How to stop being emotionally invested in work and let go of anger

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Papaya 7 months ago.

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    I am currently working in a company where I have 2 supervisors who are in constant contact with me and my colleagues. However, I think that both people are completely unfit for their positions and lacking the necessary managerial/leadership skills.

    Supervisor #1 reacts too emotionally very quickly and takes things personally. He doesn’t like it if I ask many questions and tells me to “stop making a fuss”.

    He wants us to do things independently yet wants to have full control over everything we do. I have the constant impression that he doesn’t trust us and that we can run things very good on our own.

    When I’m around him I feel this palpable fearful energy coming from him like a huge wall or wave heading straight at me and I have trouble separating myself from that and in turn get upset/nervous myself.

    One time he informed us that a certain procedure had changed after my colleague had asked him about it and after we got in trouble with our second supervisor for changing the procedure he claimed he never told us to change the procedure in the first place. To make things worse he got very upset, emotional and irrational, yelled at me over the phone and didn’t want to hear any explanation I gave him. When I hinted at that situation never having been resolved at a later time he defended his actions (!) by blaming me for evading his questions. I was shocked and questioned if he had even listened to one word I had said since I had of course answered all of his questions.
    The fact that he went back on his word made me lose trust in him and silently question and over analyze everything he tells us. I now try to think up ways of how, what he tells us could backfire, in an attempt to try to protect my colleagues and myself against any possible mistakes and out of fear of such a situation arising again.

    Supervisor #2 is simply malicious. She uses every opportunity she can to make our team look bad and frequently complains to Supervisor #1 who gets emotional and upset and comes down on us like a ton of bricks. He frequently defends and justifies the other supervisor’s actions and not once has he acted understanding towards us.

    Both of these people seem to think that- or at least act as if nobody can do things better than they do and that they’re somehow exempt from making mistakes.

    I’m fed up with working under incompetent supervisors and always struggling to remain calm, rational and understanding when they act childish and completely unfit for their position. I know personal development is not a race to the finish line but if people like these don’t have the necessary qualifications and lack the necessity to reflect upon themselves they should just not be supervisors and have anyone working under them.

    It makes me angry to go to work and resentful of them, yet I don’t want to be and would much rather be indifferent. I think I have a too strong desire to have a work I enjoy and this ideal image of working with helpful colleagues and supervisors I can learn from – yet, I am constantly reminded at my current work of what I don’t have and it makes me incredibly angry because I think I deserve a work environment in which I’m happy.

    I am used to “toughing things out” but honestly I am tired with being upset with work. I would like to either stop giving a damn or stop having a shitty work – either would be fine but I think the former is more realistic.

    I am aware that the more energy I invest in this the more upset I become. How can I just drop my negative reaction and become indifferent to my work and unpleasant people in my work environment?

    I don’t want to dislike these two people and I don’t want them to be constantly receiving this bad energy from me.

    Thank you for any and all suggestions. 🙂




    Dear Charley:

    Dysfunction like what you are experiencing is common, in the workplace, at homes, in governments, anywhere and everywhere. An unfortunate reality. My suggestion: look for another job but expect dysfunction there as well, hopefully less of it. If there is no dysfunction, let it be a very pleasant and welcomed surprise!

    Abuse, like yelling, that is unacceptable. The yelling supervisor has to learn to not yell when he is upset. As an employee it is not part of your job to be yelled at! Assert yourself with him and tell him that he has to stop yelling at you.

    Again, it is unfortunate, but part of the job of most people is to successfully deal with dysfunctional management as well as dysfunctional co workers while keeping an eye and ear open for better jobs, better positions, better companies, better work environments.




    Hi Charly,

    I worked in a few dysfunctional work environments.  Each was unique in it’s dysfunction with perhaps some overlap.

    You say that your supervisors are in constant contact with you and your colleagues.  ‘Constant Contact’, that makes the entire scenario ‘hotter’ on a dysfunctional level.  How can you find time to breath?  How can you find enough moments of personal peace and sanity?  If you have to stay , that’s one thing.  If you can and are willing to move on, by all means, why not?  When a work situation is that harmful to our well being , even a drop in pay might be more acceptable to gain more peace.

    🙂 papaya


    Annie Moussu

    Sorry to hear that you’re going through such a tough situation, Charley. Your supervisors shouldn’t be treating you like that at all. I’d also struggle staying calm and understanding!

    You deserve a joyful work environment, helpful colleagues and competent supervisors. As others have suggested, you don’t HAVE to stay at this job. You can always look for another one. If you’re exhausted with “toughing it out”, being upset with work and feeling drained, this might be the best choice.

    On the other hand, you can seize this situation as a valuable learning opportunity.  I agree with Anita that asserting yourself is necessary. You attempted to do so by “hinting” at the unresolved problem, but you should be more direct about standing up for yourself. Muster all your courage and tell your supervisors in a firm yet calm voice what’s not working for you. They might dismiss you again, but don’t let that deter you. They need to know that you won’t let them walk all over you. Collaborate with your colleagues by agreeing on calling out your supervisors’ irrational behavior. Power in numbers.

    Unfortunately, you can’t just “drop your negative reaction and become indifferent”. You’re human. But what you can do is observe your negative reactions, notice what triggered you and become more resilient. Self-awareness is key to managing your emotions and feeling more in control of them. To avoid being hit by a “ton of bricks”, or absorbing your supervisors’ fear and anger, you can first try some grounding exercises here: 10 Ways to Calm Down Intense Negative Emotions.

    Most importantly, evaluate your well-being, Charley. How much are you willing to make things change in your current worplace? Or do you need to get out fast so that you can avoid going crazy?

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