By | Kavitha Hemanath | An absolute advocate to being truly human
A very frequently heard saying is ‘Actions speak louder than words’. And that is true.
On the flip side though, if you re-direct your focus on to words, you’d realize that even when words don’t speak as loud as actions, they linger much longer in our memory, unnecessarily haunting us for a long long time.
Recently I happened to hear a friend pass a comment which was out of line, inconsiderate and mainly out of rage. The comment was derogatory in nature, and was about someone’s work ethic extrapolated completely based on that person’s personal life at that time.
Personal life and professional life are terms we use in an attempt to desperately separate the one giant intermingled ball of our being. Unfortunately, there is no line dividing the two and most often than not, one creeps into the space of the other and leaves the whole thing a huge mess.
So this intermingling then sometimes gets considered as a true reflection of each other, i.e personal life reflecting professional life and vice versa. My friend decided that this person ‘P’ would not be a good professional, because of the lack of stability ‘P’ was currently showcasing in their personal life.
As much as I understood this premise, and the source of its origin, I did not quite agree.
I believe that despite the intermingling and blurring of lines, we human beings like to be thought of as highly professional even when we may be lost and broken as a person. A lot of us are naturally conditioned to put on a fake smile and a tough act when we enter the doors to our offices. This somehow helps us focus on the task at hand and get the results as promised. This happens despite the heart wrenching pain, depression, mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, loss, or trauma that one is parallelly going through in the personal life.
How does that work? It works because:
- Maybe work gives them meaning.
- It gives them validation, a sense of achievement and becomes the sign they were looking for all along.
- Maybe a success at work gives them perspective on the things in their personal life.
- Maybe this is the win they needed to get out of the pit they found themselves in.
It could also be because of the fact that personal life and work life sees the dominant working of different parts of the brain, different sets of emotions and thereby different approaches in behavior.
One really can’t say.
All I know is that work is a stress maker but a stress buster too.
It demands energy and concentration and most often than not, people seem to be more composed when working. One cannot/should not therefore base big decisions based on judgments on the way their personal life has panned out. (That’s personal and really none of anybody else’s business).
The line really is thin and therefore at times emotions and personal life may creep in at work, no doubt. Basing all judgments and decisions based solely on this assumption would be a mistake and a discrimination uncalled for.
We are only human, after all. But at work, we could almost turn into machines and get really crunching. And as sad as that may sound, it does get the job done!