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poisonedantidote's avatar

How to think like a civilized person when you are angry?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21549 points ) October 18th, 2011

What are some good ways to keep it together when you are starting to get pissed off?

Two days ago I came down with a very bad tooth ache, it turns out it’s not just a tooth ache. I went to the doctor and he says I have an infection, the full diagnosis was “Septic mouth with impacted wisdom tooth”.

I took a copy of the paper to my employer, and told them I would be in to work as soon as the anti biotics start to take affect. The next day I called in and said I still could not work, and that I would let him know if things get better.

Today my boss calls me up and leaves a message on my answer machine, telling me that if I don’t come in tomorrow, that he will fire me and not pay me my wages. This is ridiculous as I’m legally protected to be off work while I’m sick, I even have doctors orders in writing to not work for the next 8 days. (even though I intendeded to go in tonight)

I know for a fact that my boss can’t fire me for being sick, yet I still find my self slowly putting my shoes and socks on as I type this, so I can march over there in a minute and cave his head in for him.

I try to calm my self down, I tell my self to be rational about it, but then a louder voice just says “no, fuck that asshole, the job is not even worth it. Go over there, get your paycheck for this month, and just punch him in the head and walk out.”

How can I make the stupid loud voice listen to reason?

Normally I would not even try and calm my self down, but I promissed my self that I would work harder to keep my temper under control. So… here we are.

Suggestions?

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23 Answers

tom_g's avatar

Sorry about your pain.

As for why you might not want to go over and punch the guy – there are a bunch of reasons:

1. It’s weak. Yep. Real weak.
2. It is not going to help you.
3. It’s immoral.
4. Did I mention that it’s not going to help you?

You seem to have some insight already on this. You know it is not to your advantage. But it seems that you don’t feel you’re strong enough to handle this like a man. My suggestion is that you start making yourself strong enough. Think of it like lifting weights. There are steps you can take to make your mind strong enough to be able to handle this without having a tantrum.

I’m not going to go over the specifics of your case, but I think you know you may have some internal “weight lifting” to do to make yourself stronger. I would recommend meditation for starters. Therapy might also be be helpful.

Scooby's avatar

Basically you need to remind yourself that battering your boss, could end up you being heavily fined or incarcerated for a time before a court date. You might be let off with a caution or your boss could sue you for damages either ways you lose :-/
If there’s no talking to your boss then get some legal advice pronto :-/
In the mean time count to ten…… until your get your head around this.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@tom_g Good answer, however here is some extra info:

The thing that is pissing me off the most, is the lack of respect. This is the part that makes me want to bash him, not the job, the job is just to help pay for some groceries and things, while I wait for all my papers to be in order so I can leave the country in a few weeks. I have more money than I have had in my entire life at the moment, and I really dont need the cash. So, its the personal thing that is getting to me.

As for “getting stronger”. I’m not sure if this makes sense, but there is a part of me that feels like the stronger thing to do would be to have a confrontation. It’s not so much a thought as it is an instinct I guess. a “don’t back down” kind of feeling.

not trying to contradict you, just adding info

@Scooby Thanks.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Another part of the problem…

I tend to find that as I calm down, I replace irrational anger with cold blooded spite. Obviously the latter should be avoided too if possible.

tom_g's avatar

@poisonedantidote: “As for “getting stronger”. I’m not sure if this makes sense, but there is a part of me that feels like the stronger thing to do would be to have a confrontation. It’s not so much a thought as it is an instinct I guess. a “don’t back down” kind of feeling.”

I think this is a common feeling, although I couldn’t disagree more. Lashing out physically is what a person does when they feel they have nothing else. My 3-year-old son is weak as shit and handles all of his problems with his fists. When we grow up, we become stronger physically and emotionally.

Resorting to walking up and punching this guy appear to me to be no different than putting on a diaper, shitting in it, and having a tantrum. There is no “stand” being made here. It’s admitting that you are weak. It’s admitting that you are not strong enough to handle stress. It’s admitting that you are an emotional toddler in a man’s body.

blueiiznh's avatar

Resorting to violence turns the situation from him being an asshole to you being an asshole.
Rise above it. If you can’t work for medical reasons, you can’t work. He would be in the wrong for taking it further and you would have a field day. Use that information to know you hold the trump card.
I have worked for enough jerks in my day and the only way at times to work for them is to work smarter. Use their inability to properly manage or respect their workers against them in a smarter way.
I currently work for a jerk of a lead engineer, but know that the Sr Director and VP above them know his inabilities and my abilities. I have had many days that I simply have to get up and walk away for a bit to ensure I don’t lash out improperly.
Change your mantra to work smarter and longer in your job that your jerk manager. You will certainly last longer in your job than people like you describe above you. If you let your anger get the better of you, then it will be you on the outside and he will have won.
Life is full of choices, make one.

tom_g's avatar

Also, even if there were no legal problems with going up and punching this guy, then what? Do you think he says, “wow, I really was in the wrong. I have learned my lesson!”? Or does he think, “wow, I was right in wanting to get rid of that guy. He’s a psychopath, and I should’ve fired him sooner. Poor guy needs some serious help/medication!”?

poisonedantidote's avatar

@blueiiznh GA, thanks.

