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Samantha is a bank employee, handling credit card marketing
She is satisfied with her job, her salary, her workload, and even her boss
She likes everything about her job except one thing: her one rude coworker
Every morning this coworker greets her with critical eyes as she observes Sam’s appearance for the day and she always find something to correct: her lipstick doesn’t match, her handbag is outdated, and hey, her stocking is a shade too light.
Then when they start working, the woman will find another work related thing to complains: how Samantha is slow at replying email, how Samantha can’t even write a report properly, even how Samantha doesn’t smile at all at work.
One time Samantha has had enough and decides to confront the woman back, but the woman start swearing and yelling profanity at her.
Samantha can’t answer back as she was getting so angry and emotional.
Because of that one coworker, she is actually considering a resign.
Have you heard of people like Samantha’s coworker?
Or maybe, do you also have a coworker that is just as rude and senseless?
It’s as if they have a mission to purposefully annoy you and stress you out.
We have a term for coworker like that, it’s coworker from hell.
If you find this kind of coworker in your office, you have to be careful.
Because, coworker from hell not only can makes you consider to leave your job voluntarily, they also can affect you in many worse ways possible.
They can lead you to suffer anxiety, depression, other mental problem.
They can also cause you headaches, stomachaches, and other physical ailments, according to Nadine Kaslow, professor of Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta.
Their disrespect toward you can also makes you lose some self esteem – that can affect your mood.
But, they’re not even the worst effect of your stress.
Workplace stress can even affect your relationship with your partner at home.
To quote the study, it goes like this:
“Employees who experience incivility at work bring home the stress, negative emotion, and perceived ostracism.”
Well, for me, they don’t sound like something I’d like to bring home. Don’t you agree?
If you agree, then this article is right for you.
Together, we’ll learn how stress affects your relationship with your partner and find ways to fix them and avoid the future repentance.
Scroll down to check them out!
Be with someone who brings out the best in you, not someone who brings out the stress in you. (Unknown)
Why workplace stress can mess your home
When you go home from office, you may think that you’ve left everything behind before you arrived at your doorstep. Sadly, that’s not the case with stress.
According to Meredith Ferguson from Baylor University in Texas, stress at work can actually affect your personal life at home. Yes, workplace stress affects your relationship.
When you come home distressed, you are more likely to neglect family responsibilities. And, it’s not your fault, because you’re in a distracted state of mind.
But, it means your partner will have to pick up those responsibilities you neglect. It may not be much – you can’t babysit your kids, you can’t shop for groceries, and such. At first it may looks okay, your partner will willingly help you. But in the long run – not so much.
Your partner may get tired, because he or she is running responsibilities for two. In turn, they can even get stressed themselves.
Other dangerous situation stress can cause is it makes you the most unbearable person to be around, even for your spouse.
When you’re stressed, you tend to be irritable, snappish, cranky, distant, depressed, teary, and generally always in negative mood. And negative mood spreads into other people easily, making them irritable as well. The result? Disastrous attempt to communicate.
Your partner may just ask you what happened but you find her or him nosey, so you snap at them, that in turn makes them angry. You’re angry to each other so you aren’t talking. No talking means no resolving the problem, and you become more lonely as well, that won’t help to relieve your stress in any way.
And then, the last (and worst) mess that stress can cause in your relationship is the lack of intimacy it brings. When you’re stressed, you are emotionally exhausted. This makes you tend to avoid emotional activities – including being intimate to each other by talking or cuddling or having sex. And then, you’ll be questioning since when you and your partner start growing apart from each other.
A relationship should be about helping each other deal with the stress the world brings. Not adding unnecessary stress to each others’ lives. (Stephan Speaks)
How to mend the relationship
But, don’t worry. There are solution for every problem.
To rid your stress entirely might be difficult and certainly won’t be a short term project. But, in the meantime, you can always arm yourself and your partner so stress won’t be able to affect your relationship.
First, you must recognize the sign of your stress. Often, you don’t even realize that you’re being irritable to your partner when you’re stressed. You only feel tired and you think your partner is the one being annoying.
Everybody has their own stress symptoms. When you have high workload, take notice of the change in your emotion and behavior:
- Do your eating habits change? Do you skip meals? Do you eat more than usual?
- Do your sleeping cycles change? Do you fall asleep easier or you get insomnia instead?
- Do you usually this angry given the same problem and situation in different time?
If you notice the change in your behavior, then take a step back and ask yourself: do you feel stressed right now?
Listen to yourself. If you find yourself snaps at your partner, think again. Were your partner really annoying or it was your stress that was annoying? If you admit that it was the stress and not your partner, continue to step two.
Did you know?
