It’s interesting at this time of year how easily we all start to slough off our work personas and begin thinking about spending a week or two with our families, safe in the knowledge that everyone else is doing the same. It’s a time a of year when it is reasonable to unavailable, there’s nothing much going on and no one expects particularly urgent results.
Even after all these years, I’m still a bit shocked when I get abusive messages on social media platforms. I mean, we all know it happens but I very rarely post anything very contentious and the level of fury always seems out of proportion to the issue at hand.
Last year marked the centenary of (some) women obtaining the vote and that was a great landmark, though it would be another 10 years before women got the vote on equal terms to men. December this year, however, marks the anniversary of women doing more than just voting. 1919 saw the enactment of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act – an astonishingly far-reaching piece of legislation, though not one that produced instant results it must be said.
If you tell me that you find everyone you work with is intelligent, focused and useful then I’ll call you a liar. No doubt most of your colleagues are most of those things but very few people are all of them and some are, unfortunately, completely the opposite.
When was the last time you talked to someone completely different from you? It’s all too easy to find that our social – and our professional – circles are quite limited: friends who live near us – they are similar to us; friends from school or university – similar to us; friends we’ve made at work – similar. In a roomful of people, there will inevitably be a few to whom we naturally gravitate, even if we couldn’t say exactly why, and it is likely the reason for our attraction to them will be some sort of similarity.
Whatever the cause of the stresses in your life, it’s a truism that a problem shared is problem, if not halved, then very much easier to deal with. Talking things through, as I’ve said many times before, is always a helpful way to develop and crystallise one’s thinking and there are usually plenty of people to have those sorts of conversations with.