short or long term. Let’s be very clear on that.

Throughout my working life I have encountered many people who have been carrying suppressed anger and many people who have displayed unregulated anger. Myself included.

I have had a varied career to date, which began in a tearooms around the age of 13, I’ve worked in pubs, offices, IT recruitment, retail, logistics, contracts management, teaching children French and Spanish, then teaching adults French and Spanish and currently I am a certified Narcissistic Trauma Informed Coach, Certified Hypnotherapist and Brainspotting Practitioner.

Through my training I have become Internal Family Systems informed (IFS) and my approach to anger is that it is a protector part.  An inner guardian showing up to stop us feeling a deeper pain from the past.  I use Trauma Informed Self Navigation Mapping™ Cards designed by Caroline Strawson to help my clients become aware of anger as a protector part, to get to know this inner guardian and learn how to redirect the energy towards a less destructive part. 

My approach is free from guilt, judgement or shame. We’ve all had enough of that already.

Three things I have learnt and coach my clients

  1. Suppressed anger and unregulated anger are behaviours, you are not an angry person, you have an angry part. Sometimes a very angry part indeed.
  2. Other people’s behaviour is about them not me – it’s taken me a long time to understand and accept this.
  3. Most people have not been taught at an early age how to process anger safely and therefore there are a lot of people who I can help.

So, what is anger protecting you from? Anger is a protector part, protecting you from feeling unimportant, unlovable, unworthy or not good enough – or maybe all four like I used to feel.

And when that inner feeling is triggered – the anger part shows up for you in your body and you have developed a way to suppress it, dissociate from it, or you release it.  Most often my clients are not consciously aware of this or if they are they feel deep shame for not being able to control it.

If you are experiencing suppressed or unregulated anger in the workplace or know someone who is, please know that there is hope.

If you have learnt to suppress your anger you may still feel it and it may be churning away in your stomach, clenching your jaw, clenching your fist, grinding your teeth, picking at your hands or maybe you have learnt to dissociate from it and feel numb.

Either way the people around you may be able to feel this, they may tread on eggshells around you, isolate you, retreat from you, or dare to ask you “are you ok?” to which the response through clenched teeth may be “I’m fine, thank you”.

If you haven’t learnt to suppress it or dissociate from it then it may “come out of nowhere”, like an “explosion”, the “straw that broke the camels back”. “They just flipped”.

If you are experiencing suppressed or unregulated anger in the workplace or know someone who is, please know that there is hope.

There are tools and strategies available to help you break the cycle, lift the guilt and shame, soothe the protector part and have a more regulated present work environment.  For yourself and for those around you.

I offer these services to help hope become a reality for you.

Trauma informed coaching (using Internal Family Systems)
Free webinar

Bye for now

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