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Should There Be A Line Between Work And Your Personal Life?

Should There Be A Line Between Work And Your Personal Life?

In the working world, there are certain industries that stand out for being highly competitive and cut throat. Examples include the Banking and Finance sector, Start Up’s and IT where anyone can easily be replaced, kicked out and competition is fierce. It becomes every man to himself when climbing the corporate ladder of success. In such a context, many workers become task-oriented and focus only on themselves. A classic dog eat dog world. How can they get the next promotion? What must they do to earn a bigger commission or bonus? Or at least avoid getting replaced or losing their job to the next Ivy League graduate?

Me, Myself and I 

With this shift in the way organizations work, employee behaviors change to adapt, and this individualistic turn impacts relationships greatly. In competitive, stressful jobs (which are increasingly common), we see more superficial relationships and a lack of trust and ruthlessness between co-workers. Some individuals become accustomed to constantly being on their toes, or overly cautious. But when they carry that outside of their professional role, there can be consequences for their lives and relationships.

Have you ever come across co workers behaving in such a competitive way that they tend to keep things to themselves, are task orientated and showing little empathy? Or acting overly cautious, trusting no one and keeping relationships strictly on a ‘work only’ basis? Unfortunately, because of how many organizations are set up, these behaviors are now more common in many.

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What happens after office hours? 

There are many consequences for interpersonal relationships because of how we train ourselves to behave at work. Many people spend between 8-12 hours/day at work, so the behaviors we shape there can carry with us into other parts of life. When we allow this to happen, it can affect the people around us – those in our life outside of work.

We may soon find ourselves becoming detached from our feelings, being reluctant to open up to friends and loved ones because we have become accustomed to not letting our guard down and not trusting people so easily for fear of being used or backstabbed.

Our friendships may become very transactional due to the ‘work only’ relationships that we are used to forming at the work. As a result, we start losing the concept of going beyond, or giving with no strings attached when it comes to treating our loved ones.

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Due to our cautious behavior, we may find that there is less or lack of communication since we do not wish to divulge personal information for fear of someone using it against us. Eventually, we may find that our relationships outside of work are fragmented or distant because there is no longer depth in those relationships.

How to change Me into a Us? 

The ideal situation is to make sure work is separated from personal life. They are supposed to be different. Letting work consume elements of one’s personal life is usually not beneficial for anyone.

Recognising that friends and family outside of work are a source of refuge where we can feel safe to trust and turn to is important. Outside of work, we should be able to de stress and let our guard down, and family/friends are the people that we can trust will not harm us.

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We have to intentionally make an effort to be present when spending time with our loved ones, and not being preoccupied with work thoughts. This will allow us to be ourselves and decrease that competitive edge. Realising that empathy and sincerity is not a sign of weakness is also important in overcoming that mindset of being guarded.

Overall social support is related to increasing happiness and lower stress, overall better mental and physical well-being. If we are already in such a high stress and competitive work environment, friends and loved ones are exactly the people you need to turn to for relief. So communication is crucial in allowing friends to understand what we are going through.

Make love, not war

There might be some need to be overly cautious at work, yes. People might be gunning for us, back-stabbing, gossiping or hoping to get ahead of us. Unfortunately, these things do happen, and increasingly more.

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But simply because such behaviors exist doesn’t mean we need to put up a wall all the time. In fact, if we find ourselves being so guarded at work, we should be more transparent and open to our friends and family outside of work. They don’t need a promotion over us. It’s a safe space, so we should allow ourselves to be part of that.

When we let negative work attitudes influence how we live our day-to-day life, nothing good comes out of it. But if we separate them and understand the need for strong relationships to counter-balance some of the work stress, our well being will improve.

Featured photo credit: Kaboompics via kaboompics.com

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Anna Chui

Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Will Happen When You Surround Yourself With Positive People?

What Will Happen When You Surround Yourself With Positive People?

Ever since Norman Vincent Peale wrote his classic book The Power of Positive Thinking, many people have worked hard to harness the power of positivity. But one of the greatest challenges to maintaining positivity is that we live in a world focused on negativity. The news, social media, the office gossip, and pretty much everywhere else is filled with terrible events and complaining people.

The truth is you can’t have a life of positivity while spending a lot of time with people who drag you down. The good news is that there is a simple solution! Surround yourself with positive people. When I started this habit I had some nearly immediate results…and some that will pay off further down the road. Here are 8 amazing things that will happen when you surround yourself with positive people.

1. Your Attitude Will Change

I love spending time with my positive friends! I get energized and excited. My attitude becomes one of confidence and peace. You will enjoy the same results.

Time with negative people will affect your attitude negatively, but time with positive people will allow you to move through circumstances with a smile on your face.

2. You Will Accomplish More

I mentor a group of runners. I do my best to exude positivity whenever we are together. Do you know that those wonderful people will run longer and faster because they are being encouraged? They accomplish more than they thought possible because they are taught to believe they can. So will you!

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Having people who tell you that you can do more will make it so you actually will do more!

3. You Will Make More Friends

Think about your current group of friends. Out of all of them, which one has the most friends in their life? I’ll bet you’ll discover that your positive friends have way more friends than the negative people.

Most of us love spending time with the person who is the life of the party…who is (not coincidentally) highly positive. Want more friends? Hang around positive people!

4. You Will Make More Money

Here is a practical effect of spending time with positive people. It’ll make you more money!

As noted above, being with positive people makes you more positive. According to the Wall Street Journal, positive people make more money than average, but they make a LOT more than negative people.[1] The difference? 40%! That’s right, happy, positive people make around 40% more than negative people. Be positive to make more money.

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5. You Will Be Consistently Happy

I want to note here that happiness is truly an internal attitude. This internal attitude is very manageable.

Most of us go through life letting circumstances dictate our happiness. We live on autopilot, and our autopilot is usually negative. However, frequent exposure to positivity will move your default state toward the side of happiness.

If you make a conscious change to keep positive people nearby as much as possible then you will be consistently happier.

6. You Will Become a Magnet for Success

You may have seen this before, but it’s so very true:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

When you spend time with positive people, you become more positive. The result is people will want to spend more time with you. This becomes a snowball in your success.

When people see how excited and enthusiastic you are about your business or work they will want to be a part of your vision. Your positivity will attract success like a magnet!

Find out more about The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You.

7. You Will Become More Generous

Examples from my positive friends inspire me to be more generous. So many of them have helped me that I want to give back. I love helping people with running, writing, speaking, improving their jobs, and becoming entrepreneurs. I love writing articles like this one. I write tens of thousands of words to help others because it’s just so much fun!

When you are positive, helping people just becomes part of your nature. You will want to give and share, it won’t be an option, you’ll have a burning need to be generous.

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8. You Will Live Longer

This is a big one. Your positive friends will rub off on you and help you live longer. According to Dr. David R. Hamilton, studies have shown that positive people live seven or more years longer than negative people![2]

Positive people have fewer chronic health problems and are better at fighting off diseases. If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this: positivity affects how long you live.

Final Thoughts

Don’t just dump all of your negative friends, family and co-workers. That may be neither practical nor kind. But do make a conscious effort to limit time with them while increasing time with people who have a positive outlook. How much you help others, your success and even the length of your life are at stake.

More Tips About Building Positive Relationships

Featured photo credit: Austin Blanchard via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The Wall Street Journal: It Pays to Be Happy
[2] HuffPost: Do Positive People Live Longer?

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