Welcome to “Dear Dana”, our weekly column to give you career and workplace advice/coaching. Please write in and tell me about a career challenge or frustration you’re facing at the office! – Dana Theus
Dear Dana, I’ve been having a tough time at work lately (crappy boss etc.) and my sister keeps telling me I should feel grateful. I don’t see how this is going to help me and I’m getting really impatient with my sister in addition to my boss. What should I do? – Annoyed in Arizona
I feel you! Those people who are always running around with the answer “love and light” for every question about difficult things can be—annoying!
Fortunately, they’re right, too, but not always for the reasons you might think.
The reason I think it’s so annoying to be told to feel love, gratitude and other kind feelings when you’re annoyed is because being annoyed, upset or angry is a totally different state of being than feeling love, light and gratitude. It’s jarring to think you can get from one to the other so quickly. After all, you’re annoyed and frustrated for a reason! Love and light don’t make those reasons just disappear!
But love and light actually can bring you to a state where those reasons don’t feel as important when you learn to practice your “love and light muscles.” And this is the point, to learn to shift yourself from annoyed to peaceful quickly so you can respond to the difficult reality from a better place.
Even though you want the boss to change first, this is usually a futile hope. More importantly, it puts the control of your emotions and fate in someone else’s hands (a difficult someone at that!). When you learn to shift yourself, and your own reaction to things regardless of what they do or don’t do, the difficult boss becomes being less difficult so you can problem-solve the best way and you can deal with them from a better place.
So to sum up your sister’s wisdom here, you have the power to change your state from frustrated to peaceful and this can improve your situation, at work and at home, both. Once you’re in a more peaceful state you may still have to figure out how to deal with your boss, but it will be a lot easier. Start by detriggering and this will be a lot easier. Good luck!
P.S. – Have a question you’d like anonymous support on? Write me!