If you think that your colleagues are making your life more difficult than it should be, you need to beware that the impact may be more far-reaching than you imagine. That is, the negative feeling resulting from your colleagues may have a ripple effect that extends as far as your wife’s workplace; the unpleasant feeling would follow you home, leading to unhappiness for your spouse and family members, and ultimately casting a negative influence on their jobs. Dr. Merideth J. Ferguson, a professor of management at Baylor University, empirically established this claim.
Using statistical software to explore the relationship, if any, between employee reports of co-worker rudeness and reports by the employee’s family members, Dr. Ferguson found that exposure to rudeness in one’s workplace created stress and unpleasant feeling for both spouse and family. Most importantly, she found a direct, positive relationship between the unpleasant feeling that the employee experienced and the stress at the spouse，(or family members’）workplace.
Being treated unkindly by a colleague can hurt our self-esteem, and cause anxiety and depression. If we go home with this negative emotion and energy, the happiness of the people that we love and care can be negatively affected. Despite this awareness, keeping unpleasant workplace feelings outside the home can be difficult, especially when it is chronic. To resolve the above problem, Dr. Ferguson suggested that we ought to be more mindful of where we are and switch to different mindsets in different contexts; when we are at our workplace, we need to switch to the rational mode and devote our full attention and energy to work; when we are home, we have to switch to the tender/emotional mode and focus strictly on family and friends. If none of the above work, we then seek professional help by talking to a counselor or psychologist about the stress or any negative feeling we have; this can help lesson the emotional ripple effect resulting from work.