As human beings it is natural for us to need approval, to be seen as a nice, likeable person among a large percentage of people, both in our personal and our professional life.
We might not even care about such and such person, but their opinion is somehow important for us. Some people go to great lengths to maintain this facade. Are you one of these people? Are you a pushover? Are you a people-pleaser?
This friend of mine is the most hardworking, sincere person I know. But his colleagues, especially his boss used to walk all over him. He’d tell me how angry he was and would often talk of quitting work. His boss would make him work late, ask him to work even on weekends and public holidays. He would have him run errands for him: get him cigarettes, glass of water, take messages for him on the phone, and when it was his turn for an appraisal, he’d say, “I can’t give you a raise because you’re not working hard enough. Maybe next year.”
He was hurt and almost broke down one day. Others, who were hardly competent, were being promoted and sent to onsite projects in the US and UK. “What am I doing wrong?” he asked. “I’m the one first one in the office and the last to leave. Sometimes I even sleep at work.” I decided enough was enough and told him he was being too nice at work and that he needed to find the nerve to tell his boss, “I need a proper appraisal, and have your office boy get you your cigarettes. It’s not my job.”
Stop Being Too Polite
Do you feel most of the work comes your way because your colleagues are not completing the tasks assigned to them? Every time there’s an anomaly, fingers are pointed at you? That your colleagues get away with things because they know you won’t say squat? It’s time you stopped being too polite, stopped being a brown-noser. You can still have basic manners and etiquettes, but draw a line. If someone is being rude, just take them aside and tell them, “You cannot talk to me like that. This is unacceptable behaviour.” They will not repeat it. Try it, it’s liberating.