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‘‘I feel singled out after an error at work”

Our agony aunt, Mary Fenwick, offers a new perspective on whatever is troubling you

the life lab self

Q A month ago, I made a big mistake at work and, although my direct boss was nice about it, and said he knew I was working under pressure as we’re understaffed, another manager in a different department sent me a really horrible email, saying it was disgraceful and must never happen again. Since then, I’ve been nervous that I’m going to make another error, so much so that I’m not functioning properly. I also feel angry with this man; several other people were at fault, but they are more senior and he said nothing to them. I fantasise about sending him a scathing email, but know it would be counterproductive. What can I do? Name supplied

A This tedious dinosaur has done you a favour by committing himself to writing. It has nothing to do with you as a person; you’ve been on the receiving end of a manager who can’t control his emotions. You may be feeling shame, which can be crippling, even when it’s not ‘your’ shame. Asking a friend to read the email out loud could help, especially if they do it in a playful way: in interpretative dance, or as T Rex from Toy Story! Finding a way to laugh will help you change your breathing pattern when you think about his words.

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About Psychologies

We encourage you to fall in love with life, to get out of your head and into nature. Spring is officially here and we’re encouraging you to try a ‘micro-adventure’ –  a 24-hour foray outside into the fresh air whether it’s walking in the hills, or sleeping under the stars. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and fed up of slaving to support a lifestyle that doesn’t make you happy, then read how decluttering and minimalism can help you start creating a life based on values, not things in our  dossier. Join our month-long Psychologies Decluttering Challenge with expert Cait Flanders, author of The Year Of Less, who will coach us on how to simplify our lives.