i can't handle office politics

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2009
i can't handle office politics
Wed, 04-14-2010 - 12:56pm

I am an extremely insecure person in every facet of my life. I don't handle rejection or criticism very well if at all. A negative comment about my attitude, looks, work can send me into depression for weeks/months.

I feel grateful enough for my job and that it allows me to work from home because I don't need to interact with my co workers very often. I also have a very non-bossy boss who just sort of checks in with me every now and then. I recently found out that one of my co-workers was promoted to a higher position within the company, basically she took on some of my boss' responsibilities. There was no mass email, no announcement made to the rest of the employees, essentially the promotion happened in a semi unofficial, no fuss way where one day she just had a different signature in her email and that's how most of us found out. My problem with it is that I AM the most qualified person for this position even if that is only how I feel. Either way, this kills me as I've never been passed up for a promotion this way.

My point is, and I am just venting, that each time I deal with a situation like this is that I remind myself that I have never been able to play the office politics well. Somehow I am unable to befriend everyone (people like that exist) and I tend to keep to myself because I am afraid that people will judge me and talk behind my back. Because I know they do. I get very timid about work affairs but never show it. On the outside I play confident although I think some of my behavior gives away my insecurity. For example, I've been told that I apologize too much. Anyway, this thing with work.... I am obsessed with why I wasn't considered for this promotion although I know part of the answer and it happens to be something fairly practical so not directly related to me. But why then do I tell myself things like that no one likes me and there must be something wrong with me because I can't seem to figure out how to play this corporate game of getting ahead in business.

My therapist says that I should replace the negative thoughts in my head with positive ones. But how do I do that when I don't believe in the positive thoughts?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2009
Fri, 04-16-2010 - 12:08am

If you can't replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts, maybe you could try just replacing them with realistic, true thoughts. Have you ever done this: Write down some of the negative, judgmental self-statements you are telling yourself in one column. In the next column, write what is actually true. For example:

Column 1: I am the worst employee. I don't get alone with anyone, no one likes me, and I think I could be fired at any time.

Column 2: I am obviously of value to my company because they continue to employ me. I make important contributions to my company every day. Although I don't feel completely comfortable around the people I work with, it is quite normal to struggle with workplace relationships, and as long as I am trying to be myself and make a positive contribution, that is good enough.

Okay, maybe you've done this, but for me it does help.

Also, is there any area in your life where you feel magnificent and like you are fully appreciated for who you are???? If yes, can that give you confidence in your work situation? If not, maybe you need to find something that will let you feel like your best self. Even something little can make a big difference. At one point in my life I was really dissatisfied with my job and was poor and felt friendless. Then I started taking an art class. I was pretty good at it and it was thoroughly enjoyable to me. I had something I could work towards and that I felt I had power over. It completely energized all aspects of my life. A friend said I seemed so much happier as I took the class. I also love to be outside, and I can be having a totally down day, but then I go outside for a walk and I feel beautiful and as if the universe is on my side.

These are just some thoughts. I hope tomorrow goes better for you!

Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 12:39pm

According to this book I just finished "The Sinus Cure" the author says the average person has something like 60,000+ thoughts per day. Then we tend to repeat almost all of those thoughts the following day. So the idea is to start replacing some of the repetitive negative thoughts with positive ones. Now in his book he has an exercise to find all of your goals & to add all the affirmations to your positive thought bank all at once. I find that a bit hard to swallow. So I'm working with a few right now.

I am a strong believer in positive vs negative thoughts. I try very hard to make sure only positive statements are made around my children. I try to not have anyone say words like "should" and "can't" ... even if it's a statement of 'I can't wait,' I try to teach them to say 'I'm so excited' instead. So far (ages 8 & 5) they are extremely happy children who make friends easily and do well in school. I love it when somebody tells them how cute, smart or something they are & they reply in a good-natured way, 'I know.'

One thing I've seen how thought process works is how I see myself in the mirror. I can weigh the same, have the same measurements & yet there are days I can look in the mirror & feel horror at my size. Then there are other days I believe I look & feel thin. That is when I can sort of understand how those with anorexia can see fat when they look in the mirror even when there is none.

If you want to test it out in a non-threatening way, then try something like, 'water if my favorite drink' for the next 2-3 weeks. Every time you think of having a drink, even if you don't drink water, say to yourself, 'water if my favorite thing to drink.'

I used to drink little water. I mostly drank iced tea or milk. Now I have to try to convince my H I'd rather have water then tea when we go out to eat (he keeps thinking I'm trying to save money, LOL).


Do you mind me asking what you do for a living? I work at home as a contract web designer for 10 years now. I would LOVE, LOVE to find a position with a consistent pay check - even if it meant a career change. So I like to learn of other jobs where ppl work from home.

"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng

"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng