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Why Toxic Workplaces and Families Don’t Succeed

By Saxon Haney

You hate your job and you don’t know why. In a recent article I read by Dr Amina Aitsi-Selmi, she postulates that “people don’t leave jobs, they leave toxic work cultures.” Building upon that idea, I would argue that the observations she makes for why people leave jobs could also be applied to families. People don’t leave families; they leave toxic family culture. And, to avoid having a toxic family, I would argue that one should avoid engaging in these behaviors.

Disrespect and Belittlement

Disrespect will often lead to resentment causing arguments thus making a toxic environment. Belittlement often will make people upset because in my experience people often believe that they are doing their best. This will also lead to resentment especially if someone else in your workspace or family is getting praise for very little work.

Unreasonable Pressure

Unreasonable pressure creates stress for whoever is getting pressured. Too much stress will often lead to headaches and disgruntlement. This can lead to hurt feeling if someone else is not being as pressured. When someone is pressured like this, they will also be a little more irritable which could cause them to be very angry and sharp with people when they don’t reach the deadline. Which also causes a toxic environment.

Inequity and Favoritism

Inequity or unfairness can lead to people feeling like they aren’t respected the same way someone else is which we know causes resentment. When you play favorites in the workplace you can cause jealousy which leads to people being mean to those that are favorited. It will also cause people to feel like their leader only thinks a few of them are worthy of his respect and in families it can make members believe that the leader of the family only loves a few of his family and not all of them.

Any Kind of Harassment or Bullying

According to the dictionary harassment is “To subject (another) to hostile or prejudicial remarks or actions; pressure or intimidate.” So, going off that definition, any form of everything above would be harassment which ALSO leads to disgruntlement. Bullying is another form of harassment, but it is (gasp) slightly different. Bullying is where someone is especially cruel or overbearing to a person which can be associated with unreasonable pressure and belittlement.

Lack of Empathy, Appreciation, or Support

A lack of empathy can be for example like not giving a pregnant women maternity leave when she is having a child, or it can be something like not letting someone go to a family members funeral it can lead people to believe that they aren’t appreciated or supported which can lead to DISGRUNTLED BEHAVIOR.

Excessive Control, Also Known as Micromanagement

Micromanagement can make people believe that you don’t respect them enough to let them do their work. People will then think that they aren’t respected at all. When this happens, they will dislike whoever is micromanaging them. Same can be said for family when for example a sister or brother tries to tell you how to clean up.

Morally Questionable Environments

Of all the possibilities Aitsi-Selmi cites as undermining to a group, none could be more damaging than an immoral environment led by immoral parents. A good example might be the parent who believes it is okay to abuse—regardless of justification—daughters. Another example would be the startling revelations Demi Moore, actress, made about being sold by her mother for a few dollars here and there just so the family could eat. Sons who are asked to join family businesses when they do not have any desire, but feel pressured, could also be a morally questionable environment and destructive to the family unit. Parents who are neglected would also be morally questionable. All of these possibilities undermine the family unit just as it might the office environment when bosses and co-workers do not notice each others needs, feel for them, and take action to fight for compassion.

In Conclusion

All of these factors makes a workplace or a family very toxic. It can lead to jealousy, anger, sadness, and doubt in the people they work with or the people they love. It can lead to people leaving workplaces for another workplace where they hope they will be treated with more kindness and respect and the same can be said for families.

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