The toxic workplace

My job is toxic. My boss is a tyrant. My boss is a bully. My co-workers complain 24/7. Sound familiar? How many single parents have continued working for horrible bosses because they feel stuck? Single moms and dads feel more pressure to put up with demeaning and toxic work environments. Many allow self-defeating thoughts of being trapped or the belief that, “I can’t do anything about it.”

First, I want to encourage you that you are not alone. An estimated 54 million people have encountered a bully at work. Most incorrectly assume that you have to tolerate this type of environment. Second, make a choice to intentionally remain positive. I use the term intentional because it will require extra effort on your part. The saying, Birds of a feather flock together adequately applies here. After endless days and hours of being exposed to negativity and/or tyranny, you may find yourself repeating the behaviors of your peers. Never allow yourself to stoop down to the level of a bully. Lastly, decide to do something about it. Indecision is the number one precursor to feelings of hostility, inadequacy, depression and bitterness. Most of our anxiety can be traced back to feeling out of control or “victimized”. We churn the negatives thoughts and beliefs over and over in our mind. If you don’t get out of the “victim mentality” cycle you will become part of the problem. You will become toxic. You will end up bringing toxicity into your personal, into the lives of your children.

In order for the unwanted behavior to change, you have to confront the offending party. Confrontation will happen either directly or through the Human Resources department. This can be especially difficult if the person is your boss. There are several steps you must take when dealing with a hostile work environment. Document the behavior of the offending party. Write down dates, time and what was said. It will be very critical when you bring your complaint to your manager or the human resource office. Keep detailed notes for about two weeks which will show a pattern and not just one or two offenses. If it is your boss who is creating the hostile work environment, you will absolutely need to go to the HR department.

Finally, be prepared to move on. It may be absolutely necessary for you to find a new job. In some cases the new job may pay a lower salary but your well-being is worth more than money. Your health is your number one priority, especially if you are the sole support for your children. There will always, always, always be another job out there. But there can never be another YOU.

Signs of a Toxic Workplace

10 tips to deal with a toxic environment

Toxic Leadership

Laws about hostile environments

Article Written by Allison Jarman
Although recently married, Mrs. Jarman spent 17 years as single parent. She is the proud mother of two adult daughters. Mrs. Jarman was a classroom teacher in public schools and currently works in accounting and finance. She is a twice published author and weekly contributor for articles pertaining to single parents and families.


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