I have bipolar disorder, and I am a survivor of emotional abuse. I am finding that in recent years, it has become a trend for my coworkers to begin hating me to a point where it gets me fired. I try to be positive at work, I ask how my coworkers are doing, try to be personable and I make sure to say please and thank you if I ask for assistance in my tasks. Common problems I have found are if a coworker is disrespectful or offensive, I address it as soon as I can and not in front of others so they don’t have to suffer public shaming. Often my coworkers will try to treat me like a doormat by having me do the majority of the work while they do almost nothing at all. If I say something, they’ll hate me. If I don’t say anything I continue to be a doormat. I’m starting to feel like I’ve missed learning some all important social skill that enables people to like me and treat me respectfully.
I know it’s very difficult to begin to gauge the problem from a brief paragraph on the internet, but if you have any advice, I would love to hear it. Thank you!
The common denominator, in these work situations, seems to be you. It may be a coincidence that you continuously find yourself working with abusive coworkers but we have to consider the alternative, which is that your behavior is potentially contributing to the problems.
I’m not suggesting that you’re entirely at fault because coworkers can be abusive but all possibilities should be examined. A therapist could objectively examine each of the firing circumstances to determine if and how you might have contributed to the problem. If so, the two of you can strategize how to prevent these issues in the future.
Getting fired puts you in a precarious situation. It means not having an income, a good reference, and other negative things. It is you who suffers the most. You want to do everything in your power to avoid these problems in the future. Your coworkers might be part the problem, but it is up to you to learn how to deal with difficult people so that it is not you who is always out of a job. Counseling could assist you in making the necessary corrections to your behavior. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle