A. “Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home… it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.” – chuck Palahniuk.
B. “Watch out for the joy stealers: Gossip, Criticism, Complaining, Faultfinding, and a Negative, Judgmental Attitude!” Joyce Mayer
C. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou
D. If it no longer works for you, then leave. It’s never worth staying at a job that makes you miserable and doesn’t help you become a better person.
Be impeccable. This is the sage words of advice given to me by my significant other. This has been is chant since I started sharing with him the troubles I’m having at work. It started about 8 months ago. It really isn’t anything that should be major, but it definitely has become so. It’s learning to navigate in a shared office with someone who isn’t the most cheerful person. I have no clue how to steer this ship through the thick, murky air that’s been created.
I can respect the fact that people have bad days, or wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I can even respect the whole, “Hell, I don’t want to be here today.” WE ALL have those days; I have those days. But, when it has become a daily occurrence, combined with a negative personality, I just cave. I do not have the tools in my life box to work and manage this on my own. I have no clue how to do any of the suggestions I’ve found on numerous websites.
I have become very much triggered. My C-PTSD is off the charts right now. I have been sick. When I get overly stressed, it tends to affect me from the inside out. I am antsy, anxious, and super angry. I am shaky. My blood sugars have been off; in the high range. I’ve developed massive heartburn. I’m not sleeping, and when I do, it’s very light non-REM sleep. I cry on my way home. I am so exhausted and spent when I do get home, I feed the dogs, potty the dogs, and tend to go to sleep.
I have to mantra on my way to work, “This is not a reflection of you. This does not dictate your work ethic. You be you, you do you. Stay true to you.” Literally, every day on my way to work. This truly isn’t a reflection of me. Remembering that in the heat of the issue has been really hard to grasp and hang on to. I start out my mornings strong. “You be you..” I am, daily.
I find joy every chance I get. I find joy in my coworkers. I find that my dry humor and quick wit is actually well received and returned with grins, giggles, and legitimate friendships. It has taken a LIFETIME, in a career sense, to find this. This IS my home. I don’t care if it’s just a simple Administrative position. I’m at that age where work ethic, a great atmosphere, and coworkers are more important that advancement, achievements, and a paycheck. (Granted, as long as wages match the cost of living here, lol, I’m totally content.)
Joy and Gratitude (Hence the blog name) are really the major components that drive my life. I had a shitty childhood with a severe lack of joy. I had a shitty young adult life, with the only joy being my son. I’ve had a hard time finding, acknowledging, and reveling in the joy I have manifested in my own life. I MANIFESTED. I didn’t wait for it to find me, I fought tooth and nail to acquire exactly what I want and need to live successfully. I have changed every aspect of my life to love it fully.
I have learned the art of self awareness. I have the strength to set and hold boundaries. I am able to watch for the joy stealers; complaining, criticism, and negative judgmental attitudes. So much, in fact, I have cut my number one negative person out of my life – my mom.
How does one do it when it’s at work? I do not have the ability to control the whole environment. I can only control my little space around my desk, and unfortunately, I share an office. This person I share the office with is one of those that is described above: Joy Stealer. I’m not attacking this person. I’m stating a fact. This person is super
unhappy with their life, thus makes everyone around suffer the negativity as well. I try, on a daily basis, to overcome the negativity.
Frankly, 2 o’clock hits, and so does the headache. This headache lingers until I get home around 6-630p. Headache brings heartburn, brings shakes. I’m exhausted. I start to shut down. I have no fight and my force shield starts to drop. I can only control my reaction, and I’m failing at keeping it up and strong. I know that if it’s something I cannot change, then I can control my attitude towards it.
I approached this person a few months ago. I had an open, candid conversation. Things started to get better. It was observed by other co-workers. The office energy had began to grow positive, thrive even. Something shifted. Then, I let my guard down, came to work without my mantras. I was not even focusing on hope or prayer that it will be breathable, something shifted yet again.
I am back to being completely at a loss. So lost in fact, I’ve become the very behavior I’m frustrated with: volatile, hostile, irritable, cranky, and brash. I’ve become a face with a scowl, standoffish demeanor, and unapproachable persona. All the things I strive NOT to become. It’s like the negative energy has been so thick and suffocating, it’s pulled me in. I have to become the energy to survive within the energy. THIS IS NOT ME. I hate this. I don’t know if I am more frustrated with the fact that this has been a concern of mine for about seven months now. Or, if I am more frustrated because I allowed it to control my outcomes. I am not a hostile person. I cringe at the thought that I can be.
I am trying to figure out how and where to go from here. I’ll be damned if I leave this position. This isn’t a job or a paycheck, this is a new found family for me. I’m invested in those around me, and care sincerely about the happenings in their lives: births, weddings, deaths, birthdays, everything. I will not be pushed out, even if that’s not the intent from this other person. I know me well enough that I don’t fight, I walk away. I refuse to walk away.
The struggle in that is that I am back to only being able to control myself. I have read every freaking “Toxic work environment” self help website I can find. I have listened to various TED talks. I can only control so much around me, and can only control my own reactions. How does one person actually thrive while slowly being squished? I am worn out. I am so freaking tired. I’m at a loss and unsure how to process and proceed.
* I want to be there. This office mate has made it very clear that they do not; job searching, submitting resumes’, and taking interview calls.
* I want to try to make this work, which I have on a daily basis. I have extended the olive branch. I have reached out. * I have asked if there was a way to rectify it directly with this person.
* I have asked for guidance from supervisor(s). I have received great input, positive options, viable solutions. I have tried to initiate these options. It was received once by them, and only to be dismissed shortly after.
* I hate feeling like I am walking on egg shells, and this is where the PTSD kicks in. I feel exactly how I did when I came come to my abuser, I didn’t know what mood mask he would be wearing and how it will affect my night. I feel this way going into work. I don’t know what mood mask this office mate will be wearing, and how it will affect my day.
* I have tools in my emotional tool box to try to work through it: headphones, support from coworkers, support from my boyfriend.
* I am a 41 year old woman dealing with the office drama of a 20+ something.
I have hope that this is salvageable. I know that I am an asset. I’ve been reassured that this is very much so. I know my work, work ethic, and my standing. I know that I contribute to the organization in a strong, sturdy, manner. I know that my coworkers can and do count on me. I am able to communicate my needs, concerns, and wants. I can get through this, as I am strong, intelligent, and experienced. I know that the only way through this is with patience and compassion. I needed to write this out, so formulate my thoughts, so that I can see the root cause. I needed to remind myself of patience and compassion. I need to get back to a place of mindfulness and zen.