June 21, 2024

Name: Stress shows off.

Age: As a tactic, ancient; as a term, about three months old.

Look: Overwork and pride.

Are they people who accidentally brag while under stress? These are people who deliberately brag about being stressed at work, while they are at work.

Why would you do that? To make yourself look competent and effective; to prove that you are a team player willing to go the extra mile.

I see. How cunning. The thing is, it can backfire.

What makes you so sure? There is research to prove it. A new study published in the journal Personnel Psychology had 360 participants rate an imaginary co-worker who indulged in stress bragging.

What did they find? They found that the practice can have significant negative workplace consequences for the stress talkers.

What kind of consequences? Colleagues will tend to see you as less friendly and less competent. They are also less likely to help you in times of need.

Do you mean they just hate me because I’m stressed at work? No, it’s because you won’t stop going over it. “It’s not the being stressed part that’s a problem,” says the study’s lead author, Jessica Rodell. “We found that if I perceive you as stressed, I actually see you as more competent.”

But how will my coworkers see that I’m stressed if I don’t tell them? It’s about more how you tell them “If you’re feeling really stressed, it’s okay to find the right confidante to share and talk about it with,” says Rodell. “But be mindful that this is not a badge of honor to brag about.”

So what should I do about the stress chatter in my office? Ignore them? Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Stress talk also has negative consequences for those on the receiving end.

Oh my God – like what? The colleagues of stress talkers often report higher levels of stress themselves.

Why? Because the braggarts normalize workplace stress. “It just spills over to the co-worker next to them,” says Rodell. “They end up feeling more stressed, which leads to greater burnout or withdrawal from their work. Think of it as this spiraling contagion effect from one person to the next.”

I’ll tell you what – I didn’t need it on my plate right now. Relax. Taking a deep breath.

ok thank you now what? Now collect all that stress into a big ball and keep it to yourself.

Do say: “I humbly pretend to be freaking out.”

Don’t say: “Nothing much, just crying in the bath. what about you Do you have weekend plans?”

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