Episode 77 | Dealing with Anger, Disrespect and Feeling Unappreciated in Vet Med (and the world)

Feeling Angry, Disrespected, or Unappreciated?

Today I’m sharing a tip on how to manage these difficult emotional cascades in the moment, and also the opportunity you have to adjust your habit responses to improve your overall experiences long term.



  • The impact of Anger
  • The real cause of the emotional downward spiral
  • What you can do in the moment to refocus, and what happens if you don’t


Strategic Life Analysis Workshop

Joy Vet Alliance


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Dealing with anger, lack of appreciation and disrespect and veterinary medicine and the world. That's what we're talking about in Episode 77. I'm Dr. Cari wise, and this is the Joyful DDM podcast. Hello, my friends. Welcome to Episode 77 today. I want to talk about navigating anger, disrespect, and the lack of appreciation that we experienced in veterinary medicine and also in the world.

And now more than ever. I think this is a very critical topic to be discussing because we have opportunities every single day that leave. Many of us are feeling very angry and it's a really miserable place to be. So how do we, how do we deal with that? Well, how do we navigate this time and veterinary medicine and this time in the world where there's so much opportunity to feel angry,

to feel disrespected and to really feel like we aren't appreciated. That's what we're going to talk about. So to jump into this, I think one of the easiest ways to get started is just to share a little bit about my own experience with anger, because I have quite a sorted history with that emotion back when I owned my own veterinary practice and I was at the heart of my burnout.

So at the very worst of the worst times when I was in veterinary practice, full-time anger was the common thread through my days. And I didn't wake up angry at all, but there were very, very simple things that would happen during the day that would leave me feeling angry. So something would happen and I would have no fuse. So I think we need to start there.

Like I could go from being completely happy to completely angry and just a snap, like the slightest little thing. And I could notice internally that anger would be front and center and it was an intense anger. It would be like mentally the image that I would have in my mind to let me know that I had kind of fallen into that anger spot was I mentally could envision throwing something,

glass up against a wall and seeing it shatter. Now, I wasn't a thrower. I wasn't a screamer. I didn't do any of those kinds of things when it's from my own personal behavior and response to the anger. But internally the way that I saw the whole situation playing out, like to get some relief for myself, I would envision glass shattering against the wall.

And it had really came to symbolize for me that I was at a breaking point that something needed to be different than it was. And that was really at the, at the heart of my anger. Something was happening that I couldn't control. And I felt very victimized by it. I felt very disrespected. I felt very frustrated. I felt very taken advantage of in some situations.

And there were all kinds of different things that could kick this off. But for me personally, the way that it impacted me was I was on this constant rollercoaster up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down and over time. What I've learned about those moments of anger that I experienced was that it was simply just a symptom of what else was going on with me,

which was really a extreme burnout. So that's the one piece extreme burnout exhaustion, and just not having the capacity to manage my own emotional wellbeing. And the reason I didn't have a capacity to manage my own emotional wellbeing it's cause I just didn't know how to do it. And it was not something that I had ever been taught. And so in those moments,

the way that this ended up presenting itself in veterinary practice was that one little thing could happen and I'm talking one little thing. Like somebody could be late for an appointment, or perhaps I want to place an order. And my distributor was out of a certain item that I needed, or maybe some client called with a question that I thought was a stupid question,

or I thought it was a request that was extra something above and beyond what they should even be asking for. It could be something like that. There are just such, maybe something broke with my equipment in. There was such little things in the grand scheme of things that would happen. And my response internally to that would be disproportionate. So somebody late for an appointment and I've automatically in my mind during glass,

against the wall, seeing at shatter because I'm so angry and it's so intense in that moment. So why here we are on the other side of all of this, why does that happen? And this is what I wanted to talk about today because many of us are experiencing so much intense emotion right now. And anger is part of it. Along with that anger is that disrespect.

So just all of these thought processes about how, if people respected us, then they wouldn't and then.dot dot, or if they respect us, then they would, and we fill in the blank there then that also that constant belief pattern of that, we aren't valued. If people valuable, we provided in veterinary medicine again, then they would, or then they wouldn't and then fill in the blank.

