Corporate stress and energy vampires
Answer “yes” to any of the following three questions, this article is for you. If your answers are all “no” don’t bother. You don’t have enough pain and, at this time, you’re among the few fortunate ones.
- Do you dread going to work, especially on Monday, and find little or no satisfaction in what you do?
- Do you worry about losing your job or… not getting the pay raise, or recognition, you feel you deserve?
- Do you work with people who might be described as “difficult”?
Still with me? OK, let’s take each of the three questions and see if we can come up with some helpful hints to make your life happier, healthier and more fulfilling.
If you dread going to your job, write down exactly what it is that turns you off. Is it the traveling to and from work, a task or specific tasks, the salary, the type of work, the managers or co-workers?
Or is possibly just you? Yes, sometimes it’s others who make our life difficult and sometimes it is just…us! So, stress becomes distress when it’s painful. Good stress, aka: eustress, is the fun stuff: a wedding, a football game, the job you always wanted, the birth of a happy and healthy child, etc. This article focuses only on the bad stress.
In order to fix something, first you have to identify whatever is wrong and… be as honest as you can about it. I say, “…as you can” because if you are the problem…you may not want to admit it. If you have a mother who loves you and is recognized by family and friends as being pretty together, ask her. She’ll probably be more honest than your shrink!
If your mom doesn’t fit into that category, ask a friend who really loves you and definitely not someone you used to date. So, if you wish, get yourself a cup of coffee, tea, or your favorite beverage, light a candle for inspiration and write down your thoughts. You may be surprised at what flows out.
Be careful with the candle, especially if you’ve chosen to have a couple of glasses of wine to kick off this exercise!
If you’re worried about losing your job, or not getting the rewards you deserve, are you positive you know what’s best for you?
About half of all marriages end in divorce and yet, it rarely starts out that way. For those folks who get divorced, what started out as a dream come true… ends up being their worst nightmare. Maybe some faith in ourselves, as well as trust in whatever we believe in: God, the Highest Power, The Force can take some of the pressure off and allow you to work enthusiastically without worrying and doing your best one day at a time. One life component we can be sure of is…all things change at some point or another.
If you work with some folks who make your life miserable, I’m going to tell you a secret: They’re usually not happy campers and enjoy wreaking havoc because it gives them a sense of power and control. Some of these folks should dress up on Halloween because they are what I like to call energy vampires. If you’re interested in some real specifics for dealing with the vampires, Robert M. Bramson, Ph.D. in his book Coping with Difficult People identifies seven different types: hostile aggressives, complainers, the silent unresponsive, super agreeables, the always negative, know it all experts and stallers. I’ve successfully used his techniques many times.
An example of one of the energy sucking types, hostile aggressives, will give you an idea of how his system works. The hostile aggressive group includes three distinct types: Exploders, Sherman Tanks and Snipers. The Exploders pound the tale and scare folks with their outbursts. The Sherman Tanks just roll right over you and make like whatever you say doesn’t matter. The Snipers act friendly to your face and talk about you behind your back.
For the Exploders and Tanks, you can loudly say, “Stop” Wait a second or two and if they keep going say it again, “Stop!” or, if you choose, you can let them do their thing and then …calmly say why you disagree and about what.
With Snipers, you have to confront them and tell them what you heard they said about you. They’re going to deny it because they’re usually cowards; however, they’ll think twice about doing it again.
For me, the universal antidote for the really crazy ones, those that nothing seems to work with is to disconnect and pull out the plug by avoiding them as often as you can. If you can’t avoid them, make sure you say what you think needs to be said in a calm and direct manner. Regardless of how they respond, stay happy and professional after you stick up for yourself, be nice. Kindness is the silver bullet that they dread because it showers sunlight on their darkness and takes away their energy!