Lack of firmness in interaction with others


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hopefully I'm understanding you correctly Ellipse but here are some thoughts.

I think dealing with colleagues can be very tricky since we have to work with people we would normally not form a relationship with, but on the other hand these are also good opportunities to learn certain lesson. I'm curious to wonder why it is you felt bought? I would think that if you feel that way then at some level you must also think you sold yourself, and I don't think that's true. Particularly because you are aware at some level that this colleague is not a good influence on you and those around him. And noticing this already helps you have a defence against his influences, and puts a bourndary between him and you(unless there are boundary obstacles that need to be tackled).

Maybe one of the obstacles is that you are thinking too rigidly about what constitutes forming bonds with someone means. What I mean is that just because you share a moment of humour with someone you don't trust, does not mean you've become best friends. It can just mean that you can have a humorous conversation. I think that being able to remember yourself is important to navigating these conversations and really seeing things as they are.

That being said dealing with colleagues who are a distraction in the workplace is even trickier than our own internal narratives, because we have the option of extending a hand to the outside world and hope we're competent enough not to blow up anything we touch. That doesn't mean we should always try to change things though. Sometimes these types of people will reveal themselves all on their own, so no action is needed. So deciding to even do something about it is difficult.

You've mentioned you already spoke to him once, did that change anything in his behaviour? how did you go about talking to him about this problem? Also I'm curious as to how the other colleague changed after working with this individual?

I've read a book called "Crucial conversations" that teaches you a guideline to having difficult conversations like these. And I think if you notice that his behaviour does not improve(but more importantly, there is a disturbance in the workplace, because it's not your job to change anyone) then this book can help give you some tools in case you need to either speak with him again about this or speak to a higher authority.

Hope this helps.


FOTCM Member
Hi Elipse,

well I think what you describe isn’t uncommon even in people not engaged with self work.

a good practice is perhaps to compartmentalize your relations, and also compartmentalize the interactions with certain individuals, if not all. Particularly with coworkers.

For instance, you know you have a personal relationship with this person because you’re two human beings and in that context alone, you may decide whether this is someone worth calling your friend, based on your priorities and goals and temper and so on.

But you also have a professional relationship that is guided by the goals of the company and bound by the rules of your workplace, and this one is it’s own thing.

so perhaps one thing to do is to compartmentalize and ask yourself: “personally, and with my own goals in mind, what kid of interaction and what types of boundaries will I create for this person?” And also “professionally, how is the interaction affecting me and what kind of actions can I take, in my position to not allow that person to interfere with my professional goals (whatever they may be)?”

and act based on those answers, sometimes you will realize that you’re completely capable of having a professional relationship with someone who you’d never invite to your home or viceversa, great friends that you’d never embark on a project with.

the other thing is that, much like we can compartmentalize relationship, people themselves are whole spectrums of behavior and priorities. Some people are amazing workers but awful partners, or great caring and loving parents but awful financiers. Or really fun to be around and loyal, but lousy workers and so on.

So keep that in mind. External consideration is a good concept to keep in mind here I feel, but also the idea of not acting against someone, but in favor of one’s own destiny. And that destiny is informed by one’s goals and some people professionally and personally will be either aligned with those or not.

Hope the above makes sense.
Top Bottom