Sam has had it with Susie. “She’s messed up my schedule again,” he grumbles to himself. Sam hasn’t said anything to Susie about his most recent concerns, because he feels she’s very sensitive and will likely have a defensive response. Instead, he buries his frustrations and gets back to work.

There are problems with stuffing down our feelings. Too often, trying not to feel or think about something only amplifies the emotion. Then, when we let down our guard, we run the risk of overexpressing those emotions later.

And as if walking around with churning emotions isn’t enough, suppressing your feelings may result in being less likeable at work. In a recent study, people described “supressors” as indifferent to feelings or distant.

Instead of suppressing emotions, stop to acknowledge your feelings. Try to be self-compassionate. Don’t beat yourself up over them or judge yourself harshly for feeling a certain way. The choice then is what to do about it. Instead of either reacting immediately or stuffing the feelings away, make a plan. Decide what, if anything you need to do to move the situation forward productively.

It isn’t being emotional at work that gets us into trouble. The real problems surface when we don’t notice or own our feelings or don’t take responsibility for having made a choice in how we behave.


Sorting out your feelings or what to do about them? Comment below or message us here.

Photo by cykocurt on Flickr.