Keeping Emotional Baggage From Work

People who bring emotional baggage into the workplace can be temperamental, ungrateful and rude. Even more frustrating is that they try to act out all their pent-up, misplaced emotions on the job without consideration for others. Employees and co-workers react to this, work efforts and results go by the wayside, and profit and productivity go down.

To bring your emotional baggage into the workplace is inappropriate for all the reasons you may imagine. Yet employees, managers, and business owners do it all the time. The question is, how do you handle it? How do you keep emotional baggage out of the workplace?

Learn to leave it at the door. Decide that what you do in the workplace is your contribution – to yourself, your peers and the community. This is your opportunity to commit to what you are best at doing and get paid for it.  Many businesses like to say they are like a family. Be cautious if you are enticed by this. Employees, managers and business owners may manifest characteristics found in your personal family.

Why is this important?

What can happen is, you may take on the role that you do in your own family. If you are passive at home and come to work as a manager, what does that look like? Confusing at best. When a passive person has to function in a different role on the job, they may revert and act like the aggressive parent. Potential can best be realized under a thoughtful and caring leader. Attempt to facilitate, to make it easy for everyone to achieve their best.

The basic rules of respect and acceptance apply. The Golden Rule is: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, not: “Do it to them before they do it to you”.

Leave your unexpressed feelings at the door. Take a break if you become frustrated; know that you are at work to provide results. Heal yourself first, determine your values, then you will be a better employee, manager or executive.


Joanne Victoria
Joanne Victoria
JOANNE VICTORIA is the author of 7 books including Lighting Your Path - How To Create the Life You Want and Vision With a Capital V - Create the Business of Your Dreams. Joanne lives in the Greater Seattle, WA area. After professions such as Real Estate Broker/Owner, CFO of an investment company, CFO and Sales & Marketing Director of a home-building company, owner of New Directions, a business development firm as well as Gemma & Bixley, a coaching and consulting company, Joanne was ready for her next adventure, helping Leaders & Entrepreneurs live the life they want. Joanne took her business and personal development expertise, added in several ounces of intuition and humor, along with studies in philosophy, Buddhism, and leadership, all to be the best-qualified Life Coach ever. Joanne Victoria is the host of the "The Sanity Project Podcast", and helps frustrated and almost burned out Leaders & Entrepreneurs discover their True Calling to unleash the power of their minds to make a greater impact on the world, benefit humanity, and be more successful

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  1. Joanne, thank you for sharing some advice on emotional baggage. This is a very sensitive subject but one, which we have to face. The main problem with emotional baggage is ‘acknowledging them ’ and learning the art of ‘letting it go.’
    ‘Letting go’ demands forgiving ourselves first, and then forgiving others. We all have pain. It’s part of what makes us who we are. What defines us, however, is how we handle it. Bruce Springsteen, once said, “We can find our identity in the damage that’s been done to us, in our wounds, in our scars, in the places where we’ve been beat up. We all wear the things we’ve survived with some honor, but the real honor is in also transcending them.”
    By identifying, understanding our baggage & making decisions to let go, we free ourselves to experience life in a richer, deeper, more meaningful way.
    “If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.” –Ajahn Chah

    “To move forward today, you must learn to say good-bye to yesterday’s hurts, tragedies and baggage. You can’t build a monument to past problems and fail forward.” John C. Maxwell