Dear Genie #12

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Dear Genie™ Advice Blog is for anyone seeking answers to questions on Love, Leadership, Life-Phases, or Living Your Best Life!  Send me a letter with your concern via the CONTACT link.  I’d love to hear from YOU!  


 

 

Work Stress writes:

Dear Genie,

I like my job but I loathe going to work every day because I work with someone who makes my life hell.  She thinks she knows everything and bosses me around even though she has no authority at all.  It’s a small office and I can’t get away from her and if I say anything to her she is so spiteful and gossips to others and I feel like she could hurt me professionally.

I don’t know how to keep dealing with her without losing my mind or just quitting my job.

 

Dear Work Stress,

Wow!  It must be rough if you would quit a job your like because of a co-worker!

Do you feel like this is harassment?  Does she do this with everyone?  Has anyone tried speaking to management about this?  If not, maybe you and others could go together to HR in an effort to team build or increase positive energy in the office, rather than attacking her?  (Catch more flies with honey idea)

Let’s say, for the sake of this letter, that you’ve tried HR and have gotten no relief.  What do you do now?

You absolutely have the choice to spend some time looking to transfer or find a new job in your field.

You also have the choice to elevate your complaints about the situation.  If you do this please make sure to document every interaction with this person – even things this person says to others that are reported to you.

However, I want to suggest something else – something a bit edgy and out of the box – something that could maybe create a peaceful work environment where no one is fired and no one has to quit and everyone can be heard.  Its called a win-win situation.

Have you thought about inviting this person to lunch or out after work?  Get to know them better?  Let them get to know you better?

I get it.  You probably pretty much hate this person at this point.  What I am suggesting is not the easy thing to do.  But, forming a respectful relationship may allow you to be honest in the future when she behaves aggressively or bossy.  It may allow you to feel empowered – which is the real reason your are miserable – you feel powerless. 

Here’s the thing.  We are so hostile to each other in the world today.  People are calling the police on others for having yard sales and selling lemonade.  We file lawsuits at the drop of a hat.  We blame, accuse, demand satisfaction when we’ve been offended, and spend our days fighting instead of communicating or working on the problem.

Yes, you absolutely have the right to work in an environment that is safe and where you feel safe.  But are guaranteed the right to work in an environment free from annoying and bossy people?  Free from disagreement?  Free from opposite personalities?

Not really.  Not as long as bossy doesn’t cross the line of personal safety or bullying.

That means YOU have some level of self-responsibility for creating a peaceful environment.  Responsibility means owning your possibly passive role in the situation.   This is not blame!  This is not saying you’ve done anything wrong.  This is just a bit of self-reflection.

Is it possible, that while your co-worker has been overly aggressive, you’ve been overly passive?  Dr. Phil likes to say that we teach people how to treat us.  Maybe it’s time to teach your co-worker how you want to be treated.

I’m not suggesting you return the aggressiveness – there is another option.  Try assertiveness.

Assertiveness means that you deal with the situation directly, but in a way that both people win.  It’s the WIN-WIN point of view.  It’s the dealing with the situation head-on so you don’t have to file complaints, lawsuits, or quit a job your like.

It’s communication.  It’s communicating from a place of love – love for self, if not love for your co-worker.  It allows you to take your power back instead of giving it away to management or to the aggressive co-worker.

As modern, tech savvy, social media blurb posting humans, we really need to learn how to talk to each other again.  We just don’t talk.  It’s a lost art.  It’s really creating a separateness between us as people – which leads to apathy for one another.

Maybe she’s not so bad.  Or, maybe she is.  It’s okay to set your boundaries.  It’s okay to advocate for yourself.  It’s super important to act in line with your integrity and self-confidence.  But, it’s possible to do so in a win-win way that allows you to feel good about yourself and not be on the receiving end of an aggressive person at work.

You can do this!  You can choose to shine your light!  You can create a peaceful environment for yourself at work – despite what others are doing.  Trust me, when you are coming in with a great attitude and shining your light, the person with the bad attitude either eases up or begins to get attention from management on their own.

Don’t give up something you enjoy because of someone else.  Be assertive.  Come from a win-win attitude.  Feel good about yourself and your response to the situation.   TAKE YOUR POWER BACK.

