When To Express Your Feelings At Work

How To Control Emotions?

When is it appropriate to express your feelings at work? Let’s face it, put two people together and there’s bound to be conflict. The conflict may begin as a tiny disruption but left unaddressed turns into an ugly mess.

       “Unexpressed emotions never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” Freud

There are 3 areas of emotional intelligence that can help with the answer when it is appropriate to express your feelings at work. Taken together self-expression reflects the ability to understand one’s feelings and thoughts; and, when communicate them and how. Three things should be considered:

  1. Emotional Expression: knows one’s emotions and can effectively express them
  2. Assertiveness: the ability to share appropriately even when standing alone
  3. Independence: the ability to think and act on one’s own

How To Control Emotions At Work

The ability to communicate appropriately is critical. Knowing what to say and how to say it with the appropriate amount of emotion is sometimes like walking a tightrope. Emotional intelligence is more an art than a science. Slow down and consider your steps very carefully. Don’t allow your feelings to take control of your tongue. Consider this:

  • Talk too much and get labeled a know-it-all
  • Talk too little and get labeled as shallow
  • What is said and what is meant
  • How to foster open communication
  • What medium is best for the communication

The big question with emotional expression is, “am I deciding how to react or am I reacting out of strong emotion?” Do you control your emotions or do your emotions control you?

Highly assertive people generally want to have a voice but overdone may come across as combative or bossy. Error to the low side of assertiveness and you appear bashful or weak.

Underdeveloped indepedence and we may appear clingly or unresponsive. Over developed independence and you may get the label of lone ranger or an indivdual who isn’t a team player


So the key to appropriate levels of self expression account for a generous amount of success in life. Taking time to think about what you need to say is always best. Slow down. Consider your actions carefully. As important is knowing the appropriate method of communication: knowing when to discuss face-to-face, send an email or to call or text. These rules vary with each generation so it is critical to know our audience and their preferences.  Watch this video for more help.