Workplace Stress, Dismissals and Self-Respect in the Workplace

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How we function in our job has a massive impact on our self-esteem, which makes sense. The workplace is, after all, where we spend most of our time.

The more roles people fulfill, the more self-respect they typically have; however, dismissals and disrespect in the workplace can impact a person’s sense of achievement and wellbeing, making it hard to thrive in an unwelcoming environment.

Having a healthy attitude about yourself is crucial to your mental health and productivity. To address workplace stress and to maintain your self-respect, set aside time for a passion project, list your achievements, and avoid negative thinking.

How to Tell if You Are Being Disrespected

Respect in the workplace is crucial to creating a mutually beneficial work environment for both employers and employees, which is why it’s tragic that disrespect in the workplace is rampant, especially if you are perceived as an outsider.

Your ideas may be treated dismissively, and people refuse to acknowledge your value. Here are some signs that you’re suffering from dismissal at the workplace:

  • Your ideas or suggestions are never implemented or considered
  • People sneer, laugh, or act disinterested when you speak to them
  • You don’t get invited to social events
  • People talk about you behind your back
  • People take credit for your ideas
  • Your colleagues expect you to take on extra work for their benefit

Addressing these dismissive people can be very difficult, but it’s crucial that you maintain your self-respect in the workplace if you experience any or all of these signs on a regular basis.

You are a unique and valuable individual whose contributions are of merit, and feeling constantly put down can make the work environment a nightmare.

Women playing the guitar in her room

Get a Hobby and Take a Break

Sometimes, dealing with difficult coworkers or a hostile environment wreaks havoc on your self-esteem. It’s important not to let your work interfere with your individual passions. Workplace stress can make you feel depressed and anxious.

Take some time out of your day to work on a hobby. Whether you’re doodling some sketches, exercising, or solving puzzles on your phone, set aside the stresses of the day for just a moment to refresh and do something you love.

With time, you’ll find that it can help stop you from ruminating excessively on the attitude of your co-workers and will help you flex your self-respect muscles.

Writing Down Your Achievements

When people at your work dismiss all of your ideas as pointless, it can really get in your head― even if you don’t think it affects you, it does.

Evaluate how far you’ve come in your life and write down your major achievements, chronicle your thoughts, and plan out your future goals.

Looking forward to the future can stop you from focusing on the worries of the present and help you put aside dismissals and a lack of respect in the workplace.

Avoid Ruminating on Dismissive Behaviour

Often, when people are dismissive towards you, it’s hard to put the resulting negative spiral into perspective.

It can take those self-doubts and negative thoughts that were already in your head and cause them to spiral even further when others in the workplace don’t treat you with due respect.

What you don’t realize at the time is that your brain is magnifying those emotions out of proportion and causing you to doubt yourself.

It takes a lot of cognitive discipline, but you can push back those negative thoughts and preserve your self-respect in the workplace. Step outside of your traditional mindset and try to see the larger picture.

Recognizing the onset of negative emotional patterns, particularly after a colleague or employer has been rude to you, can help you transition ruminating thought patterns into motivation for improvement and self-affirmation.

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Woman leaving work for good.

Leave the Toxic Environment

Sometimes, the last resort in dealing with a dismissive workplace environment is to leave. Not only is being ridiculed an inappropriate condition to spend most of your time in, but it can also cause you to have no satisfaction in your work if it isn’t being appreciated or valued.

Leaving can be difficult. It almost feels like admitting that they were right, but, where possible, it’s better to preserve your mental health and overall wellbeing than to continue to suffer in silence.

The Effects of Disrespect and Dismissal in the Workplace

People strive to feel good about themselves, to be satisfied with their accomplishments. Self-esteem and self-respect are vital parts of a healthy life.

In fact, Positive Psychology reports that those with low self-esteem are at higher risk of mental illness, and that those with high self-esteem often have better physical wellness.

When we apply this mindset to a disruptive work environment where someone is constantly the subject of belittlement and ridicule, it’s no surprise that so many people who have a hostile workplace report feeling constantly stressed and anxious, suffering from low self-esteem.

Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, the words others say have a large impact on how we view ourselves, and anyone who feels as though our work is underappreciated will have a reduced sense of accomplishment and diminished self-esteem.

Final Thoughts

It’s terrible that so many modern workplaces suffer from dismissive behaviour and a lack of respect, even if it is masked behind a corporate screen. Feeling unaccomplished is almost a certainty when your ideas and pursuits are scoffed at and treated with contempt.

To address dismissal and self-respect issues in the workplace, try to step back and focus on your passions. Engage in something you love and write down your experiences along the way.

Remind yourself how valued you are to your family and friends and leave the scene if the dismissal escalates into open hostility. There is no job in the world worth enough to tolerate constant dismissal.

Remember to always demonstrate compassion and empathy towards others who are struggling and do your best to offer support and respect to others who come from different walks of life than you.