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Co-worker Anxiety And Anger

by Anonymous

I love my career, it is very important to me and I feel like I am at a very good place. I have a very happy home life, I am about to get married to the most wonderful man in a couple of months. He makes life wonderful and I am truly happy.

However, I feel like I may have a mild anger problem. Not at home, but at work. I have seen this happen to me before in previous jobs. I don't know if I just don't like it when people feel the need to correct me, or if I just like to argue. I have a co-worker who I also commute with every day to work. She's very opinionated and very much thinks she is better than those around her. I have often had to correct her on some of the things she says about other people. I feel offended by a lot of things she says. Often, she will argue with me, correct me when most times, she's wrong.

Not only do we commute a hour to work everyday together, but we also share an office space as well. So, basically, we spend almost 12 hours together 5 days a week.

I feel lately like I am brewing with anger towards her and it's starting to affect my everyday job duties. I can't even have a conversation with her anymore without feeling anger towards her. I don't want to argue with her because I do need to work in this office space, I can't have it uncomfortable.

I have spoken to my fiance about my feelings and he has explained to me that I am very "quick" sometimes, that I tend to get angry and upset very quickly. Never at him of course, but he has seen me get pretty angry at little things. That concerns me.

I have never been a very patient person; from childhood to now, I have no patience. I want to have children some day and I would clearly need to learn patience. As for the mild anger, I would love to learn techniques in how to deal with my anger towards my co-worker so that I can prepare myself for motherhood and learning patience.

At my best I am level 1, At my worst I am level 4 (sometimes higher, depending on the subject), Most of the time I am at level 1 (mostly when I am home, away from co-worker).

Please help me to not become a higher level of anger. I do not want to become an angry person. I have too much happiness in my life to allow this anger part of me explode.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. It is great that you're taking action at this point, before your anger gets worse. Congratulations to you for being proactive! I'm so glad to hear that you're happy and preparing for a good life and a wonderful marriage. All of those things will help you manage your anger better.

I think it will help you to do the anger journaling described on this page. It's a simple matter of getting your anger out on paper so it does not rattle around in your head so much--but don't stop there! These next two steps are essential.

You may have some past trauma that is underlying your anger. Just to be sure, do the trauma writing exercise on that same page (just above the anger journaling piece). This has been found to reduce stress and provide healing, all by itself.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, do the positive journaling exercise, which is the third exercise described on that page. In that one, you will focus on positive aspects of yourself, your life, and--believe it or not--your co-worker!

Try to list and focus on her positive aspects. Then, when you're with her, keep reminding yourself of her positive aspects over and over again. They are real, they are there, and this will help you. It doesn't make her negative qualities go away, but it will definitely help you keep your anger in check.

She is in your life for a reason. In your journaling and reflection, ask yourself what you're supposed to learn from this relationship. There is a gift there for you.

If you feel like it, write again and let me know how it's going.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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