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Byrne suggests that the absence of anger made it easier for participants to maintain boundaries, yet “to be able to flick that switch and say ‘I am now the professional person, not the relationship person who is angry or hurting’ requires a lot of emotional energy.” In Worklogic’s cases, we have seen far-reaching consequences of colleagues breaking up, including criticism and defamation of the former partner on Facebook, violent conduct at or after work functions, and misuse of power in the workplace in retribution.
The damage is rarely confined to the two employees who were in the relationship.
On the other hand, men may be forgiven – ‘he’s sowing his wild oats’ or ‘he can’t help it’ – or even congratulated for having bedded a woman within the organisation, particularly if she is attractive.
For this reason, Byrne explains, “professional identity and threats to professional reputation were significant issues for many of the women” in the study.
Occasionally one of the former partners will choose to avoid the social aspect of work, because they don’t want to hear news about their former partner, or “They didn’t want to be in the situation where they had to appear that everything was okay, even though it wasn’t”, Byrne said.
More dangerous is where one of the former partners deliberately harms the other, for example by discussing intimate aspects of the relationship and break-up with colleagues including lascivious sexual details.
In this month’s newsletter, we interview psychologist Ruth Byrne, who studied the consequences of failed workplace romances as part of her Masters of Organisational Psychology.
We consider what employers can do to minimise the damage, and to help the two former partners – and all of their colleagues – get over the break-up.
In essence, embodying professional archetypes about what a manager is and what professional behaviour in the workplace is.
Being able to keep those boundaries really helped people cope with the situation”.
Conversely, “for the people who were able to continue performing well, retaining a strong sense of work self esteem and professional identity seemed to protect them against some of the negative impact of the relationship fall out, partly because “Their professional pride was intact”.
The breakdown of an office romance often affects co-workers, and can be socially divisive in a workplace.
In one circumstance the former relationship partners were working in a team situation, in different states.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating