Why would anyone stay in a work place that is toxic?
Some people are really lucky. They work in offices or locations where there is camaraderie, respect, trust and an overall feeling of belonging.
Some people work in spaces where it’s tolerable, things could be better, and it’s not so bad that they want to leave.
Then there are individuals who work in horrific environments, and I’m not talking about sweat shops. I’m talking about places where there is little to no respect, or trust. Where you feel devalued as opposed to valued, where bullying is rampant. More often than not, people stay because there does not seem to be a way out.
Some environments kill us from the inside out
These are the spaces I want to talk about. It’s all good to talk about working in the ideal environment, the question is how to cope in an environment that is slowly killing you, from the inside out. We often hear people say, “Why would anyone stay in a work place that is toxic?” The answer, is not always cut and dry. It could be like slowly boiling a frog…you are not aware of what is going on until it’s too late.
- There is a feeling of…no where to go.
- You’re the major income earner in your family, and you feel obligated to remain in order to provide for your family.
- Your confidence has been eroded to the point where you feel you’re not good enough to go anywhere else.
Do any of these sound familiar?
The sensation of being trapped is common, and presents in many ways.
- Does your chest feel tight?
- Are you having trouble breathing?
- Are you finding it difficult to concentrate?
- Has your productivity dropped?
- Are you having trouble sleeping?
Sometimes it’s difficult to consider the AND
In these situations it’s difficult to see and even consider the ‘AND’, in a positive light. Often our thinking goes to “I can leave, and put my family in jeopardy, or, I can tough it out and hope something comes along.” This does not bode well for creating a space for possibility.
This post is not intended to give you answers. How could I possibly know what you should or should not do? What I do know is, there is always another way to look at, and engage what is going on in our lives. It begins with going inside. To begin to pay attention to the sensations going on inside of you and consider them as information, nudging you to make a different choice.
Often times we believe that making a different choice means ‘doing’ something. What if…making a different choice lived in simply considering something? What if choosing to consider to see things differently was the first step in making a different choice? I can hear the inside chatter…how could that possible change anything? Well, if we consider seeing things differently, we automatically open up the possibility of choosing something different. It’s like the day you chose to speak up to your parents about something they did or said, that first step into adulthood.
When we feel defenceless often we are not standing in the full grown adult we know ourselves to be.
We are the 6, 10, 14, 16 or even 20 year old who did not have the resources or the ability to make a different choice. Sometimes, we feel that if only the ‘other’ person would change then things would be different. Does this sound familiar? In my experience, it’s only when I make a shift inside mySELF when things begin to change outside of me.
Recently I shared a video from Dewitt Jones, a former National Geographic Photographer, on the theme ‘Celebrate What’s Right With the World.‘ It is an invitation to see life through a different lens. AND the best way to see things differently outside ourSELF is to first see, and experience, a difference inside ourSELF.
We are all interconnected. How we engage with others is a direct reflection of what is going on inside ourself. So how someone treats us is all about them, and, how we treat others is a direct reflection of what is going on inside of us. There is so much more…stay tuned for part two of this post.
Until the next time!