Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Do You RA?

In the last two weeks I've had a number of inquiries about relational aggression "on the job." It's interesting to hear about the many situations that arise as four different generations of women interact with each other in the professional environment.

Here's a little self-survey I created a year or so ago when I started speaking to various audiences about this issue--see what your RA quotient might be by tallying those answers that apply to you.

1. I’ve changed jobs a lot because of the people I worked with.

2. Every day on my way to work, I plan what I will say and how I will act around my
coworkers, just to be sure I don’t get taken advantage of.

3. I’m always angry when I’m at work, but rarely tell anyone.

4. I’m sick of watching the other people on my unit bicker.

5. People I work with don’t like me, and I don’t care. None of them are worth hanging around with anyway.

6. I take secret joy out of seeing another coworker “get what she deserves” for poor performance.

7. Secretly, I think I am more competent than most of the people I work with. It’s a shame.

8. I work harder than everyone else on my unit.

9. No one gets the last word with me; even if I have to respond later, I’ll make sure they know I can’t be pushed around.

10.At least once a day when I’m at work, I listen to gossip, pass on gossip, start gossip, or am the subject of gossip.

11. If I’m angry, I sometimes ignore or act rude to my coworkers as a stress reliever.

12. I get excluded from joining others in breaks or meals, or I do the excluding.

13. The emotional climate at my workplace contains a lot of “drama”

14. My feelings are often hurt by women I work with.

15. I can’t say “no” to my coworkers without worrying they will be because I know they will be upset with me.

(Developed by Cheryl Dellasega, PhD, October 25, 2007)

Some of the items describe aggressors, others the target or victim, and others those who watch or facilitate from the sidelines (bystanders). A few could qualify for each category! The bottom line is, if you found yourself agreeing with many of the behaviors, your work situation may need an RA overhaul.

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