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Feeling Overwhelmed At Work? You Might Have ‘Workplace Vertigo’

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

Raise your hand if you’ve felt a swell of negative emotion every time you’ve been intentionally (or unintentionally) overlooked at work or if you’ve felt that you’re being saddled with unfair workloads. As it turns out, you might be suffering from ‘workplace vertigo’.

Coined by Dan L. Shapiro, director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program and the author of Negotiating the Nonnegotiable, the term encompasses a feeling of sudden rage and heightened negative emotions when faced with unfair treatment at work.

Shapiro warns workers of getting ‘workplace vertigo’ unexpectedly and advises them to learn to recognise the signs and be mentally aware of their potentially hostile physical state.

“A lot of that cerebral [thought] has emotional underpinnings and those emotional underpinnings are coming from what we feel in our bodies,” said Shapiro in an interview with CNBC, “If you’re not aware of it you will react wrongly to it most of the time.”

How To Recognise If You Have ‘Workplace Vertigo’?

Workplace stress©Pexels

If you’ve been feeling professionally undervalued, there’s a good chance that you might have ‘workplace vertigo’. It might present itself through an elevated heart rate, quickening thoughts and an all-over feeling of negativity settling in.

Once you’ve recognised the signs, it’s best to take a breather before you act rashly, like telling your boss where they can stick their overtime assignment or pulling a Jerry Maguire and quitting dramatically. When you’re experiencing ‘workplace vertigo’, your thoughts might be rational but your actions would represent a largely emotional response that you might regret later.

What To Do If You Have ‘Workplace Vertigo’?

If the feeling persists, schedule a meeting with your superiors to discuss your workplace situation and your future. You must have internal clarity about what you want to accomplish from that meeting and focus on that instead of getting distracted by small things. You’ve got this!