Polish Toxicity in a Work Place

I was wondering lately about toxicity and what does it mean? Why some of the people tend to be toxic to us? Why do we meet them in our lives? And the most important – how to get rid of such people once we find out they do not bring any positive energy into our lives, but just use us in order to fulfill their needs?

I think we mostly meet such people in our working places. We spend there a lot of time every day and happen to cross our paths with many different personalities. With some we get along, with others we do not. We do not really need to be liked by everybody, do we? And it would not be such a problem in not sticking to toxic people at work, but what if this person occurs to be our manager?

I work in In Poland in a corporation, an American one. For the past few years I noticed that Poles who occupy managerial positions, in most cases are toxic. Or maybe that is the fault of Polish undervaluated society? My observation is that they seem so insecure about themselves, that once they are appointed or get a managerial position in a company, they start treating the employees as their property. Maybe it is their subconscious revenge, as probably when they were employees themselves, they were treated without the respect by their managers. I noticed, in the relations between managers and employees there is no trust, no honesty, no dialogues and no sincerity. Or maybe it is me who demands too much from the corporate life?

I am wondering if this is happening in other countries too? Or is it only Polish phenomenon? Are the managers-to-be taught to be assholes toward the employees while studying MBAs or different management related courses? Or is here the Polish history to be blamed for still having such a big influence over generations and the way we treat each other? Where all of us, Pols, treated without respect and neglected by our parents and when we finally get an important managerial position at work, we subconsciously start feeling that we start to matter to someone or something? Just because we didn’t to our parents, do we somehow compensate the lack of love and attention at our working places?

Most of our parents were neglected by theirs. Have we still not made peace with ourselves and our parents, as it wasn’t really their fault they were neglected and treated like shit in their childhood? Back then emotional awareness and emotional consciousness was not that important. Having a warm and clean place to sleep, feeding the kids, providing them with an education was more important than taking care of their mental health. Do we still tend to suffer because of the Second World War and its mental consequences? Our parents’ parents, that is our grandparents, lived during these horrible times. I cannot even imagine traumas they must have seen, lived through and survived. After so many years do we still, subconsciously, pay the price for what started happening 80 years ago?

I keep wondering why we, as Poles, only tend to hurt each in every aspect of our lives? Was the Polish society made only to suffer? For our behaviors I blame a bit the history, especially Second World War along with the communist times. The former taught most of Poles how to cheat in order to get what they need. Such actions can still be observed in our professional or personal lives even though the system changed. I know the new generation is being criticized for their lack of respect toward many things and the way they tend to act in a reckless way, anyway from one hand I hope they will finally teach Polish society that the luxury things we buy, the money we earn, the hours we spend at work to afford better brand cars or cosmetics, are not really worth the emotional sacrifice. I know it will take a lot of time to understand that nothing can buy respect, love, empathy, understanding, freedom or true friendships. In my opinion, if we don’t work harder on expanding our consciousness and being open about it, we will only be hurting each other even more. It is a funny thing I always preferred to be surrounded by foreigners. Even my boyfriends are from abroad. And I work in a very global company. As long as the managers I was working with were foreigners, all was perfectly fine. The moment I started working with Polish ones, all went wrong. I do hope it will change. For the time being I am working hard on changing my job and get a manager who is not Polish anymore.

Polish society – quite a strange one with big emotional and historical bag that is still being carried.

Polish Girl Independence

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This month there was 100th Independence anniversary of Poland and such a celebration  made me wonder what it means to me? Poland disappeared from the world map for 123 years. Only after the First World War it gained its independence back. How about its people? How about me? What does it mean to be independent?

For me independence, and in the same freedom, is the ability to make my own decisions, deal with its consequences, and most importantly – not to be judged as well as lead the life I want to live. When I have a good look at Polish history, my analysis brings me to a conclusion that during the communist times I would never be able to buy my own flat and live on my own! I would need to get married to leave my parens home. It wouldn’t mean to live only with the husband and starting a new family with him, probably I would need to move from my parents’ to my husband‘s family as during these times it was not at all easy to get your own apartment. You had to sign up a wating list and wait a few long years to be assigned one. Of course it was not even certain you would! I remember in the flat of 54 m², where I spent my childhood, were living three generations: my grandparents, my parents, me and my brother. Three rooms – three separate ones – each for one of the generations. Nowadays, when I compare the conditions I spent my childhood in with the ones I live now, it shows me how my perception of having my own space changed. I live in a flat of 48 m² and cannot imagine having a kid there. However I remember spending my childhood and sharing a room with my brother of 9 m². We managed, there was no other way. I remember I envied my friends who, when living with their parents and their siblings, still had their own room. For me that meant they had their own space and were allowed some privacy. I can’t say I had such an opportunity. That is probably why now I need a lot of my own space and privacy. In my opinion everybody needs it. We need to have our own corner where we are able to calm ourselves down and know that is the only place no one else has access to without our permission.

From one hand independence and freedom for me is to have my own physical space in life. On the other hand it is also making my own decisions without being judged. I tend to claim that the only person, at the end of each day, that is allowed do judge me in any way – is myself.

I also think that I happen to live in the most incredible times! Yes!!! Amazing ones 🙂 I can travel as much as I can, and where I want, as long my budget allows me to do so. I think money is just money, these can always be earned. The most important is that I can choose whatever destination, then take a flight and just go! 🙂 Isn’t that lovely? Within a few hours I can be on the other side of the globe! I wouldn’t be able to do so, in such an easy way, during the communist times. Luckily I was only seven when capitalism arrived to Poland and I don’t really remember a lot from communism. I think with my free spirit and eager to travel, meeting international people, visiting as many places as possible, I would feel a prisoner in Poland about 40 years ago. I am incredibly happy living in a free country now that allows me to buy my own flat, to make my own decisions, keep the passport at home and use it whenever I want it, to host foreigners, to observe how the city I was born in and live is changing and how colourful blocks of flats are becoming as well as notice how many tourists are coming to visit Poland. I am amazed how much Warsaw, the capital, grately changed during only 28 years of capitalism. Looks like freedom also means development.

Independence is something you cannot buy in my opinion. It is something you need to fight for, like I was fighting to buy my own flat that brought a lot of autonomy into my life. Nobody controls who I am inviting into it and in the same into my life. If I was still living with my parents, they would see who I am meeting and most probable they would make their own observations and comments about my friends I would not really want to listen to. I do not like being controlled by anyone or judged, even if these people are parents who do not wish me bad. As a grown-up I know, and I am aware, that the only person responsible for my life is myself. I stick to my beliefs, try to make reasonable decisions, and if some occur to be wrong I deal with the consequences, so I only try to make these that don’t hurt. 😉 Apart from living on my own, making my own decisions and sharing my positive emotions with others, taking responsibility for myself is the biggest independence and freedom I have ever achieved in my life. Even though capitalism may not be one the best systems, it gave me the possibility to have at least a bit of autonomy in this crazy, egoistic and commercialized world. 🙂