Don’t Let Work Aggression Spread to Your Home

Today we’ll highlight an issue that affects most of us: balancing workplace conflict with our home life. We’re all guilty of letting our frustration at work spread to our homes, but do we always notice it? And what are the effects?

Here’s an interesting article from Scientific American that might open your eyes:

“If you think that nasty co-worker is creating problems for you alone, think again. His rudeness may have a ripple effect that extends as far as your spouse’s workplace.

A recent study at Baylor University found that working with horrible colleagues can generate far-reaching stress that follows you home, causing unhappiness for your spouse and family and ultimately affecting your partner’s job.”

The study was published in August in the Journal of Organizational Behavior. According to the author of this study, Merideth J. Ferguson, exposure to rudeness at work resulted in stress for the family as well as the partner. What she also discovered (but you probably know already) is that there is a direct relation between rudeness experienced at work, and how stressful the workplace felt.

What we may not think as deeply about is what else Ferguson found: when you are exposed to rudeness on a regular basis (in the form of unkindness, humiliation, etc) you can lose self-esteem, or become anxious or depressed.

As we discussed on this blog before, low self-esteem and anxiety can cause you to behave in ways that aren’t conducive to your life emotional balance or your family’s. You may be irritable, aggressive, use the silent treatment, avoid conflict, or be excessively critical of others. All of that creates hostility at home, which is the last thing you need!

So, what can you do if you are being exposed to rudeness and conflict at work?

Ferguson suggested that being mindful of where you are (home, not work) and what you are doing can help you separate things in your mind. However, sometimes it’s hard for us to concentrate fully on our family and friends when our day has been really stressful. For that reason, it’s important to find someone you can talk to about the issues you’re having and how they’re making you feel.

Keep in mind that if your behavior towards your family has been negative because of your stress at work, they may not be receptive to you at first. It’s important that in this case, you talk to a counselor about your stress. They can teach you stress-management techniques that you can use directly in the workplace.

If you’re struggling with rude or aggressive behaviors in the workplace, we also have a resource about passive aggressive workplaces that is available for your use.

Read the study at Workplace Rudeness Has a Ripple Effect


Dr. Nora

Dr. Nora

Dr. Nora is a well known coach, conflict solver and trainer, and CEO of Creative Conflict Resolutions, Inc. Sign up for free, here on her blog, to be connected to her innovative conflict solutions, positive suggestions and life-changing coaching sessions, along with blog updates, news, and more! We can begin by you having a complimentary consultation with Dr. Nora. Visit her coaching site today to talk with Dr. Nora and receive a plan for action to change your life. She’s ready to help!

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