When venting at work, it’s important to minimize your impact, spend just much time coming up with solutions, balance the negative with the positive, and more.

Work can drive you crazy sometimes. On other days it’s probably fine. But there are just going to be times when your coworkers or customers or the job itself gets so stressful or frustrating that you feel you have to blow off steam. There’s a right way and wrong way to do this at work. Here’s how to vent the right way at work.

Controlled Venting

Blowing off steam at work in the wrong way is a bad idea; it can spread negativity and bring everyone down. The key is to vent in a way that expresses your frustration but harms the least amount of people. That way, you don’t end up with coworkers that think you are a complainer.

The important thing is to control your venting so that it doesn’t harm everyone who walks by your office. You can vent, but do it in a controlled way so that it doesn’t ripple across the office and harm your relationship with coworkers or your boss. Set some limitations, like you’ll only go outside to vent while walking around the building with a coworker. Stepping out of the building is always a good idea; it will also make you feel better to move around. Try not to vent too frequently to the same people because they may just get tired of hearing it. Also, set a time limit of a few minutes to help keep the venting under control.

Turn the Negative Positive

You can turn the negative-positive by coming up with solutions to all the things you’re complaining about. Why? Because the situation won’t get better if employees don’t try to find ways to improve the problems you’re complaining about. So, if you’re setting rules for venting at the office, why not set a rule that you’ll work on fixing the problems for just as long as you spend complaining about them. For example, if you just complained for 10-minutes about how your boss overloads you with work, why not take another 10 talking to your boss about getting some help.

Turning the negative into a positive is a good way to keep from spinning your wheels on an issue that might be solvable if you spend some time doing something positive about it.

Stress Journaling?

What about writing down your stresses instead of talking them out with a coworker? Journaling helps people master their worries and it can also help you learn from past mistakes and reflect on the future. Instead of spending time complaining with a coworker, writing down your frustrations is a completely mature and appropriate way to handle problems that won’t negatively affect anyone at the office. If it’s nice outside, perhaps you could even take a pad and paper outside, take a small break, and reflect on what the problem is. This will be especially helpful to your coworkers or family members that patiently listen to all your concerns, frustrations, and worry about the job.

Find Another Job

While these are all good suggestions for managing your stress at work, sometimes the situation gets so bad you know it’s time to leave. That’s where IES can help. Call on us when it’s time to find a better work environment.


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