You got this!

♥Genie

 

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Love Is The Cure

When you are standing up high on a pedestal of self-righteousness, it’s really hard to see way down to the roots of that terrible thing you tower over. You know you are right. You know you have the moral high ground. Those other people are so wrong it makes you furious! You are in the position to reign heaps of fire down on those terrible people with those specious beliefs – and you do so quite frequently.

And you feel better after you post with the name calling and the superior wit and the indignation. What a relief it is to let those people know how smart you are and how right you are and how wrong and poisonous is their mere existence. Damn you religious nut jobs! Get a job you socialist libtard! Screw you white nationalists! Read a book you ignorant trailer trash! You’re an orange cheeto loving dotard! Fascist pigs! Go back to your own country! Put god back in schools (my god, not yours)!!!


I’m not saying you’re wrong to have strong feelings about people who support the current president or the atrocious things he is doing. I’m also not saying you are wrong to worry about high taxes and feeding your family. It hasn’t been too long since I typed a few of those sentences on my own Facebook wall. One day I just decided it wasn’t getting me anywhere except angry, spun up, and acting out of integrity. See, I’m a recovering rage-aholic. I’ve worked really hard to change that and become a person with standards of behavior – naming calling and violent expressions are off my list of choices in how to respond to someone. And, yet, I have been sucked back in to this hate-fueled fighting on social media. So have you – even though that hostile, intolerant, hate-spewing person is not really who you are – not “in real life”.

When we react that way we give up our power; we give up our truth and our integrity. We say to the other person, “here, take my soul because I am following your lead.” We act just like them – we become just like them – we are just like them. We are fighting against something we think is wrong by becoming something that is wrong.

The hate is just not okay. It’s not. There is no moral high ground when hate is your strategy.


Hate cannot defeat hate; it’s a losing strategy. We’ve got to take our power back and come up with something that can help us heal the wounds in our friendships and relationships – and it starts with a compassionate heart and desire to be a better person.

Yes, there are sociopaths, psychopaths and really evil narcissists in the world who have no moral compass – no heart. These people are rare and I’m not talking about these kinds mentally disturbed people – I’m talking about your brother and your aunt and your uncle and your childhood friend who you suddenly find loathsome and shocking.

Is it possible – just possible – that these people we go after with venomous rage are also not the hate-spewing trolls they appear to be on social media? Are they different “in real life”? Are they just angry and full of fear just like you? I’m not excusing bad behavior and racism and bigotry and sexism and the vileness going on. I’m saying that all this hate is coming from somewhere and maybe we need to respond to that instead throwing more hate on the fire.

Hate comes from fear. Fear is the root of this dis-ease in our country. Hate-spewing is a symptom just like fever. Rage is a symptom. Irrational beliefs are a symptom. Believing lies and conspiracy theories from mentally ill propagandist is like taking poison from a snake-oil salesman instead of medicine from a doctor. And social media spreads this disease like the flu spreads through your household.

The disease is fear.

Can we cure this with more fear? Can we get rid of a fever by injecting more fever? Of course not! So why are we fighting hate with more hate?

The cure is love.

Why do people roll their eyes when I say that? Why is this such an uncomfortable idea?

Maybe because it means in order to act from love you have to change your beliefs. You have to be responsible for your own behavior. You have to think before you act and respond. You have to know yourself and your moral code.

It’s a heavy burden to love when hate is so much easier.

I’m working on a book to address ways we can #chooselove over hate (fear). It gives a look at love that doesn’t seem mushy or pollyanna – one that is comfortable – doable. It’s coming soon, I promise. In the meantime, here are some things to think about when you come across the hate posts and you want to reply or feel angry and outraged.


How to Love in a time of Hate

1. Self-love is priority. Self-love does not mean self-ish! This is not about thinking you are better than anyone. This is about setting boundaries in your relationships, doing your best each day, and forgiving yourself for your mistakes. This also means not subjecting yourself to this insanity on social media and getting yourself stressed and angry. Take a break.

2. Respond to a hate attack the way you would want someone to communicate with you. Think before you reply. Speak the truth with kindness and compassion even when they don’t deserve it – You deserve it! You deserve the calmness and peace that comes from doing the right things and following your moral code.

