Life has been hard lately, and many of us here at Humanergy are wondering what other challenges the universe will bring our way. Because of this seemingly never-ending set of problems, many of us are experiencing a high level of pisstivity. According to the Urban Dictionary (and Karen’s friend) “pisstivity” is the degree to which one is angry, to use a more refined term. We are at varying levels of pisstivity, ranging from mildly irritated to plotting get-backs that we would never actually set in motion.
How do you handle your own anger or manage in an environment where pisstivity is a chronic or acute problem?
Acknowledge your level. It’s OK to say that you’re mad, furious or whatever. In fact, it’s healthy. Those ultra-smart Mayo Clinic experts say that anger is a normal and healthy emotion.
Use anger to fuel positive action. For some of us, anger can be a good motivator to take action or have a much-needed conversation. Reacting in anger only makes matters worse, so take a break to calm down. Just don’t wait too long to act, because often when anger dissipates, so does our inclination to follow through.
Allow others to be angry. If you don’t feel comfortable with your own feelings, observing others expressing anger, even in an acceptable manner, can be uncomfortable. Think about why strong emotions trigger you to react. Don’t expect others to feel the same way you do, to express it your way or to get over it within your required timeframe. Also, allow others to express their real feelings in ways that are respectful. Offer to help if it seems that they’re holding on to a high level of pisstivity for an extended period.
Find the humor. Just the term “pisstivity” helped us to acknowledge our feelings and laugh about them at the same time. We realized that it’s perfectly fine to blow off a little steam; then we helped each other keep the situations and our reactions in perspective.
Be the rock. When you can’t impact whatever is bugging you, don’t bother getting mad. Be the rock in the middle of the stream. Water flows around it, but it does not move the rock. Likewise, don’t let little things get to you. As George Carlin said, “Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.”
Bask in the dabs of sunshine. It ain’t all bad, even in the worst of times. Schedule time to dwell on the good stuff – celebrate it, bask in it and let the positive energy take over for a while.
Be a role model. Sometimes environments seem to breed negativity. If you work in a situation where anger is pervasive, you really have two choices. You can be a force for change or you can get out of there. Leaders can set a good example and use Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s three steps to help employees deal with frustration: Empathize, offer support and invoke higher principles.
We may not choose our feelings. We do choose how to react to them. When your degree of pisstivity is elevated, think and act with care and in alignment with your values. Nursing a grudge never pays. “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die” (Malachy McCourt).
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