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signs of a toxic workplace and what you should do



Most people have to deal with a crappy job sometime in their lives – as a person who used to disguise himself as a banana to hand out jamba juice samples, I can attest to that. But how can you tell that getting a job from a normal job becomes a toxic influence on your life? To clarify the bad jobs from the really detrimental people, I interviewed mental health experts to get advice on when a job is too dreadful and what to do when in a toxic position.

When I throw the word "poisonous" around, I really mean it. A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology surveyed the unemployed and found that people in a hostile work environment were more heavily burdened than those who remained unemployed. And this was not just "I'm a little stressed out" symptoms: The blood work of people in crappy jobs was noticeably less healthy than their already stressed-out, currently unfocussed friends. Being in a toxic profession can genuinely cause mental and physical harm. Therefore, it is important to know the signs so you can get out of a bad situation.

When work does not stay at work

"You can simply tell a workplace that it sucks when the problems are due to the work itself Do not penetrate beyond that A workplace crosses the border into" toxic "if he influences you inwardly and personally, "says Julie Gurner, Psy.D. It's one thing to do a lot or some people in the company that annoy you. But if you can not shake off the negativity of the day or lose your self-esteem and your value through your work, then you'll slip into venomous terrain.

Licensed social worker Laura MacLeod recommends you really investigate how you feel You are thinking about going to work the next day. "If you're feeling lethargic, not motivated, or getting sick, it's a job that will not drive you crazy," says MacLeod. "If you feel anxious, irritable, deeply depressed and panicky, you get cold sweats ̵

1; that's poisonous." And if those anxious, negative thoughts come up after 5:00 pm, it's likely that your job will have a negative impact on your life.

If you can not see the positives

If you have a job that's just kind of crappy, you might pick one or two positive aspects. Yes, the cabin crewman, who shows you another listless Youtube video every five minutes, can make the view on the bright side difficult. But if a job is just silly, you can find a good thing about it. "See if you can spend more time on this aspect of the job, and remember to stick to it when it gets ugly," says McLeod. "Connect with trusted colleagues and brainstorm to make things more bearable – there's a long way to have someone to listen and empathize with."

Sometimes you do not think good things about your job – or a minimal positivity does not outweigh the many negatives. A Michigan State University study found that workplace negativity spreads like wildfire. This means that a poisonous person or ongoing toxic comments cause other workers to act badly with each other, and in the end you have a lot of unhappy people who annoy each other. This leads to decreased productivity, poor morale and an increase in mental fatigue, the study said. So, if you can not imagine anything beautiful, you're probably in a "cycle of intransigence" that's very hard to stop.

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If You Are Not Appreciated

For me, few things are as annoying as tons of work and zero credit. Although the office is likely to be overlooked from time to time, a hard job will subvert or underestimate your efforts each round.

If you have crazy hours without promotion or compensation or if your superiors work If you never recognize your work positively, your mental health suffers, according to therapist Katie Krimer, MA, LCSW. "Without a fair amount of affirmation and praise – and sometimes just an influx of criticism – your morale can be truly damaged, inviting you to hate your job at some point," says Krimer.

It's so important to feel like your job matters. Although no one expects to receive a trophy and gift card to Sephora every time they do something good, it is understandable to be unhappy if there is no positive feedback. "If you do not feel valued, it's time to find ways to stand up for yourself and make sure you get the recognition you deserve," says Krimer.

Sometimes communicating your feelings can improve your job. Maybe a boss did not realize they were so negative, and now that they are aware, they have a chance to change their behavior. However, if you do not feel confident in communicating your feelings, having a boss who has ignored your previous requests, or if the entire office is filled with immutable negativity, you are probably in a toxic place that you may need to leave.

Toxic Workplace Checklist

If you're still not sure if your job has gotten into the ranks of my ever-popular Britney Spears song, ask Chrissy Macken, a career coach specializing in toxic jobs Questions:

  • Did you apologize from a meeting because you were so angry or frustrated?
  • Are you afraid of the idea of ​​staying in your job for another year?
  • Do you feel that your leader has doubts Make smart decisions about your work?
  • Have you assigned tasks from multiple supervisors who have little or no consideration for the work you have already done?
  • Is your role changing all the time?
  • Are you interrupted so often while sitting? down to focus on a task Is it nearly impossible to get work done?
  • Do performance ratings feel like an ambush of negative feedback that you've never referred to?
  • Were you belittled or shouted down by your manager or colleague?
  • They were crying at work?

