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Inner-strength training tip #22: Know that not all negative office interactions are personal attacks on you. Sometimes, one-off encounters are the spillover from unhealthy relationships between co-workers
Whether you are a woman that’s a branch manager, an analyst, a customer service agent or a director this post begins with you at work.
Typing, delegating, analyzing your daily tasks.
This particular day may not be one of your best days.
Perhaps you are not vibing with your outfit. You wonder why you chose to wear a black turtleneck with a black heavy sweater. I mean are you a drama club member?
Then a couple of your associates stand up from their cubicles to chat.
You feel like you shouldn’t contribute to the conversation. It’s an intimate chat.
But you notice the conversation between them takes a negative spin.
They gossip and bond over which sales rep looks like the biggest idiot and other crude subjects.
Once their moment passes you find yourself on the receiving end of overly assertive behavior. Where did this come from?
Since these two have just bonded they are feeling particularly close while you feel a bit piled on.
Are their actions a personal attack?
What is prompting this rude behavior?
This is just ruining your day! I mean you knew the turtleneck wasn’t working but now this interaction has disturbed your mojo and emotional security.
How are toxic bonds different than toxic co-workers?
If you see some of your co-workers share moments where they only have negative or crude things to say to each other this may be an unhealthy work relationship.
I define toxic co-workers as people who don’t want to see you shine and put effort toward being a roadblock or detriment to your career.
Unhealthy relationships are used to bond in ways that sometimes don’t have any effect on you personally.
The parties involved in the bond may need to leach off each other for strength or support. They may also fundamentally be a different type of person than you. They may enjoy finding the negative aspects in situations. And search and thrive off of the bad.
- Two co-workers have intense conversations over negative subjects
- Co-workers discuss a topic and even though you are present in the conversation you feel you cannot interject because you feel insecure or like think they will “call you out”
- Apparent mistreatment by coworkers
- In conversation, co-workers immediately disagree with you while supporting each other
- After the coworkers bonding conversation, they are not as open or nice to you
- If two co-workers have just met and there is already a familiar and close friendship between them (aka it’s not real)
It’s easy to take any perceived mistreatment personally. If you feel their behavior is rude and are hurt by it you are going to wonder what issues are motivating this treatment.
Especially in a smaller, quiet office environment which can act as a theatre stage. Everyone can see and hear if you make a mistake whether speaking or if you lose face by not knowing something or asking a question or comment that is too different than the norm.
Take a step back and know that sometimes your co-workers are just bonding in an unhealthy way.
The residual spillover that you encounter should not be taken personally.
Recognize the signs. Their characteristics are: a bond that exists over crude topics such as talking badly about others, obscene remarks or making fun of people.
This kind of comments can throw us off our game when we take them to heart and make the entire work experience a drag.
Cumulatively these bad experiences build up until we have had enough and decide to find a new job.
You know there is a trend of job hopping these days, and I wonder if boxy, draining office spaces have something to do with it.
We are all expressive human beings and want to be treated with respect.