Not even that one. The one who deserves it. I’m not convinced we need actual research on this – if your boss is bad enough that you want be abusive right back in their stinking face then they are also bad enough to fire you for it – but Harvard Business Review has looked into it.
It was a quiet day.
But there are figures that suggest maybe there are times when you should bite back and then there are figures that say nooooo. I expect those latter figure are chiefly unemployment statistics but if you’re having trouble with a manager or an important client, take a read and let it out.
The alternative hypothesis [to previous studies] that would maybe help us explain why people are hostile toward a hostile boss — we called it the buffering hypothesis in this study — is the idea that if you reciprocate your boss’s hostility, it will actually make things a little bit better and you will feel more satisfied, or not as depressed and psychologically harmed.
Our reasoning behind that second hypothesis is that if you reciprocate a boss’s hostility, you are less likely to feel like a victim. Now, we had never studied the idea that a person would report that they feel like they are a victim when their boss is hostile, but it seemed to make some sense.
So maybe if you reciprocate the boss’s hostility, it will make you feel like you are asserting some control over your situation, you are responding in some way, then you will not feel as victimized.
We found a surprising result: although a person is more likely to feel like a victim when their boss is hostile toward them, they are much less likely to feel like a victim when they reciprocate their boss’s hostility.
What Research Shows About Talking Back to a Jerk Boss – Walter Frick, Harvard Business Review (9 April 2015)
Read the full piece.
But apparently I might get more done:
When you’re all riled up, you tend to focus on only the source of your anger. You want to get to the core of the problem. In this case, your anger allows you to zero in on the most important task for the day. You want to eliminate the problem right away, so you don’t bother with multitasking.
Additionally, the adrenaline that rushes through your body allows you to become uninhibited. It produces confidence that allows you to do things that you normally wouldn’t do, but within reason.
So you see, anger is not a bad thing after all—if you know how to use it properly. That begs the question, “How exactly can you use anger to become more productive?”
Feeling Stuck? Make Your Anger Work for You – Cecille Doroja, Pick the Brain (15 October 2014)
Read the full piece.
From Groundhog Day by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis. There is very little relevance here but I read the words “Don’t drive angry” and that’s what starts playing in my head. What may be more relevant is where I read the words.
Time magazine has a feature on this and nine other things you really should not do when you’re angry. I’m afraid I think I’ve done at least 12 of them.
You shouldn’t drive
Operating a motor vehicle when you’re enraged can be dangerous. Research shows that angry drivers take more risks and have more accidents. “When you’re angry, you’re primed for attack, so it’s not a good time to jump in a vehicle,” says David Narang, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Santa Monica, Calif. “In addition, anger gives a person tunnel vision—you stare straight ahead and may not see a pedestrian or another car coming into your peripheral vision crossing the street.” If you must drive when angry, Narang suggests opening your eyes purposefully and looking around you to avoid tunnel vision.
10 Things You Should Never Do When You’re Angry – Time
It’s very easy to get angry as a writer, most especially when your latest rejection is just nuts. But don’t drive. And nine other things. I’d like them to have included a few things you should do, but for a strong list of what to avoid and why, do read the full feature.