And these thought processes and these conversations are very, very common in our profession. They're the types of things, honestly, that anchor a lot of the commiseration that we partake in with each other. We talk about these situations relentlessly and we do it because we think that we're venting and that it's actually helps us to release pressure and to feel better. And we do feel a little better when we commiserate about these kinds of things,

but it's not because that it's not so much because of the pressure release. It's because of the comradery that we get in that commiseration, that when somebody else is experiencing what you are experiencing, then you don't feel alone. And that's wonderful. Like we need that part of it, but we also have to see how we can actually compound our own experience of these things by dealing with it in that way.

And that's certainly not something that I knew about that. I understood it all back 20 years ago when this was my experience. And it's really important for us to understand today. So how do navigate these situations? Because here's, what's true. Those things that leave us feeling angry, that leave us feeling disrespected, that leave us feeling that we aren't valued.

Whatever those events are that are occurring, whether it's something that a client says to you, something a coworker says to you and a manufacturer that happens to be out of an item that you need a piece of equipment that breaks. And somebody who shows up late for an appointment, all of those things have one common denominator and it is that you can't control any of it.

You can't control any of it. And so when we start to recognize that the things that make us angry are things we can't control. One of two things happens. One is we start to really despair in our own circumstances. We recognize that we can't control these things. We can't stop these things from happening. We recognize that we are in a position to be affected by things that happen.

And because we can't control them, we then conclude that we are going to have to just feel crappy about them. That being angry, being frustrated, being disrespected, being undervalued, it's just part of the deal. So we just draw a series of conclusions. That's one way that we handle it. That's how most of us handle it. Quite honestly,

we draw the conclusions, that feeling undervalued, feeling disrespected, feeling angry as a result is just all part of the normal emotional experience of a veterinary career. And when we realized that we don't want that to be part of our regular experience than what a lot of us do as we leave the profession to get away from it. This is where it gets tricky.

Because if you don't understand, what's really happening in those moments, then you will just become disrespected and angry and feeling undervalued again, no matter what you do next, that's the little secret that I want you to know. It's something that I learned the hard way. So I don't want you to learn that the hard way. I just want you to know that it's not the career itself that is making you angry.

It's not the things that are happening that are making you angry. It's something else going on between there. So that leads us to the other option, which is to take a look at the situation and be curious to recognize what we can't control, and then also decide for ourselves what we're going to do about it. So those things that happen that have you feeling angry,

the first thing you just, even if the diverse thing that you recognize is that you are angry because for a lot of us, it is. So you're going to recognize the emotion. You're gonna recognize your stress. You're gonna recognize you're angry. You're going to recognize it. That you're feeling maybe offended or disrespected or inconvenience. These are all the kinds of emotions I want you to be watching out for.

And when they come up for you, I want you to ask yourself why, why am I feeling angry? Why am I feeling disrespected? Why am I feeling inconvenienced? Because if you can answer that question, you're going to come up first with some kind of action or event that happened. So something, somebody says something, somebody did something that changed unexpectedly.

You've got to come up with that to begin with. And then you just want to be onto yourself and say, okay, I think that I feel stressed out right now, or I feel disrespected because Mrs. Smith said, you're only in it for the money, but Mrs. Smith saying that didn't make me feel disrespected. It's what I believed about her saying it,

that made me feel disrespected because remember my friends, our emotions come from what we're thinking and believing. So thoughts, beliefs, opinions, and conclusions. So we got to be curious about this. We've got to take a look at what's happening and ask ourselves what is the underlying thought? What's the underlying opinion belief, conclusion that my mind is drawing. That's generating this emotion for me so we can be curious and we can learn about those situations,

but we can also hack this whole process in a pretty fast fashion, quick fashion, which is as soon as we recognize the thing that we have identified as the reason why, so whatever the event is, I mean, this, somebody said something, somebody did somebody that happened as soon as we're able to recognize that thing. We can also see that it's not something we can control.