Psychologists suggest to make a coping plan when you or your partner is experiencing stress so you can save your relationship from potential misunderstanding. The coping plan should include:
- First line defense of stress is what you should do the minute you find out that your partner is stressed out. (Can be a talk, a hug, or a cuddle)
- The preferred stress relief method for both of you. (Can be exercising, taking a walk, taking vacation, etc)
- Where to ask for help if you two can’t resolve the conflict. (Can be your office’s employee assistance program, psychologist, or even life mentor.
Second, tell your partner about your stress. Just like how you may not realize your stress, there is chance they also wouldn’t know why you’re being impossible to talk to. They may think that you’re being rude and get angry at you instead.
Fighting stress together will be more effective than fighting it alone. Your partner will be able to handle your moodswing or irritation when he or she knows what you are going through. And, if you fall apart because of this stress, they will know what to do to pick you up.
So, tell him or her everything, about your workload, about your demanding boss, about your rude coworker. Ask him or her for understanding and help. Ask them to remind you to calm down every time you’re particularly irritable.
Third, find stress relief methods that works for you. There are many methods you can choose, but this time we recommend you to pick activities for couple so you can strengthen your bond as you relieve your stress.
Activities we suggest are exercising together, from running, cycling, swimming, tennis, or other sports that can be done as couple. Not only you get entertained, you will have way to channel your excess energy from constant stress.
Other activities we suggest is enjoying nature together by taking a stroll in park or hiking on the nearest mountain. Many research have proven that nature impact our emotional well being. Nature is also a good place to have a romantic day or evening with your partner.
Relaxing yourself in spa with your partner also help, especially if you can cuddle afterward. Cuddling and any skin contact with your partner release ‘love hormone’ oxytocyn that can shoo your stress away.
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are. (John Wooden)
How to deal with said coworker from hell
Now that you’ve managed to save your relationship, it’s time to avoid the same thing happen again by making sure to finish the deal with your rude coworker that is the cause of your stress.
First, listen to him or her. When he or she accused you of doing something wrong, listen first without reacting.
Sometimes, if you really don’t like that person, even hearing the first syllable from him or her makes you scowl in distaste. But, take a deep breath to calm your instinct to snap at him or her.
Then, try not answer him or her right away. Bit your lips (don’t be too hard) if necessary or simply count 1-10 in your mind.
Next, listen to what he or she has to say and think through their words. Answer this questions in your mind: is the complaint objective? Did you really make mistake? Or it is simply your coworker being rude?
Decide your reaction only after you answer these questions.
Second, be assertive to him or her. If you’re wrong, apologize first. If you’re right, tell him or her your reasoning. But, don’t look for debate. After you explain your point, if he or she doesn’t cease, be agree to disagree. Also, tell him or her that he or she can complain about or critique you but NOT in condescending manner.
How to be assertive? Talk to them in confidence. When they confront you, look at them right in the eye and tell them in clear tones (don’t mumble) about how you feel when they treat you rudely and also tell them that in the future, if he or she still act rude, you would not think twice before reporting this as harassment to your supervisor.
Third, be kind even when he or she is rude. Being kind can give you the same satisfaction as being rude, especially if your target is especially mannerless. It proves that you are much more mature than your rude coworker and that knowledge thrills!
Fourth, if he or she still behaves rudely even after your warning, report him to your supervisor. Don’t feel bad. He or she brought this to themselves.
Five, don’t take his or her lash out personally. After you check that you did nothing wrong and decide that your coworker is simply rude, then you can safely say that the problem lays on him or her. You have nothing to do with his or her anger, it’s all about him or her alone.
So, you don’t have to lose confidence or feel bad when he or she tells you things in rude way.
Six, don’t expect him or her to change. Some people just simply behave in that manner and no amount of your kindness will change them. When you expect them to change and they don’t, it can make you feel worse than when you expect them to be rude just like always.
Of course, you still need to treat them kindly (because you’re better than them), but don’t expect them to treat you better just because you’re kind to them. Remember, the problem is not about how you treat them, but they are the problem themselves.
Dealing with people can be tricky and it is an art that you have to learn in a long term. Whether it’s for your personal relationship or your networking in workplace, communication skill is a key for success.
If you are interested to improve this particular skill, it’s wise to invest in the right book about communication. We recommend How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie, How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes, and The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann
Ready to protect your relationship from stress?
Stress affects you in many ways, and sadly, one thing that can be affected is your relationship with your partner.
Even more sad, that relationship-affecting stress can actually comes from your workplace, in the form of rude, annoying coworker.
But, here we’ve provide you some solution to save your relationship from straining because of stress.
Have you ever experience a relationship problem because of workplace stress? How did you deal with it? Share your story with us in the comment below!