We spend more than forty over hours at work, so we have a right to demand to be happy. Though realistically it is impossible to be happy all the time at work but it is not reasonable to want to at least feel positive half the time. Perhaps I am too idealistic but I have a certain expectation of how I should be feeling at work. My emotional health, sanity and well-being are of upmost importance while the money is secondary.
Some people do not think much of this kind of workplace bullying because to them, bullying has to be physical or heard. Like getting sexually harassed or being yelled at in front of the whole company. Some workplace bullying is silent, often slipping through the cracks, gone unnoticed except by the victim. During my previous short stint in a toxic environment, having to constantly deal with a highly manipulative, repulsive chronic liar and some other unfavorable characters, it was no surprise that I started having self-decrepitating thoughts about my worth and capabilities.
I still remember being told that I was making a lot of mistakes on a certain task and me questioning him if I had been making mistakes, why wasn’t anyone informing me so that I could work on it? Till now, I find it amusing that it took them eleven months, almost a freaking year to inform me that I had been inputting the dates in the wrong format. But those were the really minor stuff.
The real deal had to face a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde superior. One moment he is making snide remarks and the next he is telling you that he understands but it isn’t him who is judging but the others. I wished I had the courage to question him, who are these people he was talking about or was it all just made up. I also found out what a chronic liar he was, putting words into others’ mouth. It was never he blaming me but others (whom he would make up stories about as I later found out), as he would always paint himself as a nice person. He flips his words without hesitation. I wished I had recognized that these were all the signs of a narcissist. By then the journey of self-doubting had begun and I found myself constantly replaying our conversations over and over in my head.
Needless to say, my mental and emotional health was suffering and so was my work performance. I was constantly unhappy and found myself dreading going to work. Once I reach work, it felt like a grey cloud was always over my head and I felt suffocated. The last straw was when he talked bad of another colleague and indirectly told me to stay away from her. Leaving that toxic place was the best decision I had ever made. I am still putting off job-hunting at the moment because a part of me is still petrified that I would end up in a similar place. I am working hard on self-acceptance and building up my confidence now. As cliché as the saying goes, but what doesn’t kill me will make me stronger.