Noticing how my codependency surfaces at work

Old 07-11-2013, 07:57 AM
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Noticing how my codependency surfaces at work

So I'm new to the idea of codependency and realizing I was pretty textbook in my relationship with my freshly exABF -- extreme care taking and feeling like I could help him, maybe even save him. I'm awake to that now and working on health for myself, but now I see it showing up other places too.

I have some toxic situations I'm dealing with at work (I'm a manager) and I am recognizing behaviors in myself that I have been justifying as helping others, but in mild to medium sized way are enabling unhealthy work patterns and relationships, essentially avoiding the bigger underlying issues. For example, one mid-level person (I'm upper management) has been grouching a bunch at people and I've been a little soft on her, not clear and direct enough about the unacceptableness of her behavior. Another example, a newer employee has a VERy high sense of entitlement and negative attitude easily, and I have been ineffective at shutting down her flare-ups in front of others. I see in both cases I've taken an approach that didn't draw strong boundaries and expectations, getting caught up too much in feelings.

I just ordered Letting Go and can't wait to read it. I wonder of anyone knows any books that deal directly with codependent feelings and behaviors in te workplace. Now that I'm working on healthier personal relationship skills, I really want to turn this crap around everywhere in my life. It's crazy how I'm seeing things in myself and my patterns I never saw or acknowledged before!!
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:21 AM
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For me, while at work I'm very clear in expectations and setting the boundaries of what is and isn't acceptable behaviour (I too am in upper level management), at home it's quite another story. I really need to figure what that is all about. Let me know if you find any other resources. I've seen a few people mention "Codependant No More" I'm going to give it a browse this weekend.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:42 AM
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Fedup, I think I'm mostly good, I wouldn't say I'm strongly codependent at work. In fact I think I handle the big things in very healthy ways. What I'm realizing is some of the smaller niggly ones bring out my codependent traits. I don't like it, and frankly I'm embarrassed now that I realize it. I'm known and appreciated as being the one of the managers who is both direct and nurturing, helping grown the full person as employee, and I'm proud of that. But the clamping down on stuff that's in a grey area, even if some people with brasher personalities' feathers are ruffled, is a place I'm realizing I've been a little soft. Care taking everyone's feelings to the detriment of biting the bullet on smaller things.

Going to think through an approach to these 2 problems as an example. To break my own dynamic.

Being here on SR has helped me see this in myself. I guess I realized I was doing it, but I'm now tying it to patterns and realizing it is unacceptable to me and inauthentic really.

Try Melodie Beatty. She is great. Just starting Letting Go, it came last night.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:52 AM
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Sadie, I'm glad I'm not that entitled person with that negative attitude working for you...because I have a strong suspicion that their days of that type of self-gratification are over...
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:55 AM
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BlueSkies, that made me laugh out loud!! I think you're right and I intend to follow through! The catch is I need to figure out HOW to handle it. It's funny that my instincts have been more soothing and less solving, and I have to figure out my approach to change that for real.

I found a book online called Codependency in the Workplaxe !!!! but it's 87 freaking dollars. Argh.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:11 AM
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Sadie, thought you might like that!
You could have a sit-down with him/her and ask a few key questions. How do they think things are going, do they have any complaints, and hear them out.
That might help you to understand if they are a run of the mill manipulator, or have something else going on.
You don't have to DO anything, or promise anything, but simply listen to assess where their head is at.
Then act accordingly, right?
Entitlement--treat them no differently than all the rest, and make it known to them that they have no special privileges.
Negativity--if unwarranted, you can put the heat on them with another sit-down that they need to change their attitude, that it is not good for the company, and that it is unwarranted.
I'd just rule out legitimate complaints first.
Then they'll know you're onto them and their game isn't going to work anymore.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by sadielady View Post
I found a book online called Codependency in the Workplaxe !!!! but it's 87 freaking dollars. Argh.
Sadie, try your local library. I don't know what it's like where you live, but in my neck of the woods, ALL libraries in my county are linked on one website. I can browse the entire catalog of every library in the county at one fell swoop, put anything I want on hold and have it sent to the library of my choice for pickup (and that is where I drop it off, too). It costs NOTHING and takes less than a week usually, unless the book is particularly new/popular and others are on the list for it.

I've found that most books mentioned here are available thru the library. I prefer to get the book from the library, read it and THEN decide whether I need to make it part of my permanent collection before I spend my hard-earned $$ on it.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:31 AM
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Honeypig, great idea! I'm in LA and we have a big system. Don't know I'd we connect to others though. Will see!!

BlueSkies, those are all excellent questions! I really like your approach. I've worked with both of them a couple years, and closely, and I know many of the answers from our conversations. The trick in both cases is that their underlying concerns are very real, legitimate problems that are structural with our organization for the most part. It isn't what their concerns are that is the problem, it's the method they're using to communicate. One storms around and gripes at others, usually for legit reasons but with bad execution, on days I'm out at meetings. I've addressed it with her but it continues, and in realizing its cause I've been half-assed about it because of her feelings. (Bad manager!). In the 2nd case, she's mad cause my bosses haven't hired someone to work with her when they said they would, and she's right that they haven't and that that puts strain on her. But her complaints come out EVERY possible moment with the most extreme version of upset, which chills a room with her negativity. I have also addresses this with her, but I realize not well enough.

I think in both cases, my sympathy for the truth in their underlying concerns has softened my response to the part of their behavior that isn't ok. They're both RIGHT and struggling, but that is not the only governing factor.

Not unlike my "helping" tendencies with my exABF. For some time I focused so heavily on the care taking and didn't expect better towards me and set boundaries that made clear what was and wasn't acceptable to me. I'm realizing how eerily similar this is.
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:19 PM
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Sadie, just about the only place left in my life where my co-dependency gets the better of me is at the office! I support a team of 18 type-A personalities, which requires a lot of flexibility and adaptability to make sure everyone is getting the help they need. I tend to have a great deal of patience with everyone as we learn, every day, to work together better, but I have one Big Boss who is constantly in a state of frustration because I am not able to read his mind! And instead of doing what I would do with any other team member (which is to detach from the emotion and focus on solving the problem), I tend to buy right into this guy's frustration!!! It's as if I'm five again and he is my A mom. Everything is my fault, no way is HE being unreasonable, ohmygoodnessI'mgonnagetfiredTODAY!

Some days it's easy for me to take a step back and remember that he is frustrated because HE has failed to express what he needs. Other days, I find myself shaking. But as I recognize that, those days are getting fewer and further between.

Good luck to you -- recognition is a great step!
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:50 PM
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aaah your AWAKE...!!!

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