Why people fight at the workplace or home?

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not philosophy! I am neither giving ‘gyan’ nor competing with gurujis. I am sharing some of the reasons for infighting (or call it as cold war) at the workplace or home.

Intruding into their space – When a new person is inducted into the team, the existing members (not all) becomes restless. They don’t share information with the new joinee, discourage them from taking responsibility, feed them with negative news, etc. One of my friends joined a hospital in Bangalore as Finance Manager. He says the team is just not ready to accept him!

This happens at home also. The mother-in-law (MIL) gets uneasy when daughter-in-law (DIL) finds space for herself at home. MIL thinks that the DIL will occupy her space!

The reason? According to me, the primary reason for this jittery feeling among oldies (or existing members) is the feeling of ‘intruding into their space by the newcomer’.

Fear of losing their independenceAnother reason is the fear of losing their independence. The oldies (means the existing team) would have created their eco-system of comforts. When a newcomer enters their turf, their confidence level goes down. What if the newcomer disturbs the present equation? So, what is the best way to tackle them? Simple, get into a fight!

Insecurity – A sense of insecurity is another reason for fights. It is a general feeling among the oldies (in the workplace) that the new comer is trying to be smarter than them! Even the seniors / managers will also promote the ideas of new comers! This brings in a type of insecurity to those oldies who lack the knowledge, but (somehow) managed to hold on to the post/position.

Coming to the home scene, the seniors (oldies) develop a sense of insecurity (what happens if my son starts listening to DIL?) maybe due to aging and higher dependency on son/children.

So the plot is ready to fight!

Words spoken in anger have no meaning – Another issue of the fight is the ugly exchange of words. It is needless to say that the problem starts for a silly reason (the real reasons are narrated above) and then starts the fireworks! Once it starts, it is difficult to stop. Most of the fights end up in tears (especially at home!)

Unfortunately, the participants in the drama (fight) won’t realize that the words spoken in anger have no meaning. After all, it is spoken out of anger. (So, the words should not be carried at the back like a Betaal. Post fireworks, the whole episode, has to be buried and forgotten as if having watched a heated TV serial episode!)

How can this be solved? This can be best solved if the newcomer conducts himself in a way that the oldies shall continue to get the same comfort as before! We, human beings take time to adjust to transformation/change or accepting new things. So, things will fall in place slowly and steadily. One should have the patience till such time. It takes time for people to realize that everyone can have their space. New and old are not competing for the same space, their rules are complimentary to each other to lead a contended life.

You would have heard people talking “initially acceptance was not there, but over a period, we managed to get along. Now we can’t even think of leaving this place (or living separately).

Of course, those who can’t understand this simple principle will suffer throughout their life.


Thought for the day

A great relationship is about two things: First, appreciating the similarities, and second, respecting the differences.

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About B E Kumar Prasad

B E Kumar Prasad
He is a Practicing Chartered Accountant in Bengaluru, India. He has 25+ years of experience in income tax, business setup, and NRI matters. He is also an Insolvency Professional and Registered Valuer (F&SA).Prasad welcomes your comments and questions. Please email him at [email protected]

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Maria Smith
2022 years ago

Thank you very much for your blog.

I enjoyed reading this article.

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