3. Refuse petty and childish tactics. I hate to say it, but act your age. No name calling. No character assassinations. No unnecessary vulgar language. Speak with integrity, poise and intelligence.  And when you are wrong, own up to it.

4. Don’t respond to every invitation to debate/fight. Yes, people call us out and say things on our posts or in our groups. You do not have to respond. You can roll your eyes and move on. It’s hard. This I know. But the time and energy you waste adding fuel to the fire of someone already spun up and looking for a place to unleash – it’s not worth it. Love yourself enough to move on.

5. Realize that it is not your job to save other people from their wrong thinking. People are allowed to be wrong. People are allowed to believe whatever they want to believe. It’s not up to you to change them. Likewise, you don’t owe anyone and explanation for your beliefs. This is big. If you can stop trying to change others, you are halfway there.

6. Control what is in your ability to control. That would be you; your behavior, your attitude, your responses, your action, your presence in the world. That’s it. Just you. The great thing about that is that you are able to shine your inner light without care for what others think, feel or believe because they aren’t your business!

7. Know that your behavior is a bigger influence on others than you could ever have in a Facebook debate. Lead by example. It’s that simple. Be the change you want to see in the world.

8. Learn to let go of people around you who break your boundaries and treat you with hate. Eventually enough is enough. It’s okay to walk away from people and situations that don’t change and grow. Sometimes sticking around just enables that person to continue to hate because they can because you stay. If you have to stop inviting uncle Dave to dinner so that you and your family can be at peace, then do so.

9. Remember, it’s just fear.  Fear is not rational.  Fear lies.  Fear is not truth.  Fear wants you to remain in your comfort zone and not change.  Fear will attack others.  Fear is selfish.


 

These ideas are mostly ways just to love yourself enough to stop hating others. It’s a start. The first round of antibiotics to cure this dis-ease. (Yes, we may need several!)

Know that this blog is written in love – to help you find peace in this insanity and to start the change we need to heal.
Peace & Love,

♥ Genie



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Drama Free Living

Each morning we wake up and immediately decide how our day is going to go.  We may not even realize we are doing it.  Notice what you say in your head as your feet hit the floor – Ugh! It’s Monday!! or,  Man, I really don’t feel like dealing with these people today!

These thoughts set the tone for your entire day.

I get it – sometimes we have crappy jobs and irritating co-workers and the weekend is never long enough.  We have struggles in life, drama with family, conflict with our spouse, and even deep heartache.  And if you are going through these things and someone, like me, says to you, “choose to be happy,” you kinda just want to punch them in the face because how? How do you choose to be happy in the depths of despair?

In a perfect world you would start to change your mindset when you aren’t going through major emotional events.  Instead of, “I just can’t face this annoying co-worker today,” you might try, “I am a great listener and people feel comfortable talking to me and I am grateful for that skill.”  “I choose to be happy and will allow all drama to bounce off of me.”  “I am happy.”  “I am peaceful.”  “I choose how I feel.”  “I am going to accomplish everything I set out to at work today.”  “I love my job and enjoy my co-workers.”

How does that help?  It puts the power over your emotions back in your control, not in the hands of your annoying co-worker.  It softens your body, takes you off the defense, and puts you in a more pleasant frame of mind.  It enables you to remain calm, instead of being drawn in to the drama.

“But, my co-worker will still be annoying.”

Yes.  And they have to live with themselves, don’t they?  Can you imagine the things they say to themselves each morning as their feet hit the floor?  It’s probably full of self-loathing and the need for attention.

When you change your thoughts you tell your mind that you don’t have to react to annoyances and drama in the same way.  You change your reflex from automatically getting angry and frustrated when you even think about this person, to one of calm and peace in stressful situations.

It takes time.  It takes getting up everyday and making the choice that you will be the one to decide how you feel, not others.  You will be happy because you deserve it and it’s in your power to live in joy, happiness and peace.

