Do you find yourself shaking your leg while sitting at work, shaking so bad that the table in front of you shakes too? And for a second it feels like the whole world is shaking too? And just generally, do you find yourself biting your nails and itching your head, doing all kinds of things people who are nervous and uncomfortable do? Then you should consider thinking about the safety of your work environment. A hostile work environment is explained to be a workplace where employees are harassed with unwelcome, offensive, hurtful and abusive comments based on their gender, race, nationality, religious orientation, disability, sexual orientation, age and other characteristics.
Here are 7 ways to survive a Hostile Work Environment.
Misunderstanding? Clear it up!
You might not understand at the moment, but a little misunderstanding with a co-worker, your boss or any other employee might become so big that clearing up the messes later might become unrealistic. Remember that communication is key. If you feel like someone has a problem with you, talk to them first: understand their reasons.
Take a deeper look
Sometimes when people harass you, try to push you around, make you uncomfortable, it is not because of you but it is more because of them. If you take a deeper look into the person’s psychology you might better understand and give reasons for their behavior. Frankly, people, who are not sure on them, try to establish themselves by putting others down. A comment to you like “Your body is not fit” might make them feel better about themselves because they are not comfortable in their own body, or in their own mind. So don’t take the comments too personal: remember that a person whose self-esteem is high doesn’t ever feel the need of reminding others about their shortcomings and imperfections.
Block the stress for a minute
The above-mentioned step might sound easy but in reality, it takes tons of courage and self-control. So, one way to keep the stress away is to find activities that bring pleasure and take your mind away from the reality even for a second because quitting tomorrow is probably not an option. Going for a walk around the building might help you to get rid of negativity. Doing meditation, eating lunch with a friend, anything. Find what helps you the best and put it in your day.
The Co-Sufferer is your best friend now
Look, if you are being harassed in your workplace then at least someone else is going through the same hell as well. Find an ally to whom you can talk to, interact during the work hours, laugh with them and spend some time with them. Also, sometimes talking to the people about your problems who are going through the same experience helps. Your friends outside of work might not understand how it really feels, doesn’t matter how hard you try to explain.
Trick your own mind
When there is no way out but to stay in you need to come up with a strategy for yourself so you can survive. For example, create an exit strategy: decide when you will leave this job. Put a time in your mind; let it be another month or two, a year or four. Remind yourself that you will not stay at this same workplace forever. Having a strategy will keep your mind busy so that the unimportant negativity won’t get you.
Reasonable walls are reasonable
Usually, the people causing hostile environments are the kind of people who like to stick their noses into places their noses don’t belong. If you let a nose sticker close enough they will take it for granted and use the information they got, your friendliness and honesty against you. Staying aside and not getting involved in tricky situations will only save you unreasonable drama. Sometimes building walls, the kinds that protect you from harassers is necessary.
One day you might realize that the job you have, the salary you are getting, the benefits that come with it, all are not worth your sufferings. The last step you can take before quitting is seeking help: talk to your boss, make sure that the management of the company is aware of the problems you are facing. If the main cause of the hostility is your boss refer to the human resources personnel.
You should never tolerate that kind of relationship and attitude towards yourself that makes your leg shake. And remember it is all in your head. You are the one controlling your mind, thoughts and how others’ actions have an influence on yourself.