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In the workplace, is it better to hide, or show, your feelings towards colleagues?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by kibosh, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    So basically what we are saying is it's ok to be two faced, meretricious, false and insincere for all of our working lifes.
    Is this a travesty or genuinely for the best?
  2. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    No, I think most of us realise that working with others requires us to be polite and professional at all times and that "speaking as you find" would upset too many apple carts.
  3. I have a large, walk in cupboard...... Does that answer the question?!
  4. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    I still dream of having told someone exactly what I felt of them, but that would have given them too much satisfaction, so it'll stay a dream until karma does its bit.
  5. cyolba:
    The only time to say what you really feel is in a leaving speech
    It never seems like the right time to me. It ruins the atmos for any leavers following you who don't share your grievance, and even if you're the last, it puts a bit of an embarrassed damper on the post-speech festivities.
    No, the best place to voice your feelings, especially the negative ones, is behind the subject's back and after fifteen pints.
    If the feelings emanate from the groin region, then privately but still after fifteen pints is better.
  6. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    My HoD and I worked together for many years and were complete opposites in many respects. We didn't think alike on a lot of key areas and had very different ways of going about our jobs. If we'd both been more sensitive or open I'm sure we could have spent most of our working lives bickering and bitching with each other due to these differences. However, for the sake of a quiet life we just kept our traps shut and left each other to get on with things in our own respective ways. It didn't make for a very lively departmental vibe but it worked, and it kept the peace. We were both guilty of sulking from time to time but we never had a stand up row.

    Across my whole career I can count the number of teachers below SLT grade that I've actively disliked on the fingers of one hand. As for SLT, I could count the number I've actively liked on the fingers of my other hand, and still have the middle finger free to wave at the rest ;-)
  7. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    I'm still imagining what it would be like if we just all spoke out. Chaotic for a while, but how long would it take for everyone just to settle down and get on with the job? Wouldn't we all feel relatively carefree knowing exactly where we stood with colleagues? I'm a hider, but sometimes wonder if it's necessarily a good thing. Hiding your feelings day in and day out takes a lot of energy; it's tiring. Biting your tongue day in and day out is emotionally wearing.
    Also if we are such good actors ourselves, then how can you ever trust that anything much is genuine in others, in such a smoke and mirrors environment?
  8. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    I think that's really bad after all the time you were there but it doesn't surprise me. Good for you that you view it the way you do though.
  9. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    No to your first sentence and mostly yes to the second. Being polite is not the same as beingtwo-faced, false and insincere.
    Muscularly 'honest' colleagues are as much a pain as sychophants.
    Hiding hostility is not synonymous with two-facedness.
  10. inky

    inky Lead commenter

  11. The prime requirement in a workplace is to maintain civility. Politeness pays. I know I sound like my granny but it's true.
    If the workplace runs on a polite basis, there is always scope to express frustration or sadness or happiness in that 'safe' environment.
    And it's not dishonest or any other negative thing. Politeness and some measure of restraint is the mark of sensible adults in a workplace. It's a positive thing in itself.
    Let's face it. If someone's behaviour is absolutely intolerable, there will be a blowup. That blowup is more significant and effective and noteworthy in a well-ordered environment than it would be in a chaotic let it all hang out environment.
  12. piglet171

