It can feel like being at school – some corporate environments seem not to have matured past the teenage years. Let’s face it, teenagers can be really mean to each other. They suffer from profound insecurity, as they try to make their way from being a child to being an adult and all of the identity crises that go along with it. 

The reason corporate environments can feel like school is because the environment itself is set up in a competitive way, just like school. That, in itself, creates insecurity. So even though you may be an adult, and you may have been one for more years than you like, the minutiae of nonsense, backstabbing, criticism, and passive aggression can leave you feeling exhausted at the end of the day. It can also crush your self-esteem. 

The reason this is interlocked with self-esteem is because it’s all about personal value. I mean, after all, we get paid to do a job, so to an extent, there is a value to the work we do. If you have low value, you may feel you need to reduce the value of someone who you rate to have higher value than you. This can give the perception of your value becoming higher. But, a bit like a train leaving a station, it can give you the perception that the train you are sitting on is moving, when it’s not. Of course, the best way to go about this is to see admirable qualities in someone else and grow yourself to match. Sadly, instead a person may put that person down rather than emulate them. Thus, dropping another’s value to grow their own. 

Of course, this doesn’t only happen in the workplace. You can find yourself in friendships that don’t serve your growth. I think these are called ‘friendenemy’! 

Also, small towns can have that small mind mentality. The best thing you can do is to rise above it. The culture you can find yourself in can govern your environment, and you can find yourself changing to suit your environment. Like becoming an actor in someone else’s story. Rather than ‘being the change you want to see in the world’, you become part of the problem. 

I love the saying ‘not my circus, not my monkeys’. Don’t allow your own level of worth to be brought down by anyone else. Stick to your values of kindness no matter how someone else treats you. That’s not to say don’t stand up for yourself, just to say don’t lose yourself to acting like them. You are far bigger and greater than that. If you find the circus is too much, trapeze yourself out of there as soon as you can!