How to deal with workplace break-ups



When an office romance fails, it is bound to create a rather messy situation. It is unlike a regular breakup simply because it is imperative to maintain a cordial relationship with the individual.

You will run into each other every day, all the time. You may have to work together and speak to each other as though nothing is wrong. It is extremely hard, but must be done.

The most important thing is to ensure that a failed office relationship does not affect your productivity and performance.

Let work be your priority, give it everything you have. Further, break-up histrionics will showcase you in a bad light at the workplace, affecting your credibility and professional image.

For the sake of your career, putting on a brave face is very important. Quitting and moving to a new workplace may seem like a good idea, particularly if it is a painful breakup.

Consider the option with a cool head, and avoid taking a hasty decision. Don’t jeopardise your career over something as trivial as a failed romance.

1. Talk things out

No matter how badly things end, remember that neither of you would want the break-up to impact your professional lives. In that sense, you are both on the same side. Discuss the implications of ending the relationship in professional terms. Depending on what note you are parting on, try and establish some general ground rules to make things easier for both of you.

2. Be professional

Try to keep your personal and professional selves separate. Don’t let the breakup interfere with professional interactions, especially when working in a team. Give your ex the same respect you would give any other colleague.  Maintain a dignified, composed front at the workplace. Breaking down or mud-slinging is a strict no-no. It doesn’t matter whether you are unbelievably upset, angry, jilted or heartbroken. Unleash your acting skills – simply smile through it all.

3. Maintain a distance

Give each other considerable time and space to recover from the break-up. While it may not be entirely possible to avoid workplace interactions, keep to the basics. Physical distance will dissipate the awkwardness faster. Delete each other from office communicators if necessary.

4. Don’t involve others

It is unfair and unprofessional to drag other colleagues into the break-up mess. Let the issues lie between the both of you. Never stoop down to spreading rumours or nasty stories about your ex to other colleagues. It will simple create a vicious cycle. In fact, try not to speak about the break-up at all. No one needs to know what went wrong, how it happened, or any other such private details.

Even if other colleagues ask you about the break-up, divulge as little as possible, especially if you don’t want your personal life becoming the coffee machine gossip of the day.

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