There are times when telling yourself that you are happy just doesn’t stand up.  I’ve got a couple family members that I had to cut from my life.  Every interaction with them was drama, conflict and pain.  I lived with a huge burden of guilt with these people – I wasn’t enough – I didn’t say what they wanted – I didn’t believe like they believed – I wasn’t ok with my kids being mistreated – I wasn’t ok with nasty comments and spiteful behavior.  I knew these people would not change – and I knew that the happier I became in my life, the more spiteful and hateful towards me they would behave.

While you can shrug off a co-worker with affirmations, there is an emotional tie with family.  You are vulnerable.  I simply could not heal and live in joy while allowing them to be in my life.  When you choose a life of happiness and peace, there will be times that you have to say NO to the drama and conflict in your life.  Whether it’s drama with family, conflict with friends or partner, or a work situation where you harassed or mistreated – there will be times that you have to walk away or end contact for your own happiness and peace.

For my highest good, I had to walk away from my father and two grandmothers. And I am ok with that.  It’s not mean.  It’s not passive-aggressive.  It’s allowing myself to be in control of my own happiness, joy, peace, health and well-being.   You are right to end contact with that annoying co-worker if they are harassing or harming you.  Always advocate for your highest good and do so in a way that supports your integrity.  (Like, flipping out or telling someone to bugger off might not make you feel  so good.  Telling someone they are crossing the line, making you uncomfortable or stopping your from doing your job might be better ways.)

You can choose to live happy and drama free.  Once you make the choice, and practice it everyday as soon as your feet hit the floor, you will know when it’s time to shine your light with that annoying co-worker and their drama. Your happiness may be an example for this person, lift their mood, and lessen their attention seeking.  You’ll also know when it is time to cut ties with toxic people and situations.  No guilt.  No drama.  Just make the choice to live in happiness and peace.

You deserve to be happy.  Don’t let others make that decision for you.

(And, YES, I am at peace with my decision to cut people out of my life.  Even when others try to put guilt on my shoulders with the “you’ll regret not seeing them” talks.  I know the choice I made was what was best for my life.)

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Real Life

When I was a kid I used to say “it’s not fair!” – as all kids do.  I’ve known for many years that life, in fact, is not fair and it’s not supposed to be and there is no use whining about it.

What would a fair life look like anyway?  Would we all have the same exact stuff and be treated exactly the same by everyone?  Would all houses be the same size and buildings all look like every other building?  Would diversity become extinct?  Would we have anything in life to strive for or dream of or work towards?  How could we learn and grow if adversity was absent?  How could we fall in love?  That’s Fair Life. 

I’m not sure we would all be happy in a fair world where everyone got the same exact sized slice of pie as the next person.  Our desires and dreams come from the fact that life isn’t fair and we have to work to succeed.  That’s Real Life.  

Now, don’t get me wrong – I am not dismissing equality.  Equality is not the same thing as fair.  Fair is everyone gets the same slice of pie.  Equality means everyone has the opportunity to work and bake their own damn pie and choose whatever type of pie they like and slice the size of pie they want for themselves.  It means that you and I may like to bake the same kind of pie, but you aren’t charged more for the ingredients than I am because of the color of your skin or the faith you live by.  That’s Equality.

This year I discovered that more and more people want life to be fair for themselves, while denying equality to others.  Some think that they deserve to be treated fairly – they are special in some way or deserve it more than others.  “It’s not fair that some pay more taxes!” …  “Not everyone has the right to  marry the person they choose!” … “I want the government to spend billions to bail out companies I am invested in to save my stock portfolio and my future – it’s only fair!” … “The government needs to stop giving millions in handouts to the poor because they can pull themselves up by the bootstraps!” … “You must honor my beliefs and holidays!” … “We won’t allow this Temple… Mosque… Memorial… Celebration… to happen in our community because we disagree with it!”

Yes, there are a whole lot of people who think that way – I call them hypocrites.   It’s the unfair, unequal and the real ugly side of life they advocate for everyone but themselves.

But, those who champion equality, like you,  have something the hypos don’t – access to their souls. You are beings of light – lightworkers – and your purpose is to shine the light in the darkness.  Do that.  Shine your light.  Lift your voice for the voiceless.  Let others know that they can live their dreams and raise themselves up and get past the hypos standing in their way.

Life is real, and that means we can make real change.

 

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