Unfairness On The Job (Can You Find Peace Even Here?)
“No, you can’t stay out past midnight on the weekends!”
Bobby’s mom was adamant. And her words were like hot knives in Bobby’s teenage soul. He exploded, “Mom, you are so unfair. I hate living in this house.” The rage boiled inside him, and he stormed away, and slammed the door behind him.
All his friends were staying out, and this would mean that he would be the only one that would be missing out. He couldn’t believe the injustice of it.
Do You Feel Like A Teenager Sometimes, Raging Against Injustice At Your Job?
Let’s suppose you’re a woman. Have you ever been promoted with no salary increase? Are there men around you who are doing less and making more?
When you come across this kind of unfairness in the workplace, it can be infuriating. And it can shut your life right down.
We humans usually react by either flying into a rage (and losing our job), or by resorting to the silent treatment, and raging on the inside.
Here’s What The Silent Treatment Looks Like
We immediately become the victim. And we know just how to play the role. In fact, most Hollywood actors would be jealous of the way we try to feel the part. The way we try to live it from the inside.
We crumple down our hearts, and avoid eye contact at all costs. We stay hunched over our work, hoping someone will notice our pain. And if they don’t notice, we make sure to bring it up from time to time. Nothing too dramatic, of course, but we drop hints. And it builds and builds as we find more ways to let our discontent be known.
And Being Good Actors, We Bring Our Role Home With Us
We talk about it with our friends, and spouses, and we use those conversations to fan the flames of our inner rage. Pretty soon our sleep is affected. And we are less patient with everyone in our lives.
But do we approach our bosses about the situation at work? No, we’re too busy being angry to think that way. And we’re afraid we might blow a gasket if we do. We’re afraid we might lose our job.
We need a way to regain balance. As long as we stay angry inside, it’s nearly impossible to make any constructive change.
Anger Makes Us Ineffective Negotiators
When Bobby, the teenager, was angry at his mom, the only things he could think to do were to yell at her, run out, and slam the door. The creative mind was not engaged. He was in no position to argue his case convincingly.
And when we’re angry at our jobs, we are physically incapable of negotiating properly. First of all we don’t even think of it. All rational thought goes out the window when we’re angry and playing the role of the victim.
And if we do somehow think of negotiating, we blow it because we are too demanding. We feel so strongly about our own injustice that we are not open to the other point of view.
We Need A Way To Separate The Emotions From The Truth
Think of all of the times we have let anger keep us from getting what we wanted. What if we had a way to make our anger evaporate completely? What could we accomplish?
We are intelligent. We pay attention to others and their needs. We should be able to negotiate our way to a good solution for us and the other party. If only there was such a way to dissipate the anger.
Even though there is no such thing as a magic wand to make our anger go away, there is a very powerful tool that we can use to regain peace of mind. It’s called the Work of Byron Katie.
What Is The Work Of Byron Katie?
The Work of Byron Katie is a simple tool for dealing with stressful situations. When applied to a situation like this, it can help resolve the anger in us. It can help us be more fair in our judgments. It can help us see things from the boss’s point of view. And it can lead to more confidence in negotiation.
The Work gives us a chance to put all our complaints on paper where they can be looked at objectively. And The Work invites us to question each of those stressful beliefs and find out the honest truth about them.
When you can see the difference between the truth and your emotional exaggeration of the truth, you can finally come to the negotiation table with a clear head.
But Reading About The Work Is Not Enough
You have to do it. If you are dealing with injustice at your job, or anywhere in your life, the first step is to get clear inside yourself about your own part in your suffering. Where are you playing the victim?
This takes commitment, courage and effort. It isn’t magic.
Take the time to write out a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet on your boss, your work, or your co-workers. And do The Work on all the concepts you have written down. A facilitator can help if the issue is very charged for you.
Then, having done The Work, you may start to feel freer of the emotional burden you have been putting on yourself. And you will be in a much stronger position to negotiate for what you want, or to leave the situation with an open heart.
The Work Is About Your Peace Of Mind
When your mind is peaceful, situations can be dealt with much more rationally. Who knows, if Bobby hadn’t been so angry at his mom, he might have been able to win her over. A peaceful mind can be very convincing.
Todd Smith is a facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie. Unfairness is one of his favorite stressful thoughts. It always finds a way to crop up in his thinking, and he loves how The Work cuts through all the exaggeration.
To do The Work with Todd book an appointment online here.
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