The Anger Outbreak: It’s Contagious!

This UPWORTHY post demonstrates through multiple [simply brilliant] perspectives why and how we tend to spread our anger, and ingest the anger of others. Anger can be an invasive, symbiotic, highly contagious infection – and a symptom of serious underlying dis-ease – whether expressed through social media or in the work environment. Anger spreads faster than the common cold and can be as fatal [to an individual? the organization?] as an outbreak of antibiotic-impervious bacterial infection.

The science of why the comment section on just about anything is so awful

We’re not taught how to be angry. We’re often taught that we shouldn’t be. No wonder we seek companionship in, and validation of, our anger through liberally sharing its cause [which of course never includes our own responsibility].

When I’m angry [I prefer to think of it as “righteous indignation”] I need an outlet. Often I make the choice to use the anger as an opportunity to deal with a pending consumer complaint – heck, I’m already in the zone, so may as well spread the joy with the phone company/insurance carrier/cable TV/internet company/you-name-it-service-provider! Funny thing is, when I’m at that intersection, I rarely get a satisfactory resolution to the complaint… hmmm…

Makes me think of the validity of customer satisfaction surveys – often a source of consternation for businesses and especially their people whose evaluations and even compensation depend on these ratings. And we’re not just talking about the optional post-card reviews we receive after a hotel stay – university professors need to answer to their students’ ratings, and my local hospital is embroiled in a labor dispute as a result of these surveys. I filled mine out after an excellent surgical experience last year – but most responses are surely skewed toward the negative.

Consider how anger can so rapidly infect the work environment, and the impact on job satisfaction and productivity. And consider: what outlets for employee anger [or “righteous indignation”!] has your company legitimized? If your objective is a more productive outcome than I experience with my ill-timed venting of consumer complaints, then I challenge your organization to innocculate: develop outlets where your folks can vent, and be heard.

Better than hearing about your employees’ anger on social media!



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