Home' LOTL : December 2004 Contents ADVICE BY DAWN COHEN
Q I am depressed at work because my boss is overbearing. If he was
a friend I would talk to him about how his personality gets to me. In
this situation, I don't know what to do. -- Underling.
A In a work situation it is much better to talk about specific situations and concrete
behavior than personality clashes. Think about what it is he actually does that is
overbearing, and find a diplomatic way to identify the behavior and show how an
alternative will help you be more productive in your work. For example, if he tells you
what to do six times a day, you could say to him that you appreciate the guidance he
has offered up to now. You have benefited so much from his assistance; you would like
to see how you would go being a bit more independent. You could suggest a trial
period of a few months so that you don't arouse his anxiety.
Q After a heart attack three years ago I became fit by walking every
day. Over the last year I have got slack, and now I puff up a hill. I can't
seem to get back to it. Is it a death wish? -- Heartless.
A Your desire to live after the shock of your heart attack probably motivated you to
keep walking. It gave you a sensation of control and an antidote for the powerlessness
and vulnerability that is usually part of any life-threatening event. You are probably over
the shock now, and you need to find a new way to motivate yourself within the context
of every day life. The heart attack has shaken up your confidence in your psychological
commitment to life. If you were neglectful of your physical or psychological wellbeing,
allow yourself to face how and why. Examine carefully why you have left exercise out
of your life before your heart attack. Are you cramming too much into your day? Is the
high level of energy generated by exercise too threatening? Pleasure itself can be hard
to bear, because it heralds a level of aliveness that also makes emotional pain acute.
It is worth investing in a few sessions of counselling or therapy to work this one out.
Q My partner says she is sick of hearing about my daily hassles with
my work. She does not want to talk about it any more. Is she being
a bad partner or am I too obsessive? -- On the job.
A It is hard to know without meeting both of you. One way you can work it out for
yourself is to consider not only how much you are talking about work, but where it is
coming from within you. Are you spewing your troubles at her as if she is an emotional
rubbish bin? Are you expecting her to hold the anger or resentment you are unable to
express at work? Being a partner means listening but it does not mean being a
container for unprocessed feelings on a daily basis.
The opinions expressed in this column are the personal views of the
writer, they are not intended to be a substitute for professional
medical advice. If you need medical or psychological help please see
your local GP or psychologist.
YOU ARE PROBABLY OVER THE SHOCK NOW, AND
YOU NEED TO FIND A NEW WAY TO MOTIVATE
YOURSELF WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF EVERY DAY LIFE.
THE HEART ATTACK HAS SHAKEN UP YOUR
CONFIDENCE IN YOUR PSYCHOLOGICAL
COMMITMENT TO LIFE.
ARE YOU SPEWING YOUR TROUBLES AT HER AS IF SHE
IS AN EMOTIONAL RUBBISH BIN?
Links Archive November 2004 January 2005 Navigation Previous Page Next Page