Only Express Emotions During a Conflict If They’ll Help You Resolve It
When a disagreement with a colleague gets heated, it’s normal to feel all sorts of emotions: disappointment, anger, or frustration, for example.
But should you express what you’re feeling?
It depends. If you’re experiencing what psychologists call a hot emotion — one that comes with an urgent sense of entitlement or even revenge (“I have to tell him exactly how I feel!”), it’s better to find a way to calm down first.
If the emotion is cold, meaning you can control it and use it to help the situation (“I want to tell him how I feel so that he’ll understand my perspective”), then it’s probably OK to express it.
But don’t just name the emotion; explain what’s causing it. Telling someone you’re angry is less helpful than sharing that you’re disappointed they didn’t follow through on their commitment to you.
Adapted from “Should You Share Your Feelings During a Work Conflict?,” by Susan David