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Thread: Not responding to drama

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    Flea's Avatar
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    Not responding to drama

    For the most part I've gotten pretty good at letting Other People's Drama wash over me. I have good boundaries, and I tend to have a good feel for where other people's problems end and mine begin.

    But I still have my own buttons. One of my coworkers has been giving me the icy silent treatment for two days now - she told another coworker that she was upset because her ex had died (I can see how that would have been my fault. ) I gave her a wide berth today (who needs to be around that!) to find later that she had ripped all her personal effects out of her desk in a fit and bitten the heads off everyone who offered her condolences. Tonight I'm going to try some compassion meditation on her behalf in order to prevent myself from rising to her her behavioral level. I know this isn't who she is. I also know I don't have to respond in kind or take it personally.

    What can I say? I'm still human. I've come a long way in identifying where my buttons are, and she's stomping a few this week. It behooves us all as warriors to understand ourselves and keep our emotions in check. I think this falls under the same category of staying cool under pressure - my "adversary" may not be lurking in the bushes with a knife, but it's still important to keep a sense of perspective and de-escalate. What tools do others here use at times like these?
    We can fail and fail. But, deep against the failure, something wars. Something goes forward, something lights a match, Something gets up from Sangamon County ground armed with a bitten and a blunted axe. And after twenty thousand wasted strokes brings the tall hemlock crashing to the ground. - Steven Vincent Benet

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    Re: Not responding to drama

    Flea, give a look into "tactical breathing". Works wonders.

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    Re: Not responding to drama

    Compassion meditation

    My advice is to just sit

    Finding the Still Point


    And if you don’t take my advice I shall not talk to you for the next 17,000 Nanoseconds

    Last edited by Xue Sheng; 02-23-2012 at 10:25 AM.
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    - A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. - Muhammad Ali
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    Re: Not responding to drama

    I'm usually pretty good about staying out of it, but my lab has become a drama factory the last few months. Of course, I keep up an even front, and the rest of the lab is very passive-aggressive, so it doesn't come out directly. It just results in avoidance behavior and third-hand gossip I hear from others. Really, I'm pretty easy to get along with, I hate to see what would happen if a real jerk came along.
    ...here are my weapons, karate, my empty hands.

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    Re: Not responding to drama

    As in all circumstances see the lessons involved. As you find and see the 'human' in yourself, recognize the human in your coworker. See the coworker as human, recognize the frailties and strengths. Recognize that she is dealing with issues as best she can and forgive those efforts that push you buttons while seeing them as a reminder that you have issues (we all do) to work on.

    The best way to help her is to remain calm, find any excess tension with-in yourself and remove it, forgive yourself of anger or excess empathy. Make sure that you are cleansing out of the sympathetic nervous response and back into the parasympathetic state. Then drive on with your own life, you do not need to walk on eggshells when she is around. As I tell our professionals..."Their emergency is not necessarily your emergency." Be there if she asks for help or wants to talk but do not yet intrude if she doesn't want the help, she is dealing the best she can and folks intruding right now are adding to rather than removing stress that she is going thru. She is grieving the loss of someone and the loss of what if's and maybe somedays and also seeing her own mortality. That can be a lot for some folks.

    Good luck
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    Re: Not responding to drama

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian King View Post
    As in all circumstances see the lessons involved. As you find and see the 'human' in yourself, recognize the human in your coworker. See the coworker as human, recognize the frailties and strengths. Recognize that she is dealing with issues as best she can and forgive those efforts that push you buttons while seeing them as a reminder that you have issues (we all do) to work on.

    The best way to help her is to remain calm, find any excess tension with-in yourself and remove it, forgive yourself of anger or excess empathy. Make sure that you are cleansing out of the sympathetic nervous response and back into the parasympathetic state. Then drive on with your own life, you do not need to walk on eggshells when she is around. As I tell our professionals..."Their emergency is not necessarily your emergency." Be there if she asks for help or wants to talk but do not yet intrude if she doesn't want the help, she is dealing the best she can and folks intruding right now are adding to rather than removing stress that she is going thru. She is grieving the loss of someone and the loss of what if's and maybe somedays and also seeing her own mortality. That can be a lot for some folks.

    Good luck
    Brian King
    I like it, I did not know Systema taught Zen

    “When you are angry, and you suffer, please go
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    of your perceptions. If you are capable of removing
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    be restored in you, and you will be able to
    love the other person again.”

    ----Thich Nhat Han
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    - If you train martial arts without training deep skill, you will arrive at old age with nothing - Di Guoyong
    - A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. - Muhammad Ali
    - Last of the original Four Heroic Cynical Curmudgeons

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    Re: Not responding to drama

    If other people constantly impact you with their drama, it may not be not them, it may be you.

    That's my opinion. I have three younger sisters, and they are utterly incapable of going through their lives without pissing and moaning about how other people at work 'push their buttons' and treat them badly and spread their 'drama' around and ruin everything for everybody. One of them has been through dozens of jobs; amazingly, the drama just keeps following her around. Or maybe...the problem is her.

