By Dr. Daneen Skube
Tribune Media Services
Q. Sometimes I get really exhausted dealing with people issues at work. Other people don't seem to find the politics so tiring. Am I just a wimp?
A. Despite those books that promise the "Five-Second Microwave Solution to Life," the truth is that people are annoying and life is hard. The reason you believe other people don't find workplace politics tiring is you don't know them well enough.
Our emotional resilience at work runs in cycles like our immune system. There are times we feel vulnerable and may think being in a sterile bubble is a great idea. There are other times people can cough, sneeze, and drool on us and we feel just fine.
Noticing you get exhausted when dealing with people at work makes you human not a wimp. People's energy is similar to a tide; there are days our energy is coming in and we can take on the world. There are other days our energy is going out and we just want to lie on a beach.
Giving yourself room to let your tide go out, rest and withdraw is just fine. You'll recharge more quickly if you accept your cycles as normal than if you're busy thinking something is wrong with you.
You can speed up your recharge time if you give thought to what's bothering you. Sometimes exhaustion is a signal you need to set better limits, speak up or change a pattern of behavior. Sometimes, our exhaustion is an ally that points out an area of our life that needs to be cleaned up.
When my clients complain of being tired and unable to function in their usual manner, I remind them exhaustion can encourage change. When we don't have our usual energy, we have to find streamlined approaches to problems.
In mathematics, practitioners talk about "elegant" solutions. Elegant solutions don't wear pearl earrings but are ways of solving problems in the simplest manner. Experiment with allowing your exhaustion to encourage you to find the "elegant" solutions at work. Sometimes the best answers truly are the simplest.
The last word(s)
Q. Is it impractical to do something creative for money? I'd like to be an artist.
A. If you love art enough to support it with a day job - yes. Your emotional paycheck will be priceless and if you love something this much you are bound to get good enough to be paid to do it.
Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker. She's the author of "Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything" (Hay House, 2006). Contact her at www.interpersonaledge.com
or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.
This was printed in the January 29, 2012 - February 11, 2012 Edition