I work in an office with mostly women, and the drama is driving me crazy. Everyone is constantly offended or complaining about something someone else did. One of the ladies has problems in her personal life, which make her extremely grouchy and condescending. If I take my concerns to our boss I would be seen as a whiner. Do you have any tips for dealing with the politics, drama and frustrations of working with all women?
I’m so glad you asked this question, because human behavior in the workplace is my specialty. I recommend you ask your boss to do one of two things, either make everyone in the office read this article, or bring in some human behavior training for all employees. (This article can also help people who are prone to dramatic behavior at home.)
I believe a valuable employee is one who solves more problems at work than he creates. The question each of us must ask ourselves is “Do I solve problems and increase productivity in my office or do I create people problems with gossip, complaining, defensiveness and/or personal issues, which decrease productivity?” Be honest with yourself.
The real problem with drama is you can't always see what you’re doing. Most dramatic behavior is caused by subconscious thought processes you aren’t aware of. These thought processes developed when you were just a child trying to get love, validation and attention from your parents. You figured out pretty quickly that when you were hurt, scared or confused you could use those feelings to get attention. When you were sad, you could use that to get love. When you were mad, you could get validation about the injustice. Because these tactics worked, they became embedded as rules in your subconscious mind.
You may also subconsciously need drama to feel alive. Your life may feel empty if there isn’t something dramatic going on. Drama also gives you something to talk about, which makes you feel important. It creates excitement and makes the workday more interesting. You may subconsciously need life to feel like a soap opera.
The problem is, there is no room for a soap opera at work.
I recommend that everyone go through the following steps to eliminate drama and make sure you are handling yourself professionally.
You can do this!
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of ldslifecoaching.com and claritypointcoaching.com. She is a life coach and speaker who specializes in repairing and building self-esteem.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.