#WFH Are We Going in a New Direction?
Success in the virtual environment requires more than just being aware of what you do. If you are not happy with what is going on, you need to respond differently. Collaboration, teams and interdependence begin with relationships. We build relationships with coworkers, family, friends and with ourselves. If you have not mastered the art of saying “no” and saying “yes,” one of the first places it will show up is in your relationships. Online relationships are more fragile and more imaginary. It is easier to passively comply and inwardly resent. It is also easier to give in to pressure, either real or imaginary. Sometimes it comes from you and what you “should do” and sometimes from someone or something else. Either way, if you cannot say “yes” or “no” to internal or external pressures without guilt and anxiety, you have lost your ability to respond with autonomy. Autonomy requires self-control, of thoughts and then of actions. You define what you say “yes” to and what you say “no” to, both with your words and actions.
In the virtual environment, it is more difficult for people to believe where you stand when you do not use words that clearly define your intention. Your words let people know what you like and don’t like. Without cues, it is important to be clear and concise. Letting people know what you like and what is unacceptable is one way that you define your relationships. You can make excuses and kid yourself as long as you want to but, eventually, to be happy and successful, you have to come to terms with the truth. You are already physically removed in the virtual world. Sometimes it is necessary to remove yourself emotionally to discover what is really going on. Taking time to be still and reflect can be a way of regaining autonomy. Sometimes you have to slow down to get a better perspective.
Emotional distancing can be challenging and difficult. If you feel unsafe or abused or insecure for any reason, it is important to take some emotional space. If you continue to set yourself up for disappointment and hurt, you will continue to experience those. One way forward is to give your heart and your head a break. You need to slow down to see things more clearly. This can be especially challenging with technologies that keep us constantly connected.
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