    I handle drama at work by not noticing it. If it's there, I don't see it. And I don't care to. And it's none of my business. And that's that. In my coworker wants to throw a temper tantrum at his or her desk and fling papers around, that's their issue. I'm not a doctor, therapist, or bestest buddy. I have work to do, and it's none of my business what their problems are. I might pay attention of I hear one of them start loading ammunition into a magazine, but otherwise not so much.
    DISCLAIMER: I am a student of martial arts. I am not an authority on the subject. My views and opinions are my own and do not reflect the views or opinions of my sensei, my dojo, or my style of martial arts. If you have an issue with my views, opinions, or anything I've said or done, please contact me directly. Thank you.

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    Re: Not responding to drama

    Thanks everyone. My overall response is somewhere between Brian's and Bill's. It's not your typical working environment, so it's not your typical situation. I work in a mental health clinic as a "peer support specialist." It's a very similar idea to having recovering addicts do drug counselling, based on evidence that there's no subsitiute for the wisdom and compassion that comes from personal experience. One of the hardwired requirements of this job description is that we "model recovery" for our clients to show them recovery is possible. As such, I'm inclined to give a lot more slack to one of our own than I would to someone who hasn't walked this road.

    That said, she's having a profound affect on the environment for all of us. Yesterday she basically cleared out the drop-in center. The regulars all picked up on it and fled. Even those who spend most of their energies on internal stimuli got uncomfortable. We can't have that! But that's the supervisor's job, not mine.

    I know exactly why this gets under my skin, and I'm working on. She's giving me a lot of great practice! I just need to keep breathing, and let her go through her process. I'd want the same from her.
    We can fail and fail. But, deep against the failure, something wars. Something goes forward, something lights a match, Something gets up from Sangamon County ground armed with a bitten and a blunted axe. And after twenty thousand wasted strokes brings the tall hemlock crashing to the ground. - Steven Vincent Benet

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    Re: Not responding to drama

    And if you don’t take my advice I shall not talk to you for the next 17,000 Nanoseconds

    [/QUOTE]

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You have to drop everything and rush to my office to stick up for me!!! It's your problem too!! And if you don't that means you hate me!! I'll get so upset that they'll fire me and it'll be all your fault!!!


    We can fail and fail. But, deep against the failure, something wars. Something goes forward, something lights a match, Something gets up from Sangamon County ground armed with a bitten and a blunted axe. And after twenty thousand wasted strokes brings the tall hemlock crashing to the ground. - Steven Vincent Benet

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    Re: Not responding to drama

    Quote Originally Posted by Flea View Post
    And if you donít take my advice I shall not talk to you for the next 17,000 Nanoseconds


    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You have to drop everything and rush to my office to stick up for me!!! It's your problem too!! And if you don't that means you hate me!! I'll get so upset that they'll fire me and it'll be all your fault!!!


    Your just lucky that 0.000017 Seconds is up or I would NOT be responding at all
    .
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    - A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. - Muhammad Ali
    - Last of the original Four Heroic Cynical Curmudgeons

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    jks9199 is offline Cause of War & Destroyer of Civilization


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    Re: Not responding to drama

    Quote Originally Posted by Flea View Post

    That said, she's having a profound affect on the environment for all of us. Yesterday she basically cleared out the drop-in center. The regulars all picked up on it and fled. Even those who spend most of their energies on internal stimuli got uncomfortable. We can't have that! But that's the supervisor's job, not mine.
    She needs some sort of intervention, and your superiors need to do it. In every job, but especially those were we deal with people in varying degrees of crisis, there are times when you have to realize, and accept, that your head is in the wrong place to be at work, and that rather than helping, you're causing harm or otherwise ineffective. And part of the job of the bosses in those jobs is to recognize when that happens, and help the worker either straighten out, or send them on home.

    Go to your bosses; you're not tattling about drama, you're acting to protect all the clients of the agency.
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    It would seem to me that if you guys are modeling recovery, she should be getting some care. If not, I agree that the supervisor should refer her. Many places have some kind of wmployee assistance program or something like that.

    But that aside, it's not your burden unless you make it so. Just be careful. I've seen some people snap and it can be dangerous.


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    Re: Not responding to drama

    Quote Originally Posted by jks9199 View Post

    Go to your bosses; you're not tattling about drama, you're acting to protect all the clients of the agency.
    I don't think that's really necessary; she's so obvious about it that there's no missing what's going on. Blessedly she was off yesterday to go to the service. If she's still giving me the silent treatment next week I might consider saying something. But only after I offer an olive branch or two first. I always prefer being direct whenever possible. Anything else edges into that grey passive-aggressive territory.
    We can fail and fail. But, deep against the failure, something wars. Something goes forward, something lights a match, Something gets up from Sangamon County ground armed with a bitten and a blunted axe. And after twenty thousand wasted strokes brings the tall hemlock crashing to the ground. - Steven Vincent Benet

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