Whether we want to admit it or not, there is so much pressure surrounding women in the workplace to be a “certain way.” Especially if you are a minority woman within the workplace. We have been “playing the game,” so long to get ahead in corporate, that we end up playing ourselves. Listed below are a few common myths and pressures we as women face about work relationships. Be encouraged and stop becoming pressured in doing things a certain way, for a promotion or to defy a stigma and stereotype.
Common myths and “pressures”
about work relationships
- I have to “like” everyone I work with. No of course you will not “like” everyone but it is your job to be cordial and show the love of Christ at your workplace. Stop being bullied and coerced to hang around people at work you know you do not care for. Don’t be afraid of people and yes, do your job and be yourself but don’t be fake. No one likes a fake person.
- I have to exchange numbers with my co-workers when they ask. You do not have to give them your number. Offer your email address or a group app instead. Your number is your personal access code to you and co-workers having 24/7 access through you mobile device can blur boundary lines.
- I have to have lunch with my co-workers. I am not telling you to be a hermit and become anti-social, but what I am encouraging you to do, is understand that you can say “no” to happy hour and lunch invitations. Don’t feel pressured to go just because you are afraid everyone will think you don’t like them. Pick and choose when you would like to “break bread” and not when they dictate. Going to happy hours can be beneficial to network but it should remain as such a business and professional opportunity.
- I have to share stories about my personal life because they do it. This is tricky, but it is a myth. Be wise in what you share and how you share it with co-workers. I know the workplace can be an easy ground to vent from frustrations in romantic relationships, marriages and family, but by sharing intimate details of your personal life (highs and lows) you are giving a person that may not be apart of your destiny, sensitive access. This is an easy entry point for the enemy to play on emotions, plant seeds of comfort and can open the door for affairs, gossip, slander and unbelief. Be strategic in what you share and who you share it with. It is okay to just listen to what they share and that’s all.
- I have to eat their food when they share. Listen tell Debrah her casserole is nasty and you know she doesn’t wash her hands because she doesn’t do it at work when she leaves the bathroom. That. Is. All.
Well, maybe don’t say all of that…. but it is okay to decline politely and keep it moving, no explanation is required.
- Because they like me, they will “look out” for me. I don’t believe I have to elaborate on this much but know that, this is a dog-eat-dog world. I did not say that to make you fearful or paranoid but aware. Most people are not going to defend you or stand by you when there job is being threatened or when it may seem like a threat to their reputation at work. You may be the one that looks out for people at work, but do not become surprised when they don’t return the favor.
Be encouraged and most importantly be yourself. We are women and we are strong! We can play the “game” and be wise in the midst.