6 tips to survive a hostile work environment

You aren’t alone – and this may help.

*This post was written by an anonymous public servant.

  • The problem: Hostile work environments, despite our best attempts, still exist.
  • Why it matters: People often feel they’re surviving alone.
  • The solution: These 6 tips will help you survive.

1. Do not despair or fall into the trap of urgency

They will assign you a thousand tasks for now. They will make you believe that it is the end of the world. That such report, article, or program must be presented immediately. You will work until dawn, on weekends, on holidays. You will give up personal things, hang up on your family and friends. You will be stressed and anxious to reach a time that is impossible to meet.

Working with Men to End Family Violence

Do not do it. Look at what seems urgent in perspective. Ask yourself if something is really going to change if you do it the next day, without pressure and with a fresh mind. Ask yourself if it is really worth giving up your personal activities and your health for that. If the answer is no, don’t despair and don’t fall into the trap of urgency.

2. Whatever is planned from one day to the other will go wrong

You will have to organise huge events, three days in advance, sometimes from one day to the other. You’ll have to coordinate logistics, protocol, invitations, videos, speeches, speakers, sound, lights, transmission, decoration, and participants. You are going to fail. Time is the enemy of perfection. And even if you spend sleepless nights and try to control all the details, it’s impossible that something organised in 72 hours will go well. Befriend failure, it’s not your fault. Whatever is planned from one day to the other will go wrong.

3. Faced with frustration, discern where to put your energy

Of the 1,000 reports, programs and speeches they will ask you for, only one will come out. The rest is a lot of energy put into something that will be later lost in a large virtual cloud. How do we continue to obey orders knowing that they will not be useful? How do we avoid falling into total mediocrity?

We find a meaning: this serves me as practice, in this I am improving myself. It may not work now, but it will work later, and with this, I leave something installed for those who follow me later.

In the face of so much frustration, it’s important to have the ability to discern where is worth putting energy in and where is not.

4. In a warm embrace, you resist pain

You will see how they lie, how they humiliate, how they manipulate. How they mistreat your colleagues next to you. You will see how they criticise your colleagues while they praise your abilities. You will realise that they do the same to everyone, they praise the one who is present and criticise who is not. You will be criticised and humiliated. You will see a lot of people cry, and you are going to cry a lot too. You will see how violence is reproduced: those who are mistreated, mistreat their employees, and so on. You are going to learn the most important lesson: never ever reproduce abuse.

Nobody deserves the humiliation, nor the shouting, nor the arrogance nor the contempt. Suffering is not diminished by making others suffer. On the contrary, in a warm embrace, you resist pain.

5. Discover vanishing points among so much perversion

The premise “divide and conquer” will be the slogan of the organisation. They will never let you have meetings with the rest of the teams, meet colleagues from other areas, maintain good institutional communication, and function in a comprehensive manner. What’s more, they will boycott every attempt to generate something coordinated and as a group.

Walk the space, be respectful to everyone, talk to them, know their stories, be humble, and recognise individual trajectories. We always have something to learn from others. And in that, you will discover a colleague who is also going through a difficult time. And together you can accompany each other along the way. In the collectivity, vanishing points are discovered among so much perversion.

6. Learn as much as you can and find a better place

You will learn to manage stress, to be flexible, to deal with uncertainty and insomnia. You will learn to do nonsense things and things with a lot of meaning. You are going to discover evil people and fellow people. You will learn to set limits, to say no, to take care of yourself and your team. You will learn to ask for help, to not be self-sufficient, to know who to trust. You are going to learn how you don’t want to be: messy, inefficient, distrustful, abusive. And how to be careful with other people’s times, orderly, respectful, kind and a partner.

So, learn as much as you can. Please find a better place, it’s somewhere out there waiting for you.

* This article first appeared on the apolitical.co website

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