@tom_g I totally agree with your last post, but the one before it does not ring fully true.

I am capable of dealing with very large amounts of stress I would say, I’m not the kind of person who gets offended or cracks that easy. I can see how you would think that from the info I have given here. However usually I’m ok with stress.

I think, maybe the pain from the tooth, the lack of respect they have shown, and the lack of importance of the job, is just pushing me on to quit or something, and while I’m at it, have a slap for your troubles. I’m not sure.

Thanks.

tom_g's avatar

Get that tooth under control. I have to admit that I have had toothaches that have made me want to smash my own face in. Get the pain under control and then revisit the issue. Don’t do anything under the influence of that pain.

smilingheart1's avatar

@poisonedantidote , agree with @tom_g !!!!!!!! You want to get past this thing as quick as you can, fighting with your boss will put you in the same league as him and you cannot forget the issue fast if you punch him, it will be on the agenda for a long time with more repercussions than what is going on in your jaw currently. Get well soon, find out what your legal rights with your boss are. I would have thought you would be a credible guy in your boss’s mind and not be subjected to all this heavy weather coming from him. Let us know what you do???

poisonedantidote's avatar

I just got a phone call from him, saying sorry for the message, that he had just had an argument with someone and was pissed off when he called me.

I guess the penny had just dropped that I now had a recording of him making illegal threats.

Scooby's avatar

I’m currently off sick myself, these last two day’s …… I’ve notified my work of my situation, if they even dared hassle me while I was off sick, badgering me into going in, then that’s harassment straight off the bat… Good job you counted to ten ;-)
Good luck with that tooth, sounds nasty!

smilingheart1's avatar

@Scooby, get well soon!

Scooby's avatar

@smilingheart1 , Thank’ye kindly…. ;-)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’m so sorry that you’re in pain. I’m having my own difficulties with controlling my anger and “letting go” of my rage, with my current situation involving my daughter and school negligence.

I totally sympathize/empathize with your anger right now.

blueiiznh's avatar

A little more food for thought:
Change your perspective. As long as you see your boss through your “jerk” filter, your boss will be a jerk.
Learn to manage your boss. One of the most important things one can do is manage the manager. Learn what your boss wants and doesn’t want and how to do the kind of job your boss is looking for.
Understand that your boss is not going to change.
Know that it does not matter if you like your boss. You do not have to be best friends with the boss. You do, however, have to have a professional relationship.
Understand that you have a few choices. You can stay and live with it or you can leave. You can either adapt to the situation or leave the situation. If they have done something illegal, pursue it.
Document everything. Documentation will support if you ever have to file a complaint. Keep the documents at home.
Everyone is someone’s difficult person. You may very well have a personality conflict with your boss. Ask yourself honestly if and how you may be contributing to this. It does take two. This isn’t a matter of giving up or letting the other person win. It is a matter of maintaining your sanity.
Find someone outside of your work environment to talk with. Do not talk with other people at work about what a jerk the boss is. Fluther is hopefully a good outlet for you to start.
And remember, you have the control. Don’t let anyone take it from you. Control your actions and attitudes. As long as you are in control, you are better able to manage the situation and make the best choices.

Conflict 911 How to deal with a difficult boss.
Also a quick read Happiness at work

Hibernate's avatar

You seem like a person easy to anger. It’s my opinion. I know that people get pissed off over things like this but can’t you just let it be? I mean he can’t fire you or you can get a lot of money from him because in your work contract it stipulates you are entitled to have “sick days”.

Coloma's avatar

I’d simply and calmly tell him that there is no need to fire me as I QUIT!

I agree with @blueiiznh and @tom_g

You DO have a choice and to allow this person to bully and control you emotionally or physically is not acceptable.

I’d take the time I needed to feel well enough to return to work and I would simply say, as I have with my pushy boss ” I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

Stick to one clear and simple response and become a broken record.

I’m one of those types that can be deathly ill and it doesn’t show in my voice because I am not manipulative in trying to sound ultra pathetic, I long ago gave up being concerned if an employer wishes to assume that I am really not as sick as I am. That’s their problem, and no job is worth accepting abusive treatment.

HungryGuy's avatar

1) A trio of SAE A502 800 watt power amps bridged in dual mono mode.
2) A pair of Ohm I tower speaker systems operating in bi-amped mode.
3) Any Pink Floyd or Bob Seger CD.

Coloma's avatar

When dealing with difficult people do not J.A.D.E.

Justify
Argue
Defend
Explain

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

^^ OMG, you use my daughter’s name as a not-to-do list? :P

Coloma's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate
Haha, oh, well..perfect for her to learn how to remember what NOT to do the jerks. haha

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’ll be sure to tell her this when she’s older and understands it!!!! How much easier can it get than to use your own name as a map of what not to do with idiots?

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