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Toxicity & Hostility In The Workplace

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

Written by Akani Okachi


I will never stay in a toxic workplace!” These were my resounding words before I entered the labor market. Life had other plans. According to Inc.com, a new study of 40,000 employees at 125 companies say that toxic workplaces are common and one in three have left jobs due to “workplace conflict.”

“I will never stay in a toxic workplace!” These were my resounding words before I entered the labor market. Life had other plans. According to Inc.com, a new study of 40,000 employees at 125 companies say that toxic workplaces are common and one in three have left jobs due to “workplace conflict.”
Toxicity & Hostility In The Workplace

I have been a victim of the brutality of toxicity and hostility in the workplace. It was one of the worst phases of my life. There is simply no hard and fast rule in detecting some of these places. On the face of it, the company does not spell out toxicity until you are in the system. Every time I got back from work to talk about the horrible day I had, the occurrences I narrated were so absurd that the responses I got were “when are you leaving that place?” or “just manage, if you leave now, how will you keep up financially, you know there is no job security anywhere.”


These responses led to conflicts in my decision on how to move forward from this and get better. The toxicity came from the top department of the company. The hostility varied from berating work done, hurling insults at the smallest things, threatening staff with arbitrary salary deductions (which manifested). Employee turnover was at an all-time high.


The company lacked proper structure so there were no checks and balances in the work culture. It became a utilitarian government in a democratic system. Sounds funny right? I went through that and barely made it out in one peaceful mental space. Toxicity doesn’t pick and choose what industry it wants to foster in.


Did I think of how to sue this company because of my legal background? I saw a million labor laws in the mud literally, but when the people being sued have friends in that legal sphere, just know it’s a waste of your time and expenses.


How did I survive and make it out? My system may not favor everyone but I think it will help someone.

1. PRAY!: As a Christian, my silent and loud tears were accompanied by prayers. It was more so that I can have peace of mind whilst I was working there and to get something better.


2. Keep the smiles up, don’t let them see you break down! Nobody has to see those tears. If you must, go to the toilet and cry your eyes out and come out smiling. It not only shows strength, but it also makes the aggressor look small because you look like you are soaring above the hostility with ease.

3. Actively look for opportunities outside: Job search wisely and actively, it will have a lot of rejections but someone out there wants you and will pay you deservingly.


4. QUIT!: I eventually had to japa (run). There isn’t any silver lining to a toxic environment. It depletes one’s mental health over time and if it goes on for long, that person’s growth becomes stunted with an inferiority complex. A very bad combination.


There is a saying that says, when one door closes, another opens. I did not have a ready job waiting for me, I quit regardless because the hostility grew worse daily. It had me crying every other day. When I quit, I intensified my job search, and thankfully, I got a great job barely one month after. Quitting my old job felt liberating, even if I was afraid to do so initially, yet, I did it afraid.


Related Post: How to deal with a hostile work environment


If you can relate to my stories or you have more experiences to share, please share with us in the comment section. Also remember to like, share and subscribe, never to miss an update.


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About The Author: Akani Okachi is a freelance content and technical writer living in Lagos, Nigeria. After her degree in law, she started building her passion in writing and has done so efficiently over the years.


All Images are courtesy of Unsplash


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