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My friend Shanks is facing a difficult situation at work. Her boss is always tense. This makes her stressed and irritable, and also tense. She fails to understand why she should be a victim of the rub-off effect for no fault of hers.
Tension is highly contagious. It is like the virus that one gets during a cold. One sneeze and it spreads all around. And most of us get affected by second-hand tension.
While it is difficult to control second-hand tension, it is important to isolate oneself from the factors that cause them. An open discussion with the person who causes stress will go a long way in ensuring that it does not affect anyone's work and productivity.
It is important to make the person realise that the cause of his tension should not have a bearing on you or anyone around him. It is also important to make the person understand the adverse reactions his tension is causing others, physically as well as mentally.
If that does not work, then one should take the necessary steps to protect oneself from second-hand stress. This begins with identifying the cause. If someone provokes tension on you, keep away from that person. But this is not a practical solution especially in the workplace where one has to interact with that person on a regular basis. It becomes all the more difficult when that person is your direct boss. The solution then is to stay away from becoming a victim.
Most of us react when tension rubs off on us. The tension inducer wants a confrontation. When we choose to ignore him, he realizes the futility of the action and walks away.
When a tension-inducing situation arises, shift the focus from the issue to more pleasant things. Make the effort to control yourself emotionally, especially in difficult or complicated situations.
Shanks is learning this technique and is more relaxed now.
• Breathe before you speak to be objective about the issues
• Learn to be the listener and show you understand the issue
• Avoid blaming others and take responsibility for your feelings
Get a glimpse on how to train yourself to be part of the solution
Source: C. Sunil Roy, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is Senior Manager, Publilink