I feel anxious. Watching a dear coworker put on a brave cheery face. But I can start to see the bruises blooming from overwork. The imbalanced relationship is wearing on them. They reassure they’re fine and it won’t last. I used to be in a similar relationship with work. it lasted years. I remember how I thought, the choices I made and how much it cost me in the end. Only a doormat welcomes being walked all over.


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I feel you

Jul 1, 2022 at 12:51pm

I’m glad you have the sensitivity to see the scars left by overwork and exploitation in the workplace. This will make you a good ally to this person when they are ready to leave or change their perspective.

As I’m sure you know, this needs to happen at their own pace, when they are ready to see the truth and take back their power.

I have had to do a deep dive into cult recovery resources to heal from a toxic workplace, so it makes me happy to know that there are people like you who understand the seriousness of this situation.

I do want to challenge you on the doormat metaphor, though.

Your coworker has been slowly indoctrinated into serving a toxic system at the expense of their own well-being. They were likely recruited because they were a capable worker who could serve a specific cause and make the system/its leader look good.

I think calling your coworker a doormat takes away from the coercive tactics that toxic bosses use to get what they need from people and fails to call out the root of the problem.

4 2Rating: +2


Jul 2, 2022 at 4:08am

Wise words indeed. I’m experiencing the long term results of decisions I made in the past regarding the type of work I did and how much of myself I threw into it. I’m a complete physical and mental wreck now. Relationships lost or damaged because of how that overwhelming stress affected the rest of my life. Absolutely I live with regrets now. Work should be something you do to earn enough to be able to enjoy a balanced life. It should not BE your life. Unless you’re one of the rare people whose work is truly their passion and they love it, you shouldn’t be devoting all of your energies towards it. Employers that expect their employees to devote their lives to the job are just abusive. Those attitudes have to stop because they’re contributing to the massive burnout being experienced by so many people nowadays. At the end of the day we’re just human beings whose physiology hasn’t changed much at all since the days before the industrial revolution. We’re not designed to live that way and trying to ignore our basic physiology hasn’t worked. The results are all around us to witness, with so many people having mental health crises and physical health problems too. Slow down and take time to have fun and relax. More stuff is not what you need.

6 1Rating: +5


Jul 3, 2022 at 8:52am

we all need to be validated in our daily lives and unfortunately, too many of us get this from our jobs instead of other sources. our society banks waaaay too much status on what we do for a living and not on how we treat others or what we do with our space on this planet.

3 1Rating: +2


Jul 3, 2022 at 6:45pm

It sounds like you tried speaking to them about it. Maybe share a similar story of your own and that it didn’t end well? If you can speak to them about it from experience, you may get their attention. Otherwise, don’t let their issue stress you out. I’ve been there, done that, and would not want to relive it vicariously through anyone.

1 1Rating: 0

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