My coached asked me a similar question today, and it is one that I have been asked before, and often ask myself--especially when I am stuck and can’t see a clear path out.
When I think back to where I was when I had a “real job” with my finger pointing, my righteousness, my victim mentality, the raging inside my head, I can see that it was all a form of self-protection. My EGO was loving the idea of making everyone else the problem because then she didn’t have to look at herself.
That is the plain and simple truth of it.
My EGO was calling my colleagues and boss’s names, and talking about how horrible the leadership was, and what a screwed up value system people lived by, because my true self was afraid that I was the one who was doing it wrong, that I was unworthy, that I was incompetent, that I had the wrong values.
All of that judgment and blame was directed outward, because I was scared shitless to look inside.
The benefit to me was that I got stand on my pedestal of righteousness and not dare to do the deeper emotional work. No matter how angry and frustrated I became, it was WAY MORE COMFORTABLE and SAFE than dealing with why I didn’t feel worthy in the first place.
Unfortunately, with every benefit there is also a cost. As I stood up there looking down my nose at everyone else because they were “doing it wrong”, the facade came tumbling down around me. I was left without a job, without a solid sense of self, with a huge amount of guilt, and with my childhood dream in pieces all around me.
So, now it is my turn to ask you…
What is the benefit of blaming others for your work situation?
What is the benefit of keeping silent when people “cross the line”?
What is the benefit of holding tight to your belief that your way is right and theirs is wrong?
What is the benefit of placing someone in the box of “asshole” or “incompetent” or “bully?”
What is the benefit of re-living your past experiences, over and over again?
Because you are getting something out of it.
What that is, is for you to figure out, but we all benefit in some way, even when the circumstances seem dire. And with every benefit, there is a cost.
Are the benefits worth the cost?
Community. Connection. Collaboration.
P.S. For more insights and ideas on navigating difficult work relationships, come join me at Thrive At Work.