Unless we are leaders or have leader attributes we tend to be followers. Therefore we tend to be the kind of people that go with the flow. Our desires to not stand out mean that we blend in with the crowd. If the environment that we work in is full of unsatisfied, unhappy, and perhaps bitterly angry people, then we take on these traits in order to blend in. If you need a positive Manhattan coworking space then you should check out The Farm – event venue Soho.
To make matters worse we then contribute to that unproductive atmosphere. We start “standing around the water cooler” complaining about our lives just as well as our coworkers do. We talk about all of the things that are wrong in our lives. We never talk about the things that are right in our lives unless we can do so in a way that we can position ourselves as victims. For example, we might say something like “…then my husband tried to make up for it by a doing a load of laundry and now look, my brand new white blouse is pink because he washed the kids red soccer shirts in the same load. Honestly men!” Yeah everyone is laughing (except maybe the men) because they all identify with the situation on some level (even the men).
But there is something going on here that is much more tragic than a pink blouse and believe me I am not a fan of pink so that would be very upsetting to me.
There are three obvious tragedies. One, that you let the feelings of others create your emotions. Second, you used your adopted feelings/emotions to create your environment. Thirdly, and most important, you forgot to listen to your emotion alarms– your feelings.
Let’s hit the rewind so that we can use hindsight to expose all of the tragic events that have led to this moment.
Let’s start with letting the feelings of others creating your emotions. Why is your husband/spouse/partner in trouble in the first place? Chances are that after listening and contributing to all of the negative chatter at work you took that negativity home. You got to thinking on the way home how your significant other does not do something and you start to think “well I’m not putting up with that,” so instead of talking to your partner, in your typically rational way, you go in ready to start a fight. Now you brought the negative emotions of others home laid them on your spouse’s shoulders and heart. That is tragic for both of you.
Rewind a little more and we will look at the second tragedy. By complaining you are just feeding the negative environment you are working in. Why are you even complaining about your spouse with your coworkers? Is it for friendship? Doesn’t your relationship with your spouse offer friendship? Do your friendships at work mean more to you than your marriage or partner? If your answers were: “yes, no, yes,” then you need to look at yourself and your relationship with your partner. If you answered: “yes, yes, no,” then you need to look at yourself and your relationships at work. The tragedy is you are not doing yourself or your partner any justice by complaining about them. In fact, you are making your situation worse because now you are infecting your workplace and your home with negativity.
A third tragedy is that you chose to blend in with the “negativity crowd” instead of being true to your positive-self and therefore helping your work environment become a more positive place. If you had chosen to stand out then your coworkers and other office personals, like your boss, would come to brand you as different but in a good way.
Sure people might talk about you behind your back but what are they going to say, “Oh, Your Name here, is always happy,” or “I come into work and Your Name here is always here to greet me with a smile on their face.” Trust me there are worse things they will say about you if you are part of their “negativity crowd.”
In the end, your coworkers’ opinions of you are not as important as your opinion of yourself. So let them talk and have their negative “water cooler chats,” just keep smiling knowing that you are creating your own positive work environment and staying true to yourself.