If you want to be happier – ditch Facebook!

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stick_figure_liking_it_500_wht_9170Research from The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen in Denmark (one of the happiest countries in the world) has found that giving up your Facebook account boosts happiness and reduces anger and loneliness.

Life satisfaction rose significantly in the space of a week when participants were unable to read the updates of their friends. The institute was surprised by the changes in such a short time and wants to raise awareness on the influence of social media on feelings of fulfilment.

Facebook and other social media sites are “a constant flow of edited lives which distort our view of reality” it said in its report The Facebook Experiment.

They recruited over a thousand people in Denmark and asked half of them to avoid Facebook for a week. Participants were asked to rate their life satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10 before and after the experiment.

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Men frightened to help women at work

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51kSmbnFeyL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_-1Senior male executives are scared of offering mentoring to young women in case it is misconstrued as sexual harassment according to a new book “Sex and the Office” by Kim Elsesser.

The author claims that a sex partition has sprung up which impedes women from building a vital network of contacts. This is as a result of the publicity about sexual harassment which has backfired on women who find it easy to network with other women but not with men, who still hold the power in many organisations.

She found that 2 out of 3 male executives were reluctant to even meet younger woman although they would not hesitate to ask a junior male colleague. Companies providing courses on sexual harassment and following up even minor perceived infringements don’t necessarily help.

When a man has to justify to HR why he opened a door for a woman (one of her examples) or complimented one on a new suit (and let’s not mention “stunning photos” on LinkedIn) you can see how men could become risk averse. There is even a term for fear of being accused of sexual harassment. It’s called “backlash stress“!

And don’t forget the fuss, largely in the US, about micro-aggressions.



Danger – Jealousy at work!

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grass_is_always_greener_1600_wht_8358Jealousy and envy are closely related but jealousy is usually when you wish you had something someone else has got eg a pay rise,or a plum project, and envy is when you haven’t got it and when you wish they hadn’t either.

Envy is about feeling inferior, being resentful, and wishing ill-will to others. It also tends to be more about being competitive.

Jealousy can also be aspirational or inspirational in encouraging you to better yourself so that you can also achieve what the other person has.

Research in USA by Professor Robert Vecchio suggests that 3 out of 4 people have witnessed jealousy at work and up to 50% of people have become involved in it in some way.

People who are more envious of others at work are more likely to be the ones who use “social loafing” (not pulling their weight) to even up the score. They are also more likely to be looking for other jobs.

People with a strong work ethic who are sensitive to work issues are more likely to get emotional about them as much as people with low self-esteem who think work is all about being competitive.

Generally woman are more likely to be jealous about social relationships; men to envy others in a competitive way.

Lack of consideration by supervisors can lead to jealousy and it is more likely to happen in a small office. People who work in large offices tend to assume that unequal treatment is because of bureaucratic inefficiency.

If you are the object of jealousy or envy:

Focus on the good things in your job (count your blessings) to bolster your self-esteem
Be humble – don’t flaunt your success
Don’t get involved in the drama
Help others to achieve and be as successful as you

There are also things organisations can do:

Create more of a team culture
Encourage cooperation rather than competition through incentives
Encourage a more participative style of leadership – encouraging input
Recruit emotionally mature people
Use high achievers as role models, mentors or coaches

And the office romance? Jealousy about sex or romance is a 3-way relationship; the focus of your attention plus the rival, which can produce feelings of loss, distrust or betrayal. But that’s a different posting.

First posted on SGANDA in 2010