William Liao

December 4, 2021


It’s Monday morning, you’re in a meeting, and your colleague says something that you think is inappropriate and frustrating. 

What do you do next? 

You could ramp up your frustration, perhaps initiating some internal commentary along the lines of “wow, I can’t imagine a worse start to the week. This is unbelievable.”

If you do this, you probably will not feel any better. 

Another option would be to suppress your feelings and focus on something else — perhaps responding to that e-mail you just got or texting a friend about lunch plans will do the trick. 

If you do this, you might undergo some temporary relief, but your feelings of frustration will likely sneak up on you again — perhaps you’re familiar with this phenomenon already. 

There’s a third option available to you that can be honed with practice: resetting. 

Resetting is a 3-step process that involves: 

  1. Accepting what you’re feeling. The words “I am having the feeling of frustration right now” will suffice. 
  2. Evaluating what role your feelings are playing — are they making you feel better or worse? Are they helping or harming the situation? 
  3. Deciding how you want to approach the next moment based on #2 — perhaps in your reflection, you realize that being frustrated isn’t serving you or the situation. In recognizing this, you may find it easier to let go of your feelings of frustration. And in letting go of your frustration, you might find yourself in a state of mind that is willing to engage your coworker in a healthy dialogue. 

Emotion management is a bonafide skill that can improve the quality of your experience, the experience of others, and ultimately help bring you to the point of resolution in challenging situations in every area of life.