Your ability to control unexpected emotions like anger and frustration and not display other negative emotions are hallmarks of Emotional Intelligence. (I must admit that I wasn’t always very good at this and I like to think that with age comes maturity.) The reason that you need to cure the habit and control negative emotions is probably self apparent.

Nobody wants to work with a Debbie-Downer.

After all, who wouldn’t prefer to work with someone who exhibited happiness over sadness, joy over grief, contentment over frustration. Emotions are contagious and if you’re stuck with a negative person, you’ll find your energy drained and begin avoiding their company.

The first step in curing this nasty habit is to be aware that you’re showing your negative emotions. While it isn’t easy to see these in yourself until after the fact, it is easier to see in people you are working with.

Try this at work:

Your exercise this week is to pay attention to coworkers negative emotions. Take out your notebook and write down every time someone at work exhibits a negative emotion. That emotion could be anger, frustration, irritation, cynicism or whatever other negative emotion you detect. When you note this negativity, note how you feel as a result and how this mood affects those around you. If you keep noting this behaviour in others, you’ll come to notice it in yourself and that is the first step to stopping the habit.

When you have a chance, write a comment to tell me about what you observed and whether that made you question your own display of emotions.