The hidden ‘male ego’

I am a 27-year-old male working in an IT company since last 4 years. My girlfriend is also in the same company and we joined together for the same post. Six months ago, we applied for a promotion. She got it and I was rejected. Though I am happy for her somehow my ego is coming in the way. I keep picking up fights with her and our relationship is going through a tough phase. I am unable to accept the situation. Kindly guide me.

Ans: The insight here could be instrumental in working through the issues that have cropped up in your relationship due to work. You mentioned that your ego is hurt and though there is happiness, there is also reluctance to accept that you didn’t get selected. In order to resolve this and not let it become a sore point for your relationship, bringing about an understanding that the decision was purely professional and that you might have shot at applying for the post again could help at looking at this less personally. In your personal space as well try and distinguish your girlfriend from your co-worker in order to reduce conflict situations.

 Learn to say ‘no’

I am a 23-year-old girl who recently joined a law firm. The working hours and the work pressure are taking a toll on my health physically and mentally. My problem is that I am unable to say “no” for any work that is given to me in spite being loaded with a lot of work already. How do I stand up for myself?

Ans: The key here is to be assertive by first letting go of the fear that if you say ‘no’ there will be negative consequences that will follow through. You can keep a track of things that are needed of you which can allow you to be more realistic while taking up a job. There needs to be clarity in your mind about your capabilities so that you do not end up taking much more than what you can deliver. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally is essential as it lays the basis for how much would you be able to deliver at work. Also, debunking a general myth that revolves around saying ‘no’ is that it doesn’t set a negative image of you.

Unhappy with career  

I am a 45-year-old male working as an economics professor in a college. I am the oldest one in our team and people younger than me hold better positions and designation as compared to me. I have been in this profession for as long as 20 years. I feel embarrassed and bad about myself and I feel I am not being able to deliver my best to the students because of this. I am not able to allow myself to gel well with the new people because of my insecurities. I would not want to come across as a rude person. What do I do?

Ans: Your work is independent of which position you are at currently. As a professor what you deliver to your students is what defines your craft and not the age factor. With age, you have gained experience which your students are definitely benefitting from. Thus, believe in yourself and your work even though younger people are taking up better positions because the respect you have gained so far will remain the same as long as you are true to your work. Along with this, you can also create an association between you and the younger professors so that exchange of knowledge can take place and you could learn few things from their perspective which might work in your favour while teaching the current generation.

Workplace bullying

I am a 21-year-old woman who has recently joined an advertising agency. The work culture here is so bad that all seniors keep bullying the juniors. The environment is very negative and stressful. The work profile, though, is very good and I am earning also very well. I do not want to leave this place but I am unable to cope either as I feel so cautious in front of my seniors all the time. How do I deal with this situation?

Ans: I understand that this being your first work experience with rest of them being experienced around you would be overwhelming. However, it is essential to make yourself feel comfortable at the workplace by standing up for yourself when needed against the bullying as the values you imbibe in the beginning will remain with you for a fairly long time. Having faith in your work and delivering it to the best of your capacity could also help build your confidence to be less anxious and cautious in front of your seniors. Sharing your experiences with other junior colleagues could help in alleviating stress to a greater degree. Only care that needs to be taken here is that sharing shouldn’t border gossiping.

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