Forgotten How to be Social at Work?

As the pandemic morphs into an endemic, many remote workers are being asked to return to the office — some are less excited about it than others. In this episode of My Crazy Office, Kathi and Katherine ask the question, “Have you forgotten how to be social at work?” If so, here’s what you can do about it.

#38: Chatty Workers – My Crazy Office, Season 8

Kathi and Katherine talk about chatty workers on this week’s episode of the My Crazy Office podcast.

First we give advice to someone whose chatty coworkers are a distraction in the office.

Then we discuss how managers should handle talkative, disruptive employees.

Is Someone Getting on Your Last Nerve?

My husband was noticeably irritated with me last night. He said that I was “yawn talking.” Do you know what yawn talking is? It’s when you keep talking even as you yawn. Apparently, I’ve been doing that a lot lately, and it’s extremely annoying.

My initial reaction after being accused of “yawn talking,” was to strike back. If I do that, then he “burp talks.” But that isn’t really the point. The point is, we’ve been sheltering in place for too long, and we’re getting on each other’s nerves. Critical words, verbal tics, grating habits, and nonverbal gestures that we might normally have shrugged off are getting to us.

You may find yourself in a similar situation. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve heard numerous complaints from my clients about other people’s bad behavior. It could be a boss who is making more-than-usual unreasonable demands. A family member who is acting out. A coworker who is chronically late – even for Zoom meetings. Perhaps you have an upstairs neighbor who is playing loud music or moving furniture late at night.

None of these may be new behaviors, but they feel more irritating today. It’s the emotional by-product of extended captivity in the name of staying safe.

If your nerves are frayed, your temper is quick, and you feel overly reactive to the behavior of others, you are not alone. The question is, what can we do to calm our systems down?

Here are a few tips:

Shift your energy – I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. Confined living creates pent up energy which needs to be released one way or another. Run, jog, dance, squirm, have a pillow fight, take a bath, step outside, take ten deep breaths. Do something to shift the energy and relax your system. The more rigorous the movement, the better the release.

Ask yourself, “how important is it?” – If someone criticizes you, interrupts you, ignores you, makes a sarcastic remark, or offends you in some way, try to pause and ask yourself if it’s worth getting upset about. Is this a matter of life or death? Is your welfare truly threatened by this person/event/remark?

Let someone talk you off of the ledge – Sometimes you may know that you are over-reacting but you can’t help yourself. At these times, it’s smart to call a trusted friend or confidante, voice your complaint, and let them calm you down.

Try to find the humor – This isn’t always easy, but it’s well worth the effort. I am forever grateful to those people who can find the humor in difficult moments. Laughter relaxes the nervous system and puts small problems in their proper perspective. If you can find what’s funny in a tense exchange, both parties will benefit.

There is no miracle cure for our frayed nerves at this time. We don’t know exactly when we will be less confined, more mobile, less fearful. While we do our best to manage our lives during the pandemic, let’s all commit to doing what we can to soothe our over-worked nerves.

Katherine Crowley – Career Therapist and co-owner of K Squared Enterprises

Contact us at info@mycrazyoffice.co for any further help around this topic.

#35 – Phubbing (aka Phone Snubbing): My Crazy Office, Season 2

Kathi and Katherine discuss phubbing – or “phone snubbing” – in the workplace on this episode of the My Crazy Office podcast.

First we give advice to an employee whose boss is constantly distracted by his smart phone.

Then we give guidance to a manager who has inattentive employees due to their smart phone use during meetings.

#54 – The Invisible Bully & Sick Cubicle Co-Worker: My Crazy Office, Season 1

The hilarious Joe List helps Kathi and Katherine solve some crazy workplace situations on this episode of My Crazy Office.

How do you handle an invisible workplace bully? Also, how does one deal with a sick cubicle co-worker with a serious sinus problem?…

For more information on Joe List visit his website comedianjoelist.com. Also follow him via Twitter @JoeListComedy.

#46 – Tyrannical Boss & Cell Phone Use: My Crazy Office, Season 1

This week on My Crazy Office we are joined for a second time by comedian Mike Fine! He helps us discuss ways to handle the tyrannical rule of a boss. He also aids us in how to handle an avid cell phone texter.

For more information on Mike Fine visit his website mikefinecomedy.com. You can also reach him via Facebook.

#41 – Attention Seekers & The Age of Distraction: My Crazy Office, Season 1

Thanks for tuning in to another new episode of My Crazy Office! On this week’s episode we are joined for the first time by playwright and Emmy Award nominated TV writer, Matt Hoverman.

The first situation we try to solve is how to deal with a consistently late and disruptive co-worker.

The second situation we give advice about is how to handle individuals who are easily distracted.

For more information on Matt Hoverman visit his website matthoverman.com. Also, createyourownsoloshow.com.