And at that moment being curious and compassionate and understanding the thought process that goes with it. Absolutely a wonderful thing to do. But in the moment, what will help you is just to let it go. So that's your decision? Can I control it? If the answer is no, can I release it? That is a hack. That is exactly how we can start to navigate these feelings of emotion,

these feelings of anger, these feelings of feeling of disrespect and believing that we're undervalued. We can stop that cascade. If we can learn to release what we don't control now, releasing, it doesn't mean that you condone it. It doesn't mean that you can don't bad behavior. It doesn't mean that you don't have new choices that you can make to try to adjust the way that things function day in and day out within your organizations.

There's a lot of opportunity there. So that's not what I'm saying at all. But what I'm saying is for you as an individual in that individual moment, in order for you to protect your own emotional wellbeing for you not to become the victim of your anger and your feeling of being judged and disrespected and undervalued for you not to live your life as the,

at the effect of what happens around you at the mercy of all these things that happen. So your wellbeing is tied to all that. The only thing that you need to do is to identify what is it that you think is making you feel angry, disrespected, undervalued, so on and so forth. And as soon as you're able to see that, it's not something you can control and just let it go,

just release it and recognize it's not about you, whatever they're doing, not about you. Now, your problem that you get to decide for you all the time. So even though we've got these habitats underneath there that want to bring up the anger that want to bring up the disrespect, the undervalue, the lack of work that's there. We can work on that.

We absolutely should work on that because it's going to help you. Long-term as far as what the triggers are and how you respond. But in the moment, moment by moment, the thing that you can do right now is just allow yourself to release it and get focused back on what you're doing. It's when we get tied up and all the things that we can't control,

and we doubled down on our efforts to control them, that we actually amplify our own suffering. We make it so much worse because we keep trying and trying and trying to control all the variables so that don't have to feel crummy. So it's not the variables that are making us feel crummy in the first place. And that's what, where I was absolutely trapped in that when I was in practicing it,

the extreme level of burnout was that I couldn't try hard enough to feel better. Well, I was just trying hard at all the wrong things. I was trying to control everything so that my emotions were protected because I didn't know that my emotions had nothing to do with what happened. That my emotions had everything to do with what my brain did. When things happen with the automatic habit,

thoughts were those thought processes that were so ingrained into my being that I didn't even realize they were thoughts. They just felt like truths. There was no space between things that happened in the way that I felt. And so therefore I tried to control all the things that happened around me in order to predict the way that I would feel it doesn't work. So right now,

at this time in the world where everything's a little bit crazy and everything's a little bit extra and all kinds of things are unpredictable. I think it's the perfect time to bring us back to the reminder that when you notice these big emotional cascades, that happening within you, take a second to take a breath and ask yourself, why am I feeling this way?

Why am I feeling this way? Because if you can answer that question and you identify that it's something outside of you, that you're blaming. And I don't mean that as a, as a bad word, but that's just where we start. So if you're noticing something outside of you, that you're blaming, I want you to also just notice that. And then that means by definition,

that it's not something you can control, you will never control the other people. You will never control what happens to be in stock, in a warehouse. At any point in time, you will never control how many people show up late for appointments today, or how our patient responds to treatment or what your mother says to you on the telephone. Like you will never control any of those things.

And so it's the second that you can notice that you're blaming what somebody else did for the reason that you feel the way that you feel. There's your opportunity not to judge yourself, not to punch yourself in the face and say, ah, dang it. You know, here I am, again, blaming somebody else for the way I feel. Don't go there.

That's not useful. You're human with your human brain. You're learning a new skill, but just give it, give yourself that opportunity in that moment to be like, okay, here's an aha moment. I'm blaming that for feeling this way. I can't control that. So I have the opportunity just to allow myself to release it, to let it go.

I don't need to spend 20 minutes commiserating and being angry and building up my anger with the people around me about the five people who were late for appointments today, because we can't change. What is, we couldn't control what that would happen, but what we can control. So what we do from here, I will focus better on the patients in front of me.

If I stay focused on what I'm here to do, serve clients and treat patients, I will have a better chance of getting out of work on time. If I can stay focused on what I'm here to do, serve clients and treat patients every minute, excuse me. Every minute that I lose in commiseration and complain and blame is having two major effects in my life.

