My husband recently changed jobs in an effort to improve his work environment. In the past, he has sought counseling for anxiety and depression. He has struggled with anger in the past, and he'll come home agitated and depressed, because he feels like he's been talked down to or someone isn't treating him well. He talks about respect a lot, and feels like he hasn't gotten the respect that he deserves.
I tell him that he's only been in the job a month, and he can't expect to develop relationships with co-workers that quickly. I also tell him that he cannot know what people are thinking--are they really talking down to him? He's in a construction office, and it seems like many of his co-workers are pretty macho, and like to have a one-up-manship attitude. Maybe it is just how they relate to each other, and the intent isn't to make him feel worthless (which is how he says he feels when peers tell him how he should be doing his job).
As background, he comes from a chaotic family, and his parents were tentatively diagnosed as suffering from narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder. He is currently enforcing a no contact policy with them. As a young teen, during his parents divorce, he was frequently told that he was worthless and that he was a terrible person. It's not difficult to see how he could have a lot of anxiety about personal interaction.
How can I give him steps to deal with this? I've told him to think more about what his co-workers are saying, rather than focus on what he thinks their intent is or their tone. I don't know that he can really accurately judge what they're saying or thinking, because he has a tendency to see everything as an insult to his intelligence when he's feeling anxious or depressed.
Any advice? I recognize that I'm really simplifying things here--I hope this is enough information!
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