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When we find out that our coworker is making more than us for the same role that we have, it can upend our worlds and transform the workplace into a battleground. How could he be making more than me? Why her and not me? Suddenly, the workplace can seem like an unfair world where you cannot succeed on your merits alone.

Here’s how to handle your reaction and subsequent potential actions with grace, so that you can hopefully get the raise you ask for or the peace of mind you seek:

1) Don’t act on your initial emotions

When you find out you’re being underpaid, it can make you feel undervalued. In this demoralizing state of mind, you may act on your feelings of inadequacy and do something rash like angrily confront your boss or coworker directly about the pay gap.

Career experts advise you to resist that first impulse, and remain calm. Don’t flip out. If you want to raise the issue with your manager, you’ll need to master those hurt feelings, so you can talk rationally about your situation.

As part of this internal reckoning, psychology and marketing professor Art Markman suggests it helps to understand that it can be normal in thriving economies for salaries to not be equal. Markman told one underpaid employee to understand that it’s “actually quite common where people hired after you may end up making more money. While there is always the chance that this is related to gender, it may also reflect market forces.”

If you do not think the pay discrepancy is fair, even accounting for outside factors like market forces, it may be time to move forward on potential actions.

2) Gather information about your salary

After you’ve mastered your feelings, it’s time to do research so you go into your pay discussions armed with data Read More Here