Number one is compound and the negative emotion that I'm experiencing. So it's making my, my personal experience worse. And number two, it's using my time efficiently, which is going to increase the chances, but I'm not going to get my records out, or I'm not going to finish my appointments on time. And I'm going to get out of work late.

And my old habit brain would say, I got out of work late because I had five people who were late for appointments, but that's not what happened. That's not what happened at all. It was the cascade of decisions and thought processes within myself that created that result for me later. There's lots of different pieces to that, but moment by moment, whether you're at work,

whether you're standing in line at the grocery store and all of a sudden you recognize your anger. Just, I want you to my whole point here is I want you to start to pay attention to how you feel in a culture and in a profession where we have really been taught to disregard our emotions. I want you to know that they are your best friends,

because they are going to give you so much insight to who you are and to what you're about into what's driving you. So let's stop ignoring them. Let's stop believing that feeling uncomfortable. I mean, something is going wrong and feeling good means something is going right. Let's stop trying to create a world where you only feel good all the time, because we know that that doesn't exist.

And right now you're putting so much effort into that, trying to control variables that are outside of your control and not being successful, that it's actually making all of it worse. So instead, let's just become curious when you notice that there's an emotion, that's bubbling up, that's anger, that's disrespect. That's feeling undervalued. That's overwhelmed. That's anxious that they already say stressed out.

Any of those, let's just be curious and ask ourselves, why, why do I feel this way? And as soon as you identify an action or behavior, somebody else or something outside of your control, that's your opportunity to be like, okay, it is what it is. I'm going to get back to what I'm here to do. As soon as our brain engages with something that we can't control,

it's going to start this spiral. It's going to start all the old habit thoughts that put us in a very victimy kind of place. It's going to really work to convince us that if the circumstances were different, that we would feel differently, but you're so much more powerful than that. It's a multi-layer process, but this is a quick little hack. So in those moments,

when the emotion comes in and it's intense, ask yourself, why do I feel this way? And as soon as you notice what it is, this allow yourself to release it. Okay? I can't control that, but I can control me. I can control my next decision. I can control where I put my focus from here forward. And as soon as you remind yourself of that,

you're going to snap back into your own power. You're going to be the one back in charge of driving the bus of your life. You are no longer going to be hanging on like a passenger on an out-of-control freight train. You're going to be the one back in control for yourself. And it will be easier to just let all that other stuff, just be what it is without making it mean something about it's going to negatively impact you because that part is the only part you get to control.

All right, my friends, I hope this has been helpful. If you love this kind of stuff, dating Andrew, your own thought processes definitely consider joining us in the workshop. That's coming up this weekend. So we have registration is going to be open for a couple of more days. So we're going to be doing the strategic life analysis workshop. It's a six hour workshop on Sunday.

It's going to be amazing. And we're going to dig deep. We're going to go in and look for all of those habit thought processes and patterns of behavior within our own lives that have us continuing to repeat the same patterns over and over again, and create outcomes and results for ourselves that we don't want. And more importantly, we're going to put some definition around what we do want for our lives,

so that we can start building the habits and the thought processes that we must have in place in order to achieve it. We're really looking at our whole life from a really different perspective. We're getting super analytical, really logical about a lot of this. And a lot of us scientific people. We love the left brain logical thinking. So this is putting it all into a framework where we can really kind of be a scientific study of ourselves over the course of that day.

But in the end, what happens is that as we've done the science project, this was, we'd done the research on ourselves throughout the day. And we've identified then what is that we want to create. We've also created a framework for how we're going to get there. And we're going to be able to do that with all the things that we can control and we can start to see then how,

what happens in the world becomes really irrelevant onto whether or not we're able to create what we want. So if that sounds interesting to you jump over to joyful dvm.com forward slash workshop, to grab a seat in the strategic life analysis workshop, which is going to be this Sunday, the 3rd of April. And if you can't make it live, you will get the replay.

If you register. So you will get the replay. If you register for this workshop, hopefully you can join us live for some of it or for all of it. But if not, and this is interesting to you. Please go ahead and register so that I can send you that replay joyful dvm.com/workshop. That's going to wrap it up for today. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and bye for now.