FOUR STEPS TO TAKE WHEN PEOPLE ARE ANGRY AT YOU

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You might consider a few therapy sessions if these simple suggestions don’t work for you.  Because, let’s face it….you can’t be a successful, happy attorney unless you can handle a lot of negativity.  Solos have it even worse because they frequently don’t have anyone to “vent” or discuss the turmoil in their practices.

Anyway, let me give you a couple of ideas that might help or at least “band-aid” your angst.

  •             First, remember that none of this is PERSONAL. It is not about YOU. Most of the people who give you a hard time are doing it for reasons that have nothing to do with reality.  It is about how they are choosing to handle the situation.
  •             Second, after assessing the situation to see if there are things you can learn from it, see if there is any action you can take.  Action means that you are tackling the problem, not letting it rest.

Now many times, action is not appropriate.  In these cases, such as when a judge tells you that your argument  is stupid, first assess the comment to see if he/she is at least partially right. After that write down what you learned and what you can do to rectify your error.  Then tear up the paper and flush it down the toilet. Then  read a really trashy book, go to a George Clooney/Brad Pitt movie or watch a comic TV show.

  •             Third, and probably the most difficult situation to handle is when you feel you failed a client.  The case is not going well for whatever reasons and you are in the dumps. Again, if you can do something about it, do it!  If not, then work on other cases that are more fulfilling because it is better to be a work- alcoholic for a short time, than to obsess on feeling bad about something you have little or no control over.  This is also a good time to have a volunteer opportunity open to you.  Those people appreciate you and want you to feel good and doing something for others can turn around your feelings quickly.
  •             Fourth, you need to prepare to have negative experiences on a regular basis.  It may help to take a class in handling angry clients or in honing your mediation skills.  Mediation is a time when you learn to handle hostility in a neutral fashion.  Again, you will learn that it is not about You, so you can remove your feelings from the tumult.

With hopes that this will help.  I’d love to hear how you handle anger directed towards you in the work place.