Resentment is the feeling that you’re being overlooked, treated unfairly, or not getting the respect or appreciation you deserve. It’s been compared to drinking poison but waiting for the other person to die. It eats at you, sometimes for years on end, but the only one who suffers is you.
Here are 5 important tips to help you avoid one of the most toxic elements in any work relationship we call resentment:
1. Ask, instead of assuming
We’re all busy, juggling many things at once, so much so that we take what’s important for granted, especially with those who work closest to us. Sometimes life gets in the way of us feeling appreciated and respected, even to the point of living with personal integrity.
We ignore what’s bothering us because it’s easier, hoping it’ll go away on its own or magically disappear into thin air. Yet ignoring issues like this doesn’t make them go away, it makes them grow until they’re too big to handle. That’s when the state of your co-worker interactions really starts to feel the weight of these problems.
And you know it’s there, but you don’t know what to do about it. Many times, we don’t bring up certain issues because we’re afraid to confront our bosses or peers and shy away from conflicts. But by doing this, you’re pushing away your associate without realizing it and this is one way that resentment builds up.
2. Be part of the solution, not the problem
Putting blame won’t get you anywhere; in fact, most times it just makes things that much worse. Instead, work at overcoming your anger and distrust so you can reach an agreement. Showing empathy is a big part of this process, especially after an argument because it tells your associate that you understand how they feel and why they did so-and-so. Empathy really goes a long way.
3. Give each other some space
When you first start working with another employee, you can’t imagine going an hour without approaching a work process with your supervisor or teammate or hearing each other’s take, let alone a whole day. But as you mature into a steady working relationship, and you gain experience, it’s wise to find some tasks you can accomplish working on your own.
This maintains your sense of self, while giving you something to chat about, so it’s a win-win. Taking some “me” time and distancing yourself from your work partner could be something you do periodically. The point is to make yourself a priority during that time, so you came back into a close working relationship with fresh eyes and a sense of looking forward to camaraderie.
4. Don’t let small things grow and fester
Wouldn’t it be so much easier if your work partner just apologized when appropriate? Work would be so simple and pleasant. But it’s not always like that. It’s normal to have disagreements or arguments, big and small.
Feeling anger and hurt on occasion is also alright. But don’t sit on these feelings, waiting for that perfect moment to let it all out. You and your co-worker should be each other’s supporter and shoulder to lean on through difficult projects. Remember, you’re on the same team.
Talking and listening requires a bit of vulnerability, which can be difficult at times, especially if you harbor feelings of mistrust or resentment. But there’s no way around it, opening up is crucial to healthy rapport.
Talk honestly with your associate and ask to be really listened to. And it’s important to listen without judgment when it’s your turn to be attentive to your associate. Practicing these confidence-boosting techniques will bring you and your workmate closer and more productive as a team.
It’ll also help break any, barriers either one of you had put up as a defense mechanism because, let’s be honest, we are on our guard at work. So why do we make it even harder on ourselves and keep our guard up even with our work partner?
Workplace relationships need work and care. That’s where people make the mistake of forgetting about the small details of everyday projects. We just say or do something without thinking it through.
But the truth is it does matter and over time, some of these things linger and fester into something ugly that brings out the bad in everything, and ultimately suffocates any good working relationship. Resolving issues before they get out of hand is the key to avoiding resentment and enjoying a cheerful, efficient, and balanced workday.
At Flexicrew we constantly help workers with everything from interviewing to how to conduct themselves through stressful job situations. Contact us Today to find out how we can help.