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Last Updated on February 27, 2018

Office Politics is the New Flu

Office Politics is the New Flu

Office politics are like the flu. Most of us know that there’s nothing worse for morale than getting tangled up in workplace politics. No matter how much you want to avoid them, there’s no absolute way to ensure that you can stay away from office politics.

Like the flu, office politics are highly contagious. Sometimes things your coworkers are talking about include useful information, but other times, gossips just mean trouble. With each new person that becomes involved, the issues spread. Before long, people are at each other’s throats, undercutting one another, and worrying about whether they’ll keep their jobs.

If you don’t catch and treat the symptoms of office politics early, they can spread like wildfire and paralyze your organization.

The Flu Incubates Silently

Much like influenza is triggered by environmental factors, office politics require a certain environment to infect a work place. Whenever a company undergoes change, politics can come to light. The changes could be as simple as promoting a new manager, firing an employee, expanding the company, or downsizing.

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    In the same way that the flu affects those with weakened immune systems first, office politics start with weak employees. Staff members who only care about their success without worrying about the company tend to be affected first.

      People who care only for themselves without thinking about the needs of the company can be disastrous for workplace culture. They treat people who agree with them well, and they reject anyone with a different opinion.

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      When the office gossips become involved, the disease spreads. A lack of transparency regarding policies about performance evaluations and promotions intensifies the political situation. Employees start competing with each other instead of working together, and progress ceases.

      It’s Highly Contagious

      Policies combined with certain personalities enable office politics to take over a workplace quickly. At first, the symptoms are mild. Perhaps a few people feel resentful toward one person, and they chat about them behind their back.

      Think of this as the way you feel when you are just coming down with the flu. Maybe you started coughing, your nose was a bit runny, or you felt a chill. Sure, you can probably get through your day just fine, but these symptoms are warning you that a bigger problem is on the way.

      What started out as a little gossip rapidly turns into a situation in which a small group gangs up against one person. In response, the person may form a posse of their own. Before you know it, they’re competing for a spot at the top of the company instead of working together for the good of the organization.

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      This wouldn’t be a huge deal except that eventually this affects everyone in the office. Even those who aren’t interested in getting involved may be dragged into the dispute. Employees who do not become involved may quit because of the working environment.

      At this point, everyone is unhappy at work. The quality of work decreases as employee stress increases. Company outputs come to a grinding halt.

        Build a Strong Immune System

        When the flu starts going around, people have a number of reactions. Some ignore the symptoms and feel sicker. Others rest, take medicine, and drink plenty of water to help with recovery. Others do their best to prevent it, and even though they may still come down with it, they usually know what they need to do to get better.

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        The same is true for office politics. Politics may affect people differently, but the key is to get better quickly and build a stronger immune system. Here are some ways to do it:

        1. Hire wisely. Preventing office politics from becoming a problem starts during hiring. When an organization finds a person with the ambition to support the company’s goals instead of focusing solely on personal success, they are worth hanging on to.
        2. Be fair and clear about expectations. Organizations need ground rules so that everyone can have a rewarding work experience. Maintaining transparency so that employees understand how and why decisions are made reduces chatter. Making sure that the workload is distributed fairly, prohibiting gossip, and giving people the chance to voice their opinions constructively can be a big help.
        3. Look out for signs of trouble. If everyone–especially leadership– keeps an eye on the workplace’s culture, you’ll be able to spot the symptoms of office politics when they first start instead of waiting for productivity to suffer.

        Treat the Symptoms as Soon as You Sense Them

        Don’t allow the contagion to continue spreading. When you know there’s a problem, tackle it head on.

        • Root out the origin. Office politics usually start with one person or a handful of people. Identify and talk to that person to figure out what is driving the drama. This can help you determine if the issue started because of problems with management or hiring. Sometimes a polite chat can reverse the damage right away.
        • Know when to say goodbye. If the person can’t understand the consequences of their actions, or if they aren’t willing to listen, they may not be a good fit for your office. Let them go to save your office culture.

        You may not be in a position to hire and fire people, but you still have a responsibility to care about your company’s culture. If you see something concerning, bring it up with your manager so that they can handle it proactively.

        Leadership that cares will spring into action to stop the illness from spreading. Managers with bad intentions will choose to do nothing. If you bring a concern to your leadership and they refuse to come up with a solution, it may be time for you to move on. You need to be in an environment that won’t stunt your professional growth.

        Nobody Is 100% Immune to the Flu of Office Politics

        The best way to cure office politics is to stop them as soon as they start. Even if you try your best to stay out of them, they can very quickly make your workplace stressful and unpleasant. The best thing you can do is recognize the signs of trouble early so that you or your leadership team can treat the contagion before it infects everyone.

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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 September 12, 2018

        Understand Your Love Style & Learn to Love: Co Dependent Relationship

        Understand Your Love Style & Learn to Love: Co Dependent Relationship

        A co dependent relationship is one where you are dependent on your partner for happiness, validation and satisfaction.

        But aren’t we all dependent on our partners to some extent?

        Even in a healthy relationship, you come home to your partner to find comfort, support, someone who will listen to you and love you.

        So what crosses the line from a healthy relationship to a codependent relationship? How do you know if you are in a co dependent relationship?

        An unhealthy co-dependent relationship often follows an unhealthy pattern for validation and approval. This validation and approval comes in different shapes and sizes.

        In this article, we will look into the characteristics of a co-dependent relationship and what to do if you’re in such relationship.

        Signs you’re in a co-dependent relationship

        A lot of times people confuse a healthy attachment to an unhealthy codependent relationship. Here we will help you figure out the difference between the two with these six warning signs:

        1. You look for your partners approval and validation. A LOT.

        We all want our lovers to approve of us, to accept us and to love us.

