Is there someone at work that you avoid talking to or feel drained after talking to them? Or maybe someone at work criticizes you or makes passive aggressive comments. It's unpleasant, especially if we have to see them every day at work.
Here are some ways to deal with those difficult work situations:
Someone who criticizes you or is passive aggressive
It's not okay when someone treats us with disrespect. Even at work. Yes, we have to get paid. But is there a way to make it more manageable? Yes.
The critical person
Here it's really important that you stand up for yourself, rather than let this person run over you. Here it might be helpful to plan because it might be nerve-wracking to talk to this person if you haven't stood up to this colleague before. You might want to say something about trying your best and being open to constructive feedback as opposed to overly critical feedback.
Let's say that you've confronted this difficult person and he/she/they don't change. See if you can focus on the content.
Instead of focusing on how the information is communicated, discern what the underlying message. It doesn’t mean that it’s okay for the person to be critical, but sometimes critical people lack awareness; they might not know that their word usage or tone of voice comes across in a critical way. Perhaps this person did not intend to be critical, but rather tends to be upfront and open with his/her/their feelings.
Here's an example of passive aggression
"That report was pretty good even though there were some errors." It's the underhanded compliment. Or maybe you've heard something with some kind of agreement, but with undertones of anger, "I guess I can wait until tomorrow, but I did tell you about it last week."
So how do you deal with this person?
For the latter example, you might say something like, "I get that this is an inconvenience. " Here you'd be taking responsibility, while pointing out the other person's underlying message. The key is that you acknowledge that the person is saying something aggressive, and you don't need to apologize unless you actually are at fault. By catching them in the act, you're empowering yourself.
Sometimes we feel like we’re unable to be open with our friends because we’re worried about how they will react. Or maybe we already know how our friend will respond.
we might worry that we'll be judged.
Or we know how our friends will respond when we bring it up. Sometimes, we’re conflicted with the decision that we’ve made and that makes it harder to talk about it with our friends. So what does this mean? Maybe, we ourselves need time before we can share with our friends. And that’s okay. As long as you’ve got other friends that you feel safe sharing with, you’re still getting the support that you need.
It can leave us feeling isolated...
...when we can’t reach out to our friends, especially when we need that support.
How do we take care of ourselves when we’re unable to share with friends?
Maybe it's about going through your rolodex of friends and asking yourself what you need from them. It could be their company, without any words exchanged. Or maybe it's time and space for you to talk without them dishing out the advice.
And it's okay.
You can even set a time-frame for your friends to check in with you. Or let them know that you won't be able to answer the phone for the night. You are allowed to ask for space. If your friend loves you, she/he/they will understand and respect what you are communicating.
If they don't get it, you know that it's their own stuff that's coming up for them. Their response lets you know that they're uncomfortable with you setting your own boundaries and what you need. But by being able to get through that discomfort with that friend and by talking it out with him/her/them, your friendship will get even stronger.
So how do you ask for what you need?
It might look like...
"Hey I don't have the energy to talk right now, could we just sit and watch a movie?"
"I'm feeling really sensitive, and I just need someone to listen. I'm not looking for advice right now."
"I'm really exhausted, could we just go to a show and have fun?"
"I can't talk today. I'll let you know when I'll have the bandwidth."
"Hey can I vent without any feedback?"
"I just need you to listen."
"This is hard for me to share. Would it be okay if you just listened?"
"I'm worried about feeling judged. I really need your non-judgment right now."
"It's been a long week. Can we catch up next week?"
My introversion is most apparent after a long day at work. To de-compress, I find it relaxing to draw or get coffee with a friend. I enjoy spending time with people one-on-one, as opposed to large groups.
Extraverts seek stimulation outside themselves-- through high-energy activities and with lots of people. This isn't to say that introverts don't find these activities engaging, but rather introverts might not pursue these activities all the time.
Zelenski, J.M., Whelan, D.C., Nealis, L.J., Besner, C.M., Santoro, M.S., & Wynn, J.E. (2013). Personality and affective forecasting: Trait introverts underpredict the hedonic benefits of acting extraverted. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104(6), 1092-1108.
WHAT MAKES YOU AN INTROVERT OR EXTRAVERT?!
Amy Cuddy's Ted Talk had an impact on me when I was applying to jobs. That year I applied to 50 jobs and at the interviews, I felt uncomfortable and insecure. Amy Cuddy's "power pose" gave me that confidence at those interviews. Even though I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin, my body language tricked myself into thinking that I was confident.
TOP 5 TIPS
1. Do you notice that you tap your foot or move it around when you're talking to someone? Another person may think that you're feeling impatient (re: foot-tapping) or that you're anxious or drank too much coffee (re: moving your leg).
2. How do you hold your body when you're walking? Your swagger might show that you're over-confident or approachable.
3. What is your voice volume? A high-pitched voice might be perceived as irritating. But a varied tone of voice would suggest that you're interested in what that person says.
4. Watch your favorite movie on mute. Observe how these actors/actresses show emotion and how you might respond.
5. Imitate the pace of the person's speech. Mirroring the other person suggests that we are empathizing with the person.