If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you're probably in a toxic place, says Macken.

Sometimes we get used to a bad job that we do not even notice the signs of toxicity around us. But if you're crying regularly, getting downed or stressed out so much that you can not focus on anything but work, then things are officially toxic. Fortunately, the experts have many ways to help you deal with this terrible job.

What about a toxic job?

Remember that it is not your fault.

"The most important way to deal with a poison The task is to understand that you are not the problem – it's a cultural problem where higher levels of people carry abusers," says Deb Falzoi, founder of Dignity Together, one Group trying to stop bullying in the workplace. Often the bosses get short-term results when they are abusive, so the supervisors look different. Even if you made a mistake at work or had a bad day, you never deserve to be yelled at or abused. Your overreaction is not your fault.

If you remember that you are not the problem, you can come through the day, says Falzoi. If you say, "It's not me," it can not stop a boss from screaming, but it helps you to break away from this potential abuse. Falzoi claims that this is not a good long-term solution (you can divide your feelings just before they appear elsewhere), but it may help for the time being.

Stop Reviewing Your Emails

Your inbox may be avoided This does not seem to be a solution, but it's a good step to set boundaries and leave work in the office. "Protect your time," says Macken. "Sometimes easier said than done, but do everything to limit the hours." She suggests investing a little time in the morning (or whenever you're most productive) to focus on work without checking emails or making meetings. "Share your strategy so others know you are setting healthy boundaries to drive the organization's work."

If you volunteer for work at any time, people will use it sometimes. If you are polite but firm, let the people in the office know that after 5pm you will not be able to fulfill all your wishes. Your colleagues may respect this, which makes the work much more bearable. Or your boss is an idiot and expects you to jump every time you call. But trying to set limits gives you at least the chance of a better job.

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Create a Going Home Ritual

The most difficult aspect in a toxic work environment is that the negatives invade and all aspects of your life hurt the ones you love That's why I recommend finding ways to make the transition from work to home more conscious, "says Macken. She suggests creating a ritual that ends your workday and puts you in personal time mode.

"Maybe it will take five minutes to write a list of open questions and tasks for the following day that you can leave at the office," says Macken, or you can listen to a special Happy Playlist on the way back or take a walk around the block Just before you go home, just settle down every day before you go home, so you can get used to relaxing your mind and leaving the work going, so you can really enjoy your personal time.

Keep it out of Bedroom

If you can not groove into the ritual of homecoming, at least keep your work in the living room. "The bedroom is for bedroom things! "says Krimer. "Many of us put so many things in our beds that prevent us from relaxing and even sleeping." Bringing work to bed reduces your ability to rest, making you tired and vulnerable to all the negativity and stress of the office.

"Promise never to bring your work to your peace room – keep your work upright in a section of your home and do not leave this area!" Says Krimer. If your job is so overwhelming that you can not even keep your bed jobless, maybe it's time to take a bigger step.

Make an Escape Plan

"Toxicity is a symptom of a major cultural problem that probably will not resolve itself," says Gurner. "In toxic environments, it's best to take your time and create an escape plan." Normally, you can not just give up a job and give up, no matter how many times you've dreamed of pulling a Half Baked and Bailen. But you can decide to go and start the process of finding something better.

"Apply now for other jobs and plan a transition," says Gurner. If you know that the job is not permanent, you can master bad days while you do everything to find something new. Yes, it is very hard to leave a job and it takes work to find a new one. But if you're in a really toxic place, it's worth it. It's scary, but you can find something better if your days are not filled with anxiety.

Amber Petty is a L.A-based writer and a regular contributor to Greatist. Follow her as she describes her weight loss journey in her new bimonthly Slim Chance column. Take her singing lessons on Sing A Different Tune and follow her on Instagram @ Amberpetty.


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