Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Your Best Self: Home or at Work?

Last month I read an article that said the ability to make and keep plans as a young professional vs. a college student is among key differences between the two stages of life. Conflicts with work, stress and exhaustion infringe on the ability to make the weekly game night or catch up over dinner.

Not only does work life conflict with plans with friends, but often times it also influences relationships with loved ones.

While in the office, we behave ‘professional’ for the sake of our job, employing tact in all circumstances regardless of stress or frustration. Being 'professional' allows no room for for those that struggle to accept criticism, defensiveness, the overly emotional, etc. So while at work, we cast aside any personal angst, put our heads down and smile through the stress. 

However, once home, the release of stress doesn’t always emerge so tactfully and can strain relationships. Like a tea kettle, we allow the stress to continue to build within us until finally we hit the breaking point and succumb to a fiery rage or break down into a puddle of tears.

We are so adept at taking work home – literally and figuratively – yet still struggle to apply that same tact to the relationships that matter most. To some degree I wonder, why do we save our best selves for the office, but then also, why does it seem impossible to be our best selves always?

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