Anger Can De-Rail Your Career

We often see headlines about careers derailed because of an angry outburst. The inability to control your anger and being quick to angry both put important areas of your life at risk. Managing personal risk is a key ingredient in a successful, happy life. A person who is quick to anger, or uncontrolled when angry, risks losing a career they’ve spent decades building, relationships that give their life meaning, and severe damage to their reputation.

Fortunately, being quick to anger or losing control when angry isn’t a life sentence. There are highly effective skills you can learn that give you greater control over how you feel and how you express your emotions.

What is Anger Management Training?

Anger management training involves developing skills that give you increased control over your emotions. When you can control how you respond to situations or people, even when they are not the way you want them to be, you feel more in control of your life.

Anger management training can involve Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that helps you see situations from multiple perspectives. It can also involve learning skills that help you relax or pause before you respond to something that is upsetting or frightening.

Anger management training is often sought after a court has ordered the person to get help but the skills learned in anger management training help everyone. Pause for a moment and think about people you know who did things they would not have done if they had been in control of their anger.

One instance that always comes to my mind is when the Detroit Lions coach threw a flag during the Thanksgiving Day game because he was upset with the referee. The mistake cost him the game and his job. The next year, he was a defensive coordinator with the Buffalo Bills instead of a head coach. Not all angry explosions play out on national television but the impact of not being in control of emotions harms relationships and careers every day.

How can Anger Management Training Help?

The surface reason that anger becomes problematic for a specific person is because they develop a habit of responding in an angry way. Humans are smart. We have the ability to control our thoughts, words, and actions but only if we know how to do it. If we don’t take the time to decide what to do, our response will be automatic and reflect the habits we’ve developed. The habit of being easily angered can be changed.

When we dig below the surface, there three common reasons that people develop the habit of becoming angry. Those reasons are:

✅ They believe other people think the same way they do about the situation so it’s difficult to imagine other valid perspectives for someone else’s actions or words and it is easy to assume the other person’s intentions are bad.

✅ They do not have skills that allow them to pause before they respond to a situation.

✅ Influential people in their life modeled angry behavior when misunderstandings or disagreements occurred.

Learning anger management skills and psychological flexibility helps individuals respond to disagreements in ways that build strong relationships.

Why is Anger Management Important?

Uncontrolled anger can lead to behaviors we regret. When we look at the effect of uncontrolled anger on large numbers of people, possessing the ability to manage anger in healthy ways is often the one factor that makes a difference between being free or in prison, being married or divorced, having the ability to see our children or termination of parental rights, and being employed or unemployed. The ability to regulate emotions in a healthy way makes big differences in the way someone’s life progresses.

Do I have to Attend Classes?

If I don’t have the time or money for anger management training, what can I do?

Anger is an indicator that you are highly stressed. Stress exists along a continuum. The less stress you experience, the further you tend to be away from exploding. Less stress does not mean you have to have an easy life. Less stress means you have to develop emotion regulation and stress management skills.

The identical situation can seem like climbing Mr. Rushmore or a speedbump in a school zone. The difference is because of the stress management skills the individual possesses. If your skills are up to the task, even a difficult situation can feel easy to resolve.

Although the book title refers to mental health, chronic stress is the precursor to both mental and physical health issues and the strategies in Mental Health Made Easy: Maintain and Restore Your Mental Health: Develop Healthy Habits of Thought, The Smart Way™ to Permanently Reduce Stress, help individuals gain control over anger and other emotions.

Most importantly, the revised definition of the purpose and use of emotions that was published in 2007 facilitates a method of do-it-yourself cognitive behavioral therapy that is highly effective in calming stress and reducing angry outbursts.

As a single mom with a stressful career, there were times I would lock myself in my room to avoid angry outbursts at my children. After learning these strategies, I haven’t had an angry outburst in many years. My automatic emotional response is healthier and yours can be, too.


Jeanine Joy, Ph.D.
Jeanine Joy, Ph.D.
WORLD CHANGER, International Speaker, and Trainer – Dr. Joy stepped up to do everything she could to help humanity thrive more after she discovered that she could help to improve societal problems by empowering people to manage their mindset, develop psychological flexibility, and use their innate emotional guidance. She began studying the genesis of human thriving in 1995 and as her knowledge grew she became a thought leader and educator. The evidence-based techniques she teaches and writes about create improvements in physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral health. Her approach has a direct, positive effect on crime, violence, relationships, racism, educational outcomes, suicide prevention, employee engagement, happiness, career success, and more. She focuses on solutions that are both affordable and scalable because she wants to help everyone have a greater opportunity to achieve their dreams and goals. As the owner of Happiness 1st Institute, a Thrive More Now Company, Jeanine speaks internationally and provides training to organizations through her empowering, practical, and usable techniques that target the root causes of human thriving. She is recognized as a bridge builder who creates bridges by translating jargon-laden research into usable information with practical examples that help individuals fulfill more of their potential.

DO YOU HAVE THE "WRITE" STUFF? If you’re ready to share your wisdom of experience, we’re ready to share it with our massive global audience – by giving you the opportunity to become a published Contributor on our award-winning Site with (your own byline). And who knows? – it may be your first step in discovering your “hidden Hemmingway”. LEARN MORE HERE


  1. If a person expresses himself with anger it is because he/she is suffering deeply: suffering fills him/her with bitterness, so him/she is always ready to complain and blame others for him/her problems. For this reason we find it very unpleasant to listen to and do everything to avoid it.
    To understand and transform anger we must learn the practice of compassionate listening and learn to express ourselves in loving words.

    • Thank you for commenting.
      Yes, when angry, we suffer. We also negatively impact the biochemistry in our body if we remain angry or become bitter. The purpose and use of emotions were scientifically re-defined in 2007. When someone understands the purpose of anger, he or she can evaluate other perspectives about the issue and find productive solutions. If the anger is directed at self, self-compassion is enhanced by understanding that anger indicates our perspective is not supporting our own self-actualized self in the situation. Anger comes from feelings that we do not have control of the situation. Empowered thoughts do not cause anger; they ease it.