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  • Writer's pictureMel

“It’s just work”: On “the false divide between ‘work life’ and ‘life life’”

Just the other day, a friend (whom I’ll call Taylor) was describing to me the mistreatment they experienced at work. Taylor concluded the story by asking me how they could be less affected and just crack on because “I know it’s just work.”

I said, “Let me see if I’m getting this right. What you’re asking is: How do you feel okay, unmoved, about being disrespected and dehumanised?”

That apparently struck a chord with Taylor, who looked like the “pleading face” emoji (🥺).

We really are people first and foremost, not fleshy containers of skills and experience with “annoying human stuff” like feelings getting in the way.

It’s great to have feelings and not be completely cut off from ourselves! All feelings are data. In Taylor’s case, for instance, those so-called negative feelings are doing their job, telling Taylor that something is not right and ought to be changed. It’s up to Taylor to decide what to do with that.

And by the way, how many people think that they’re purely rational or able to compartmentalise 100%, unaware of the trauma responses they bring to work? (That’s a post for another time.)


This blog post was prompted by this LinkedIn post by Jessica Wan, an executive and leadership coach.


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