        But co-dependent relationships take that to a new extreme. You not only want your partner’s approval, you crave for it.

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        More importantly, you are terrified of losing it. And if you feel you are losing that approval, you will go to great length to fix that.

        2. You want to fix their problems or want them to fix your problems.

        Co-dependent relationships often revolves around one person fixing problems for the other one. The problems can be financial, social and sometimes even legal.

        But there is always one person who seems to keep getting new problems and the other person who keeps coming up with a solution for them.

        It’s different from a healthy relationship where both partners work as a team to find a solution for whatever problem they face.

        The difference here is that a healthy couple see it as a problem for the team. While in a co-dependent relationship, one partner is someone who needs help and the other one keeps coming for the rescue.

        3. You are on a roller coaster.

        If you are in a co-dependent relationship, there’s a good chance you have moments where your relationship is really good followed by moments where your relationship is really really bad. It’s like you are on a relationship roller coaster. You feel good when you are going up, but then something happens and it feels like you are falling down again.

        You feel a lack of stability in your relationship. You crave it but you just can’t seem to find it. No matter how hard you try to fix everything, you just can’t seem to find a neutral ground where you feel safe and secure.

        4. You are afraid that your friends and family will find out.

        A simple test to figure out if you are in a codependent relationship is to ask yourself what your friends and family will say.

        Can you share everything that happened in your relationship with a friend or family? If you did, what will they say? Will they tell you to leave your partner? Are you scared they will think less of you if they found out the secrets of your relationship?

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        In most healthy relationship, you won’t be ashamed to share everything with your friends and family. You will probably choose not to, but the thought of them finding out your relationship patterns will not be huge deal.

        But if you are in an unhealthy relationship, you might be ashamed of someone finding out the truth about your relationship.

        5. Your happiness depends on your partner’s mood.

        It’s normal to feel sad if your partner is sad. It’s basic empathy.

        But like everything else, co-dependent relationship takes this to a new extreme. Because a co-dependent partner fears losing their partner’s love and validation; they often find it extremely hard to deal with their partner’s sadness or anger; even if it is directed at a third party.

        In a lot of unhealthy relationship, any negative feeling usually results in a fight that follows an unhealthy pattern. This unhealthy pattern can be something like this:

        • You will make an attempt to make your partner feel better.
        • The attempt fails, and you feel frustrated.
        • You say something to hurt your partner or do something to get a reaction out of them.
        • Your partner walks to a different room or out of the house in anger.
        • You get more frustrated and do something even more extreme to get a reaction out of them.
        • Your partner gets angry and says/does something to hurt you as well.
        • The cycle continues until you are both exhausted and/or one of you threatens to leave and the other one cries.

        6. You talk about leaving every time you fight or argue but can’t go through.

        Bad fights in a relationship and occasionally breaking up and getting back together is a common issue.[1]

        One of the most common traits of an unhealthy co-dependent relationship is when fights get big, one person wants to leave the relationship and the other stops them and tries to get them back.

        It’s a normal thing to happen occasionally in a healthy relationship. But in codependent relationships, it’s usually a pattern. It’s like both of you know the relationship is unhealthy and both of you want to leave, but the fear of losing the person you are dependent on for validation and approval is too much to bear.

        In essence, a codependent relationship is based out of fear and unhealthy patterns. These patterns are usually developed in childhood and are carried over to adult relationships. The different dynamics of adult relationships will usually create their own patterns that repeat over and over again.

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        What can you do about a co-dependent relationship?

        So, you are sure you are in a co-dependent relationship? What should you do now?

        Breaking up with your partner certainly seems like a tempting option. That’s probably what a Television relationship expert will tell you.

        But it’s not necessarily the best option and it won’t necessarily fix everything.

        See, the reason you are in this co-dependent relationship is because you have a co-dependent personality. If you leave this relationship, there’s a good chance you will find yourself in another relationship just like this. People with a co-dependent personality usually end up finding partners who are also co-dependent, albeit in an opposite way.

        If you are the type of person who wants to fix problems for validation, you will keep finding people who always have problems and who need other people to fix their problems.

        So how do you get out of this unhealthy pattern? Here are a few tips to understand your love style and learn how to love in a healthy way.

        1. Figure out what’s common in all your past lovers

        Co-dependent people usually end up with the same type of relationship with a few minor differences here and there.

        For example, you may find yourself always with a man who is afraid of commitment or you may always end up with a girl who is always nagging and never satisfied with you.

        Once you figure out the common issue in all your relationships, it’s time to dig deeper.

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        Note: If it was your first relationship, you can just use the signs above to figure out your co-dependent patterns.

        2. Find out how and why this relationship pattern gives you validation

        This step is a little harder because it requires a lot of introspection and soul searching. You may have to go back to your childhood to figure out why you formed this habit and why you are seeking validation in this way.

        At this point, it’ll be a good idea to speak to psychologist or a therapist about it. Having someone with whom you can speak without any judgement can help you process your thoughts and figure out the root cause of the problem.

        3. Come up with changes you need to make to avoid the same patterns

        This is where your partner comes to play. Once you have understood your co-dependent patterns, you need to speak with your partner about it. This conversation will make or break your relationship.

        Final thoughts

        Everyone has baggage. The baggage may be from childhood or a past relationship. But you are willing to learn from your past and grow. You are willing to do some serious soul searching to fix the relationship; to be in a healthy relationship.

        Is your partner willing to do the same?

        If so, then you both can talk and learn together how to fix the unhealthy patterns in your relationship. But if your partner insists on repeating the same patterns again and again, then you will have to break up with them and move on to find someone who is on the same page as you.

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Reference

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