Friendships At Work

Themes which stuck out to me most were those of Emotional Contagion, Transparency, and being negative with negative people.

In recent months, I have experienced a couple of emotional breakdowns at a workplace. Well-intentioned co-workers invited me to leave early, and one had actually confided that another was upset in my upset-ed-ness (Emotional Contagion). Having received affection and kind thoughts in the past, my feelings were coupled with dismay that little was done by others to seek clarification.

Conversely, though, I had not been transparent about my feelings out of fear in further upsetting those in the workplace.

After confiding in a friend about my emotional situation, a huge burden was relieved—the secrets of my suffering were no longer my own; I was no longer alone. Though it seems counter-intuitive for an occupational setting, this experience further informed me of how one party or another must allow themselves to feel vulnerable to find success and understanding.

I cannot as of yet speak to how awareness of my emotions and limitations has allowed me to disconnect from my emotions/moments of irrationality; although I feel that I’m typically aware of the sources of my emotions, I still very much live in the moment of my emotional chaos.

This work suggests that knowing situations that evoke your emotions and being able to determine times/situations/influences of one’s own emotional expression allows one to develop a certain immunity towards the emotional contagion. I do not delight in my negative emotions, and realize that my negative emotions can negatively affect others. However, it’s very difficult for me to claim sole responsibility for my emotions when I truly believe that, in moments of emotional intensity, I am feeling wronged by external forces.

What I found most interesting of this piece was the short segment that discussed being negative with negative people. This allows one to form a relationship that would otherwise be denied to the person(s) distancing the perpetrator of negativity. When we seek to understand others this way, we lay down the groundwork for a foundational friendship to be built upon.

Developing mindfulness of these things has been a work in progress for me. I do realize that there is PLENTY of room for me to develop better emotional intelligence. Through the increasing number of social experiences afforded to me (thanks to the community at Sangha Space), I hope that I will be able to more mindfully realize growth in these and other areas towards better social awareness.

This blog entry was motivated by the following work:

WHYY’s “Friendships at Work;”

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