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Knowing When to Quit

Knowing When to Quit

Making that big decision to quit is not easy.

It is perplexing why women who are beaten by their husbands return to their abuser.  It seems the best solution for the wife would be to leave the toxic environment and find a place of safety, especially if children are involved.  It is my understanding abused women linger in the relationship due to low self-esteem, self-blame and depression.  The quality of life outside the abusive home is a big question mark and the fear can be paralyzing.  The abuser can be a charming con-artist who fools the outside world that he would never be abusive.

Employees in abusive employment situations are not that different.

A psychologically abused employee will question the quality of life outside their toxic work environment.  Will work-life be better somewhere else?  Maybe it is my fault the boss berates me in front of my coworkers, thinks the confused employee. It is hard to imagine life outside of their current company.  Mortgage payments and bills continue to arrive and force us to work in unmanageable situations.

We are not a nation of quitters. The act of quitting will not be found in the latest motivational best seller or seminar. Leaving a toxic boss and work culture, on the other hand, may be exactly what you need to do when the odds are stacked against you.

Learning this important career lesson was difficult.

It is not in my nature to quit.  My inclination is to hang on and try to reverse a bad workplace situation. Helpingexit door organizations dissolve toxic environments is encoded in my DNA.  Working for or dealing with workplace bullies, overly aggressive Type A’s, passive aggressive Type B’s, brutal alpha males and females, corporate assholes and outright jerks has had a sadistic hold on me.

Even in the midst of misery I seek to solve problems. It does not pay, however, to play Dr. Phil at work.

An abused spouse cannot reform their partner.

Targets of workplace psychopaths will not reform their perpetrator.  Don’t get sucked in and feel sorry for the abusive boss and all their mental or emotional problems. Traumatic Bonding and Stockholm Syndrome are very real issues.

According to Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov, Traumatic Bonding, also known as Stockholm Syndrome, may be defined as the development of strong emotional ties between two persons, with one person intermittently harassing, beating, threatening, abusing or intimidating the other.

When the perpetrator is your boss, pay close attention to the detrimental affects on your life.

Staying in your position can cause severe health and family issues.  Look at your options.  There are companies that have Great Workplace Initiatives who have fired all their jerks and abusers.  There is a better place to earn a living and live your life.

Knowing when to quit is an important strategy if you find yourself in a toxic work environment or abusive employment situation.

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Kevin Kennemer is founder of The People Group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin is driven by his passion for company owners and their need to earn a profit, employees' desire for a positive and fulfilling work experience, and the community that benefits when both groups do well.

1 Comment

  1. MIke 15 years ago

    Kevin, your article is right on when it comes to making the connection between workplace bullying and domestice violence. What it doesn’t say is the financial implications of moving on. As a person who works on legislation in New York State, moving on almost always will result in a lower paying job if not outright outcasting from the salary range one worked in. Moving on is difficult when the mortgage has to be paid, groceries have to be purchased and a sense of living the American dream not a light and the end of the tunnel at least in this economic climate. This is one of the many reasons legislation will be necessary to protect those workers who only did what their employer expected them to do; show up at work prepared to do the job they had been hired for. Employers need to be aware of the costs to themselves when a person, ususally in a superviosry role uses their resources to destroy the health and well-being of their employees. Even the employer can be in a aura of domestic violence when the bully pleads, begs and promises to be better but they never will.

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