View Full Version : Interesting realization about my current job.....

7-8-11, 1:47am
Today I had an interesting realization about my current job and why I feel so tired during, before, and after work - pretty much everywhere I turn there is anger seething under the surface and I seem to be sopping it up - the negativity - like a sponge. Seriously need to stop doing this STAT. I think this will be easier said than done for me personally but it needs to be worked on...Any advice from anyone out there? Rob

7-8-11, 6:18am
If you're open to this sort of thing: I will sit quietly and imagine a white light surrounding and protecting me that only lets in those energies that I choose helps. If only to make me aware that picking up others negative energies IS a choice.

More practical options: writing down 3-5 things you are grateful for helps put you into a more peaceful, happy mood. Refusing to listen to others complaints, walking away from conflict, imagining your favorite place in vivid detail, deep breathing. All of these have helped me deal with dour environments.

7-8-11, 8:21am
I've worked in environments with that kind of negativity. Things that helped me - going to a park nearby for lunch, sitting under the trees, reading, really relaxing - and also having an escape plan from the job, some way of changing my work that I was working toward, even if it was a few years away.

Zoe Girl
7-8-11, 9:17am
I agree with the white light practice. It can really help.

You might find that by simply recognizing what is happening that there is some relief from the worst of it.

Then, depending on the situation, you can carefully start to bring attention to these things. Now this is a cautious process that will not work in all situations. It is very easy to let this get sidetracked into bitter gossip which does not make things better. But in a totally non-judgemental way saying that there is a lot of tension around the work place can sometimes be helpful. Or just being aware of how you may diffuse or add to the anger and tension.

I really like the books Courageous Conversations and Courageous Confrontations. If you are in a position to handle any of the situations that are making things angry and tense I recommend those to work through things.

7-8-11, 10:25am
Martha Beck gave me the term "going to the balcony." If I'm around people who are angry and negative a lot, it's helped to detach myself from their anger by stepping back and just making rational observations: "This person is angry today. He/she is feeling put upon and doesn't really want to be here..." Just identifying what's happening helps me not to get caught up in the current of negative emotions. And face it, they want you to get caught up in the current; if you're with them, that validates their feelings.

I also really try to minimize my contact with those kinds of people and situations, Rob. You may not be able to do anything about being at the job, but you can walk away from certain conversations or at the very least stay detached with an "Uh-huh. Yeah, that sucks, huh?" and get out of there as quickly as you can. You're protecting your own health and tranquility that way....it helps me to see that stuff as a poisonous gas that I need to really limit my exposure to, for my own sake.

7-8-11, 10:25am
I view this as a personal boundary challenge, and it's something you can totally learn to screen out! When I notice I am taking in others' emotional states, I ask myself why - do I feel a need to try to remedy it? (Usually that's my situation, having been raised highly co-dependent.) Do I feel as if it's directed at me - am I taking it personally? If so, why - have I earned someone's anger at me? If not, I step back psychologically, and view the anger with detached curiosity. It's not mine - perhaps it's serving the person experiencing it (no one can presume the value of another's experience).

Anger arising in one is a valuable signal that a boundary is being transgressed - I usually feel it when someone is disrespecting me. It's not your job to remedy someone else's anger; that is theirs to deal with. And, you have a choice if invited into a dialogue about it; to participate or not.

7-8-11, 12:18pm
Thanks for your posts everyone! I'm going to read these over and do some thinking....I like the white light idea. It surprises me a little that I absorb all of this as this is a temp job ending 10/17 - but I am a returning employee and I do know and like a few of the other returnees I work with so there is some small amount of emotional investment there.....Maybe this is part of my mistake, not forging the emotional investment to begin with? Not doing so makes work very bland and dry for me but it is true I am basically there for cash flow and not too much else. I'm sure there is a lot of this going on out there these days - workplaces with anger simmering under the surface pretty much wherever you turn. If this is not encouragement to be self employed at least part time I don't know what is.....Rob

7-8-11, 12:36pm
Seems like forging an emotional attachment is a GOOD thing, Rob, but does that necessarily mean going through the day always being angry? (as your co-workers seem to do)

Anger's not the only emotion. You can use passion, humor, creativity, lots of other ways to invest yourself if you wish.....and it's better for your blood pressure ;)

7-8-11, 2:07pm
I have been there. The decision was made for me and they fired me. I then collected unemployment off them. I handled it with taking little breaks...coffee break, bathroom break where i simply walked around, even going outside when I could. It is very unpleasant to try to please folks seething with rage. Be as good to yourself as you can. Get lots of rest. Hope it works out

7-10-11, 3:18pm
Just an update. Since I last posted on this thread, there have been some fairly surprising terminations and now it seems there is anger all around but also uncertainty and distrust too. I am keeping my head down and am trying to stay off the radar screen, and I am so GRATEFUL that I have been saving money the past few years, I can only begin to imagine what things would be like for me if I did not have this to fall back on in case.....Rob

7-10-11, 3:52pm
I always volunteered for a special project that was of particular interest for me - that meant that I stayed especially busy and didn't have time for much negative stuff. For me the busier I was the faster the day passed. Also smile a lot (like the Cheshire Cat) it is hard to be negative around someone that always is smiling - they will wonder what the hell is wrong with you :laff:


7-14-11, 10:57pm
I think a lot of this is going on. I know you can't probably wear an MP3 player around at your job but in any case where you could, that helps cut down on overhearing anyone's negative conversation, and they don't tend to drag you into their conversations as easily. For a job where you're on your feet doing stuff a lot (rather than trapped behind a computer or something) just appearing to have an excuse to be walking away when stuff gets negative helps. I sometimes set a timer on my watch, or suddenly check my watch or something similar with the cell phone in order to have an excuse to walk out if I need one. I also try to inject some humor into the whole thing even if it's dark humor, and even if it's nothing I feel I should say aloud. Good luck.