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The Toxic Work Environment

A toxic work environment can be tough for anyone, regardless of their title, personality type, or attitude. It’s one thing to have issues arise with coworkers, but it’s quite another when a supervisor is the culprit.

That’s not to say that it’s easier either way, but a reasonable person can agree that you can avoid coworkers but have to deal with the supervisor. A negative relationship with one can impact your health and your career.

I was recently asked for advice on how to handle a toxic work relationship. The short answer is, you don’t. You should continue on your professional way until you either summon the strength to leave or you finally move on to another job. Toxic relationships can have a severe emotional, mental, and physical toll on you. Frankly, it’s unfair to expect anyone to stick around and cope with such torture.

There was a time where I would have advised these poor souls to approach their supervisors, maybe speak in confidentiality with someone at HR, but the reality is that once a relationship turns toxic, it’s difficult to rebound from such an experience.

For the record, in all the instances brought to my attention, the employees had approached the supervisor. For one individual, the altercation with her coworkers turned physical, and the supervisor turned her back on the incident. In another example, a supervisor falsely accused the woman of lying, even when this individual had a valid reason for missing work or asking for a shift change, and even though this person went as far as to give the supervisor weeks of advance notice.

In the end, it really depends on each individual to decide. Leaving a toxic work environment is very difficult when you’re happy with the job or you feel there’s nowhere else to go. Eventually, you will have to choose between your well-being and this job you love. I say save yourself a lot of heartache and move on.

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