Having feelings at work is fine, after all our relationships revolve around them. What's important is how we express them. Depending on what we do we can either help or hurt our relationships with those around us.
Recognising our feelings, in our private lives and at work, is the way we get to know what's going on for us. That's important because understanding ourselves allows us to understand and relate to others.
If we stand back and look at how we act when we are feeling a certain way -- maybe when we feel frustrated or stressed -- we will see some patterns in the way we act and respond to the people around us.
For some people these patterns will show up on the inside. For instance, they might get headaches or become sick. Others will display more outward signs. For example, they might raise their voice, storm out of the room or simply explode when something upsets them.
Once we recognise these sorts of patterns, we can choose to behave in different ways. This can make us feel better about ourselves and improve our relationships with the people around us.
The next time someone or something bugs you at work, try answering the following questions. What caused me to react that way? How is it making me feel? Is my response working for me? How is it affecting the way I feel about the people around me? How are other people reacting to my response? And how would I have preferred to respond in that situation?
It can also help to watch how other people respond in different situations. If they respond successfully, try building these new styles into your own behaviour patterns. If you find you are struggling to change the way you behave, try talking about it to a friend, family member or a counsellor from an organisation like Relationships Aotearoa.
It may be that even after you've worked at recognising your feelings and expressing them appropriately, something is still not working. Sometimes there is a culture in teams or organisations, which we are not even aware of, that makes it difficult to express feelings openly.
For instance, in some organisations, people feel uncomfortable saying that they're really excited about something they've achieved. In others, people find it hard to express their anger or frustration.
It can help, in these situations, to talk to some trusted work mates about whether this is something that bothers them, and whether they would like to try and change it. Is it possible to have a different sort of team? Or, if others are not ready for this, where can you go to let your feelings out safely?
If others are open to the idea of trying to change the culture of your team, it might help to ask an independent organisation, like Relationships Aotearoa, to come and facilitate a discussion.