25 August 2009

Bitching about work means you like it the way it is

It sounds counterintuitive, but when you bitch about work you are only feeding the problems you talk about.

Bitching about work is like scratching an itch -- it may make you feel better in the short run, but in the long term you are only making it worse.

When you bitch about work you keep your issues and concerns in the dark, as far as your organization is concerned. You also feed negative feelings, divisiveness and cliquishness in your workplace, which makes the office unpleasant and generally brings everybody down.

By raising your issues appropriately, in a public forum, you bring them to light, which allows them to be discussed and addressed. Even if you don't agree with the outcome, at least you have been heard and your opinion is known.

There are two ways to solve a work situation you don't like: Change the situation or find another job. By bitching in private you're not doing anything to change the situation, and in addition you're making the workplace less fun for everybody.

By making your concerns public you have a chance to address them, and even if you don't get what you want, you can make the decision to live with it or move to another job.

The third alternative, staying in a job you hate, is like staying in an abusive relationship. It only reinforces negative behavior all around.

Your relationship with your co-workers is like any other social relationship. It's not likely to ever be perfect, but focusing on the positive will generate more positive feelings and results, while focusing on the negative will only make things worse.

So next time you have the urge to scratch that itch, don't tell yourself it's okay because you're "only venting." Ask yourself if it's worth the damage you'll cause.

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