    piglet171 New commenter

    Well I was all for not saying anything, then one day it all got too much, and when asked what was bothering me, it all just came out. I think I am the only person who has ever said it like it is to the HT, who is essentially a nice person but continually takes a loan of people. In the past, their response has been to leave or to suffer.
    Since then, my comments have to an extent been taken on board. I also realise that our HT will never change her perception of the school or anything to do with it. The atmosphere has been a bit strained, but I think it will eventually blow over. I think some staff see me as a bit of a hard selfish ***, but tbh I was drowning in a sea of false "niceness" - and it is false! I also felt bullied, and could not have gone on as I was. I am glad that, for probably the first time in my life, I have stood up for myself. Just wish I'd had the guts to approach HT about the main problem more calmly, but then again, I probably would have made a hash of it, been talked round, and would still be under same pressure now.
  13. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Speaking out against unfairness is not the same as showing your feelings towards colleagues.
  14. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    True. My relations with a TA were quite difficult until outside pressures united us. Now we're firm friends.
  15. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Perhaps not, but I think there will be occasions where it IS. Perhaps 'expressing' your feelings is a better word to use than 'showing' (which I used in my OP).
  16. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    I preferred psychophants [​IMG]
  17. Although it is perfectly possible to speak your mind whilst still being polite and professional!
    I would never get drawn into a personal spat at work - but I will certainly speak up if I think things are not right.
    I have managed not to get into trouble for doing so yet.
    I don't have any colleagues that I don't actually like or get on with, but there are a few who can be very exasperating. I wait for the right moment to broach the subject and then I say my piece and leave it at that.
    I think as long as you don't make it into an argument or a tirade of accusations but go more along the lines of "let us think of ways of how we can work together better", there shouldn't be any problems. You give the other a chance to get things off their chest that could be bothering them too.
  18. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Well I think it can be depending on the circumstances.
    Some concrete examples for discussion:
    <ol>[*]Someone deliberately 'lets' a door slam in your face. They pretend they didn't know you were there. They then turn round, and instead of apologising, they glare at you. You smile politely (hypocrital falseness because what you really want to do is slam a door in their face) at their rudeness or you could express your feelings by saying something. The latter requires honesty and openess and there's not a lot of that going for free in the workplace. What if the rude, door slammer is senior to you and you know they dislike you and just want to **** you off? Surely they are the ones who have taken the first step to removing the mask of politeness to reveal the depth of their disregard for you?[*]There's a person in your department who continually talks over everyone. They never listen to what anyone has to say. They may ask people questions and as soon as the other person responds, the questionner talks right over their response. In meetings they never let other's have their say. They are rude and very poor listeners. Do people just ignore this politely (hiding their seething resentment and frustration), do they tackle it head on (knowing full well the person in question will probably just talk over them) or do they all just 'play nice' while bitching about the rude person behind their back (not exactly professional or polite)?[*]A senior manager pulls you up for late-coming. You know without a doubt that this person is continually late for meetings, classes and work, every morning. Do you accept, politely, the reprimand or do you instead point out to them their track record in timekeeping?[*]There is a member of staff who seems to like you a lot. A whole lot more than you like them. Their continual attention starts to grate and you wish they would just bog off and give you some peace. Are you polite enough to grin and bear it (knowing full well this draining, false pretense may continue for years/decades even), even though you want to scream at them? Do you risk upsetting them by staging a gradual withdrawl, suspecting that they will go running to someone else to moan and gripe about you, and that the new target will have no idea about what has actually gone on between you (because you have always been professional and polite and never let to anyone), and therefore will be fooled into believing their side of the story? Or do you sit the person down and explain? This also has many pit falls and few favourable outcomes.</ol>Btw, just incase anyone is wondering, the situations above are almost/mostly hypothetical on my part.
  19. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    I haven't either, but could be good for people to do exactly that: hammer it out and then 'kiss' and makeup afterwards. Seems to work for certain romantic relationships and on the whole we spend a lot less time with our lovers than we do at the workplace. Why should feelings not run just as high in the workplace (under our veneer of detatchment, professionality and politeness of course) as they do in our 'chosen' relationships? I am being devils advocate here, as I'm a self confessed polite, hider, but seems to me the arena for conflict is even higher in the workplace, as we do not get to choose who we work with.
  20. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    What's that got to do with being two-faced? I really don't understand. If someone did that to me I would see it as deliberate naked one-faced rudeness unless I knew they were preoccupied with something in which case, of course, I'd forgive them anyway. Are you suggesting that for me not to kick the the rotter on the shin is two-faced? That takes victim blaming to new heights!

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