Work again

Perhaps a very fast update. Today I medicated at work, and it helped quite a bit. I went in without having been able to sleep enough, and my anxiety was sky high. Plus edges of flashbacks were brushing against my mind. And all my worries about co-workers. I really didn’t see how I would make it through the day, so I took half a tablet of medication and within half and hour felt quite a bit better.

It’s still hard. I no longer think P is a psychopath. I think I exagerate. There are problems, because I am shying away from joining in when there are groups chatting. Or say P, who sits right next to me, is chatting with one of ‘her men’, that is the project men that she has made her ‘pets’. Well, anyway, that she chats with. I always assume their chat has nothing to do with me – they wish to talk together and I should leave them to it. However, maybe they see this as stand-offish. I could throw in some comments if I can think of some.

These two men are actually quite shy and not that at ease with others in the group. One is our supervisor, though not our boss, and the other is a senior project person. My opinion lately is that these guys do not relate well to women unless they’re really being coddled. And P launches into stories, asks them about their lives, and makes them feel all cozy and comfortable.

These two guys do not respond well to me at all. I was taking it personally until today when I saw them in action in a meeting. A woman from the IT side of the project was presenting a new tool, and she was being very calm and I thought competent and cool. And these two were the most hostile people there. They frowned, they shrugged, they looked at the ground in a pained way. They were sure the new tool would not work.

I just think they cannot handle a woman who is in charge of anything and is not coddling them. Which makes me feel better about the rather rude way they treat me. I’m starting to think it’s not that personal – sure, they may not like me much, as I don’t make them feel warm and cared for, (as I have my own anxiety issues thank you very much), but there’s a bunch of other women they don’t care for either.

Anyway, I continue with greeting people. When P pretends not to hear my hello, I greet her more loudly, saying her name and adding a cheery ‘How are you?’ Then she has to respond. At night, when she wants to brush past me without returning my goodbye, I do a similar manouver, turning to look right at her, and repeating my good wishes. She will recognize that I’m here, damn it.

My being cold to P is not a good strategy, as then I am seen as unfriendly. So I’m trying to make a few comments during the day, or respond to her general comments….Then she does respond to me, as there are others around and she needs to look great.

Well, I have no friend at work. But I phone a friend during my break every day. Sometimes another friend at lunch. So I am not entirely alone.

  1. gniz said:

    You continue to do the right things. Don't lose hope, it takes time. Brick by brick, you build the foundation, change habits, work and work some more.One day it will hit you that you have changed so much. But there will be new challenges to conquer.Good thoughts being sent your way. Keep us posted.

  2. Paula said:

    I think you are doing great. For myself I ccan say I would greet in the morning however not enter any manoeuver for anyone. It might turn into a ritual and the opposite person may start expecting this. For myself as long as I greet, get a response during the day and greet in the eve again – I know I have done all I could. I would however not go out of the way to get a response. I think the way how you handle your anxiety at work is quite remarable. Chapeau!

  3. Nechtan said:

    Hi Ellen,It sounds like things are going much better now. You are getting to grips with people's makeup and how the dynamics work. I think there is a P in every workplace and I see her in so many of my past jobs. You are taking the right approach, my inkling was always to take the other approach which does as you say end in alienation. It is I think about finding the best way to integrate regardless of what we think of people deep down because its a big part of the day you have to spend there. I hope your approach brings creates an easier atmosphere at work for you.All the bestNechtan

  4. Ellen said:

    Thank you dear commenters. Sorry I have delayed in responding.@gniz – Thanks for the support! I do feel I am changing things for the better.@Paula – Thank you. Yes, the greeting thing is different now. Just for the first few days, I did need a response, but things have smoothed out now.@ Nechtan – Yes, it's very tempting for me too to start a war of some kind, but I'm the one who gets hurt! So trying to take the peaceful path makes more sense. Thanks for commenting.

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