Whether you’ve just started a new job, or are in the thick of a stressful one, finding and holding on to the positives is key. However, I’ve learned that it can be difficult AF to hold on to any sort of positivity when the work environment and people that surround you are constantly negative.
Dealing with high stress jobs or situations at work is always something I’ve been able to handle. Especially if I was experiencing them with people who were truly supportive and just fun to work with. On the other hand, I’ve also had to deal with intense jobs with negative people left and right. You know those people who at every corner you turn are shit talking on one another, non-stop venting about a hundred different issues (don’t get me wrong I love a good vent sesh, but sometimes enough is enough), and are just too wrapped up in their bad attitude to even throw you a simple smile?
I’ve come to realize in the last year (because 2016 was all about ‘realizing stuff’ according to Kylie Jenner) that you can’t maintain a healthy work-life balance if you are willing to go down the rabbit hole with the rest of your negative coworkers. Simply put, it will eventually catch up with you and hold you back from moving forward in your career and life in general.
So, I started thinking of ways that I and everyone for that matter could avoid that negative bubble that’s waiting to trap us all from the second we walk in the door. The key is to actually doing these things, you can ‘know you should’ all you want, but it won’t work unless you put those words into action.
1. No matter what, kill them with kindness.
Your coworkers may walk past you with no smile, no ‘hey how are you’, no nothing- but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do the same. Say good morning, smile as you walk past each person, ask how their weekend was. Spread your kindness, and it will only become infectious.
2. Remove yourself from any negative conversations.
Venting about the never ending issues, drama, etc. can seem like it helps. Sometimes it does. But if that’s all you’re doing with your coworkers, it’s really only setting you back (you know that saying, ‘misery loves company’?). Switch up the conversation from, “I don’t want to be here.” on Monday morning to, “How was your weekend?”. However, if the venting is going on and on despite your best efforts, remove yourself from the room. In the long run, it’s not doing you any good to be around it.
3. Leave work at work.
Wouldn’t it be great if it was that easy all of the time? This is the hardest step for me. But realistically, you’ll only become just as bad as your negative coworkers if you can’t go home and leave work in that building. Of course you need time to vent, so let yourself get it out for a few minutes to your person who will listen (aka my mom on my walk home from work, and my boyfriend when I get home…okay so maybe you need two people to vent to). But then, you need to leave well enough alone, and use what time you do have out of work to really enjoy all of your favorite things (like me taking the time to finally write this).
4. It’s okay to not make friends with your coworkers outside of work.
Obviously it’s great to have friends at work. People who understand what you do on a daily basis, who you can trust, and who you can count on to run to the bar for happy hour after work. But if you end up hanging out with your coworkers outside of office hours and the only conversation you’re having is about work and how horrible it is (as if you didn’t already do this while you were there), then what kind of friendship is that? It’s okay to be friendly with people at work, but you don’t need to be best friends with everyone.
5. Make your favorite activities/people/hobbies your center focus.
As much as work can take over our days, weeks and months, we have to put ourselves first (especially when that depresssing environment at work is waiting to take hold). If you have a favorite workout class, cocktails with you friends, date night, plan it all out for your week and stick to it. It’s important not to let these things that bring you so much joy slip for a place and people that tend to drag you down.