Does Your Company Love Misery?
Many enjoyed a three day weekend and it was glorious. Then, the resentment kicks in. Why can’t all the work weeks be four days? I mean, do we really need 5 days in a work week? A few more hours a day would be completely doable if it were only four days. This sounds completely logical. For some businesses, it is. But, if you worked four days a week without any sunshine, would you be singing the same tune?
Let’s talk about perspective again. If you find yourself complaining simply for the sake of complaining, it’s time for a reevaluation. What is it that you’re really not happy about? Is it something in the job or is it something in you? Will you be carrying this into your next holiday or will you simply be happy that you get extra time with the people you love? Negative emotions can be helpful if they get you to a solution. The question is, do you really want a solution?
If you are always looking for something to complain about, it may simply be that the people around you have trained you to believe that commiserating, shared complaints, and focusing on disappointments is how you bond. It definitely can be, but it doesn’t have to be.
As soon as you feel what the psychological realm calls “triggered” (a happening that sets you in a negative emotional or mental space), instead of continuing the vicious attitude cycle, reset and take mental or literal notes of what happened that brought you there. If you’re defensive, you probably just said something like, “Whatever. Everyone can want another day off. Complaining about it doesn’t mean anything. You’re doing too much by reading too far into it.” Ya know, something like that. You were triggered. Something in your life is off balance. “Yeah, I don’t get enough days off…” Sound familiar?
Try the silver lining approach. When complaints or negativity come flying into your space, deflect it with what’s positive about the situation. Five days a week means you still get sunshine in the fall. New work regulations bringing you and your co-workers/company down? “Every good business needs to evolve. Trial periods don’t always have to end in error.” If it does, let someone “told you so” you. So what? Reallly. So what?
Is the job really the problem? Maybe it’s time to look for a new one. “I’ve been here forever.” “I can’t do anything else” “That means I have to do more work in looking for another job” Negative. Negative. Negative. Life is too short to be miserable 6 days a week (Sunday complaining about returning to work is yet another day of complaining).
Are you just a chronic complainer or is there a real solution that you can go after? Let’s keep it real. By all means, attempt to solve the issue if you can. If you cannot, you may be the issue. It may just improve your overall quality of life if you let it.
After your literal or mental notes of your triggers, you may just find the key to what’s really dragging down your work weeks. It may quite literally be your work. It may be you. It may be a learned behavior or a past trauma. Either way, do you really still want it around? Misery loves company. Happiness loves living. Maria Reynolds, Psy D discusses what triggers are, how to identify them, and how you can overcome them. A sincere big, fat kudos to those who are brave enough to take them on.
Are co-workers or bosses finding your happiness problematic instead of infectious? It looks like it's time to move onward and upward.
So, find that silver even if you have to dig for it. In doing so, you may even end up “living your life like it’s golden.” Enjoy your work week, everybody.