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How to Control Your Temperament When Managing People at Work

by Louise W. Rice

Life can be frustrating sometimes, especially when you’re forced to deal with circumstances (and people) that are beyond your control. For some of us, it’s easier to control our tempers — for others, not so much.

Whether you’re working from home or are an office-goer already, getting used to long work hours and employees is an adjustment, especially given the present circumstances; the pandemic has fundamentally changed the workplace and workplace communication.

If you find yourself struggling to manage your temper while at work, you’re not alone. The same applies to those who have a hard time appearing approachable or have a hard time responding to conflict.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make things easier. Let’s take a closer look.

When behaviors and habits escalate into something genuinely distressing, it may be time to seek professional help. Mental health professionals, like those over at BetterHelp, can help you identify what causes these concerns and navigate their solutions.

Control Your Thoughts

Although easier said than done, controlling your thoughts and emotions is one of the best ways to reflect and rectify a situation in which you had an unexpected response.

To control your thoughts, you must first be aware of them and embrace them as they are. If you are a short-tempered person, meditation, stretching and a variety of breathing exercises may be great ways to relax and control your thoughts and emotions.

Especially during stressful times, our thoughts tend to run all over the place, and we mostly focus on the negatives.

To control this, you must try to live in the moment. A great example of this in action is taking a walk or chatting with an old friend, journaling, or focusing on your surroundings.

Another way to control your thoughts is to observe them and understand in what ways they affect you.

Instead of making negative remarks about your thoughts, try asking yourself why you feel that way and what you can do to correct it. Controlling your thoughts is very important, not only in the workplace, but also in other areas of life.

Change Your Mindset And Outlook

Changing your mindset and outlook on certain things is a very important and necessary step in controlling your temperament at work.

This practice is directly linked with controlling your thoughts. You must be able to adapt and be understanding of people’s opinions and struggles.

Long-term attitude changes don’t happen in a day. It takes constant effort and practice to try believing in the opposite of what you have been conditioned to believe.

Changing your mindset and outlook on things have many advantages, like career and personal growth, mental and emotional growth, and living life to the fullest.

The fear of new things or the unknown is the biggest thing that can hold one back to achieving the quality of life of their dreams.

Know Your Triggers

For most people, triggers are easily identifiable. Temperamental triggers may cause an individual to avoid situations and people.

Being around triggering environments and people can make one feel constantly tired and mentally worn out. Stress levels shoot up, causing a plethora of other problems.

Major life changes, unpredictable events or past trauma are some common triggers. Workplace triggers can occur due to increased workload, urgent deadlines or demanding bosses.

Some ways to control your response to these triggers are having a healthy diet full of proteins and antioxidants, regular physical activity and picking out hobbies like art or cooking to help you relax.

Sometimes, the trigger is internal, which causes us to react unexpectedly to simple situations. Fears, beliefs, and lack of control are some internal triggers that you may want to address before addressing environmental triggers, although they both can occur simultaneously.

Knowing your triggers and acting on them combined with keeping your distance from upsetting situations can benefit mental health and, eventually, contribute to a more stress-free lifestyle.

Know When To Seek Help

If you have tried all other methods of trying to get your temperament under control, like identifying situations that cause it, or meditation and breathing exercises, it may be time to seek professional help.

There is nothing wrong with seeking professional help. It may seem scary at first to be completely honest with a stranger, but you must remember that they are not there to judge you, and they are licensed to listen and provide solutions or exercises to help you find the solution yourself.

Don’t Take Things Personally

Sounds really simple, but not taking things personally can have a huge impact on your temperament, especially at work.

Oftentimes and especially under pressure at workplaces, we have a tendency to take comments or advice personally.

This is generally unhealthy, and it usually causes a lot of unnecessary stress. Always remember that everyone in a workplace is stressed out and does not usually mean what they are saying.

Not taking things personally will help you see the problem objectively instead of defensively. Defensive thinking will not bring in any solution, as you will only be thinking of how you weren’t wrong instead of rectifying the mistake.

If you feel your anger rising or if you feel like someone made a remark especially directed towards you, make sure to clearly ask what they mean then and there.

Once clarified, you will likely realize that most times, people don’t mean to “direct” remarks at you.

If you constantly feel this way, it would be a good idea to sit down and reflect on why you feel that way. Is there some internal factor that you have not addressed yet?

Use Humor As A Tool

In times of extreme anger, it is difficult to try and control the outburst at that moment. Thinking of a funny memory from your past is the easiest thing to do to get your anger down a little.

Once you have achieved this, you can crack a simple joke and have a quick laugh to get your anger and stress levels down temporarily, so that you can react to the situation at hand effectively and objectively.

This tip is especially useful in workplaces when you are managing many people and have multiple things going on at once.

Cracking a joke or thinking of something funny also releases positive, rewarding hormones in the brain, making you much calmer.


Work life and the workplace can be extremely stressful, but with the right personal tools, you can make the best out of every situation without compromising on your health and mental wellness.

Remember, though, that no job is worth your mental peace and well-being.

Marie MiguelAuthor Bio: Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.



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