Emotions at work and how to deal with them

Business is an emotional rollercoaster with high highs and low lows. Like it or not, you’re going to have to deal with emotions at work. 

You’ll experience doubt, worry about what people think, and fear the business is failing. You might feel sadness, frustration, and anger along with the joy and excitement that comes with running a business with your best friend, sometimes all in the same day!

I talk about this a lot with my podcast guests because every business owner experiences this  no matter how confident and powerful they appear on the outside. Every single one of them goes through a roller coaster of emotions. 

Emotions are part of being human, and no matter how much we might try to hide them when doing business, emotions will always be there.

We can’t really separate emotions from work, but we CAN deal with them in a constructive way without simply stuffing them down!

Here are some of the best tips I’ve heard from my podcast guests for handling emotions when they pop up at work. Because, trust me, they will.

How to deal with emotions at work

1. Choose the right business partner

One of the best things you can do is start with a solid foundation to prevent work stress before it happens. Part of that is picking a business bestie you know you can rely on. It’s a relationship like any other, and this relationship needs the same things that keep friendships and marriages healthy: trust, respect, communication, and the understanding that you are equals.

This doesn’t mean that your partner has to be perfect, because nobody is.You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches by choosing someone with whom you already have a great relationship that’s based on trust and integrity. 

It’s also a good idea to set up a vesting schedule to calm your money worries and make sure you’re both serious about committing to the business. This one move will make a HUGE difference in your stress levels.

Now, this doesn’t mean you’ll always agree, and that’s okay. The important thing is that you both commit to working things out when (not if) you don’t agree. That firm foundation will provide a strong ground to stand on when things get tough. 

If you have any qualms about going into business together, don’t do it. This is a big step for your relationship, and you want to be 100% sure before taking that leap.

2. Understand their point of view

Sometimes you might feel anger or frustration with your business bestie, which is totally normal. While a business partner can accelerate your success and make things a lot more fun, it also opens doors for more conflict because you aren’t the only one making major decisions.

When you disagree with your partner, listen to their reasoning first. They might have a very good reason for wanting to do things a different way. Understand that they’re human too, talk things out, and practice listening. 

If they’re calling you out for something you did, like if they think you’re working too hard or moving too slowly or too quickly—listen. Instead of getting angry, ask yourself if there’s any validity to their feedback. Ask for clarification. See their feedback as useful information, not a personal attack. 

The better your communication, the more smoothly your business will run and the more you’ll accomplish together.

3. Check your ego

Speaking of personal attacks, let’s talk about ego for a second. Your ego is the part of you that’s scared and just wants to be loved and safe. It’s the part that gets offended and defensive because it wants to protect you. 

It’s easy to let your ego drive your decisions, but all ego goes back to fear, and fear-based decisions rarely work out. 

Constantly ask yourself whether you’re making a decision based on information, joy, love, or ego-based fear. This is where a business bestie can really help you. They can reassure you, keep an eye out for red flags, and provide another perspective when all you can see is the scary what-ifs.

4. Put your best mood forward

AKA good old-fashioned self-care.

If you ask the happiest people how they feel so happy, a lot of them will tell you that it takes work. They had to decide to be happy and do things to maintain their good mood. 

So start by deciding to be in a good mood. I know, I know, it sounds super corny, but it’s also really effective.

Develop a routine to keep your spirits high. Maybe this means working out, journaling, reading something inspiring every morning, or meditating. Whatever helps you, do it every day.

It’s easier to be in a better mood and handle stress when you feel healthy and rested. Do whatever you can to get enough sleep, eat well, and fit exercise into your day, even if it’s just walking a few laps around your office.

5. Don’t take things personally

One of the reasons why bad news, conflicts, and mistakes can feel so huge is that we make them mean something about us. That we’re bad, dumb, or incompetent, which somehow means we’re a failure and a bad person.

It doesn’t mean any of those things. It just means you made a mistake (we all do it), that someone disagrees with you (which they have the right to do), or that something went wrong (it happens). That’s it. Nothing about you. 

When you don’t take everything personally and let it threaten your self-worth and self-esteem, it’s far easier to see the situation objectively and find a solution without feeling like you’re in over your head.

6. Get some space

If you let your emotions get the best of you, take a break. If you find yourself getting scared, angry, or just plain stressed out, go for a walk, make a cup of tea, take a power nap, or watch a funny Youtube video. We all need these quick mood-boosters in our back pocket to help us reset and get some perspective on our challenges. 

Emotions are part of business

Emotions are part of business because they’re part of life, and handling them is a mixture of preventative maintenance and good coping skills. 

Fear, stress, and anger don’t have to derail your business success or your happiness. All it takes is a little know-how and trust in your business bestie to have your back!

Personal GrowthNiki Torres