We’ve all been in that situation: a toxic workplace that we couldn’t wait to leave. Maybe your manager was too dismissive, or you couldn’t make a connection with a coworker, or you couldn’t seem to fit in at all. It occurs, and it is unpleasant. But, unfortunately, new employers aren’t always to fault.
Occasionally, the monster is you. From figuring out why your workplace is hostile (hint: it’s probably you) to your coworkers refusing to invite you to lunch (hint: it’s probably you), to feel like your boss is trying to get you to quit (hint: there’s a pattern), here are ten signs that you’re the monster at work, not the other way around — and what you can do about it!.
Signs You are the Monster in the Workplace
1. You feel like everyone’s out to get you
If you believe that everyone at work is out to get you, you are most likely the cause of your toxic workplace. Of course, everyone makes errors, but assuming that you don’t and refusing to accept them can prevent you from working in a healthy workplace.
Instead of becoming defensive, you should be introspective at this time. Spend your time finding out how to address your problems, and you’ll notice that you feel less threatened.
2. Your coworkers don’t invite you to lunch
You observe that your coworkers go out for coffee or a bite to eat almost every day, but you’ve never been asked. Perhaps you didn’t realize it at first, but being continuously missed or deliberately not invited is a clear clue that your office attitude is off-putting to your coworkers.
If you’re ready to change your workplace interpersonal interactions, ask a coworker or manager to meet you for coffee. Making relationships (and bridging the gap) can make all the difference.
3. You love to gossip
Who doesn’t enjoy a good gossip session? However, if you’re continuously gossiping about practically everyone in your office, you may be contributing to a poisonous work atmosphere. Suppose you find yourself constantly intruding into other people’s personal lives and attempting to figure out why Suresh had a meeting with the CEO.
In that case, it’s time to take a break from the world and give everyone a rest. That kind of toxicity makes people afraid of you and develops a sense of untrustworthiness among our coworkers, which isn’t suitable for our long-term success at work.
4. You’re a micromanager
We understand that you may not trust the people with whom you work. Students don’t seem to understand your directions, they have trouble completing assignments on time, and it appears that you are continually intervening to handle their problems. However, the issue may be with how you’re acting rather than how they’re doing their jobs.
If you’re worried that you’re micromanaging, take a step back and try to figure out what’s going on. Most of the time, it’s your micromanagement that’s the issue, not other people’s jobs.
“They’ll need to have a high level of self-awareness and be open to feedback from others,” adds Tardelli. “If they aren’t open to input, it can be challenging.”
5. You don’t have a friendly relationship with your boss
Listen, we’re not saying you have to be BFFs with your boss or anything, but if you have a chilly connection with a boss who is otherwise fun and friendly, the issue could be you, not him. The most straightforward approach to avoid this is to take responsibility for any workplace behaviours or attitudes (for better or worse) and have a talk with your manager about how to align and enhance your relationship.
“No one wakes up one day and thinks, ‘Wow, I’m the jerk,'” says Andreanna Tardelli, a Toronto-based Human Resources consultant. “It’s truly a collaborative effort.” The idea is to reassure your manager that you want to improve and to request clear, attainable targets.