What happens when we have been so hurt, so betrayed that we can't let it go? Part of toxic positivity is trying to pick yourself up and dust yourself off too fast. Or feeling guilty if you need to take a significant length of time to process pain. In this episode, I relay the story of Bob and how his boss, Rick, stabbed him in the back with no apparent remorse.
✔️ Bob and Rick: not their real names, just to be clear.
✔️ Have you ever noticed that the more you try to force yourself not to feel angry or sad about something, the stronger the emotion blows out of you once you allow it?
✔️ Know thyself. In Bob's case, he knew he needed to leave a toxic situation immediately.
✔️ Rushing through the process of grieving a loss is a form of denial. "Maybe if I just hurry up, I can get this over with." Human emotions don't operate in such a tidy fashion. Embrace your own journey.
Need more? Email me: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/contact-causey/
Welcome to the Causey Consulting podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here's your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. So a couple of episodes back, I mentioned that I needed to record an episode around what happens when we can't get over it. What happens when you can't let it go and move on what then? and I'm going to tell you a story that I have never forgotten. And I you'll you'll understand why as we get there, you'll understand there was a method to the madness. So back during my third party staffing days, I was sitting one afternoon reading resumes, and I came across the resume of a guy that I went to school with, I will just call him Bob, not his real name, just simply an alternative to calling him john doe through the whole episode. So I saw Bob's resume. And I noticed that he had been at a particular company for about 10 years and then either left or got fired. I don't know if he had left or voluntarily or not. But I wanted to find out. It was unusual because at this particular company, people either get in and stay in forever. They're lifers, and they just don't leave until they either retire or die. Or they get in and they hate it. And they're there for maybe three to six months at best. And they leave. It's very polarizing in that regard. So the people that love it, really love it, and they just stay. And the people who get in and go, nope, hit the door really fast. But it's unusual with this particular company to see people at more of a mid level, somebody that stayed for five years, or somebody that stayed for 10 years and then left like I knew there had to be a story. So I call Bob up and I invite him to come in for an interview. We spent a little time this is obviously pre COVID. I don't want to get any hate mail. So we spent a little time catching up chewing the fat. You know how last time I saw so and so he was over there, and who are you still in touch with and just shooting the breeze a little bit. And I asked him when it was time to get down to brass tacks. What What happened, you know, so many people at that company either stay for life, or they leave immediately. You just don't see people leaving after 10 years. So I feel like there has to be a story there. And he hung his head. And he looked at the floor. And he looked back up at me and he said, Yeah, you're right. There is a story there. You got time. And I was sitting there thinking, Oh, yeah, hello, I definitely want to know what the story is. He said, Okay, I'll tell you. So Bob had been at this company for a while. And he started to feel restless, he had had some cost of living increases some pay bumps for merit and performance here and there. But it had been a while since he had really had a substantial promotion, a significant title, bump, some real meat to chew on new responsibilities, new challenges. And so he felt kind of bored and restless. And he started to wonder if there was really any upward mobility left for him, or if he was just gonna sit in the same office doing the same thing. And getting periodic raises until he retired, he thought I want more than that, I know that there's more I could give to this company than just doing this. Like, I've got more in me. And he goes to his boss, who I will call Rick, also not his real name, either. Bob and Rick had a good working relationship, they got along very well. And Bob always felt like he was blessed in that regard. Because he had seen situations where people did not like their boss, their boss was all the time sabotaging them or making life hell and he thought I am so glad that Rick and I have a great relationship, it makes work so much easier. It makes life so much easier for me that I don't have some boss from hell, making everything a nightmare for me. So he goes to Rick, and he tells him you know, I feel kind of restless. Like, I know that there's more I could be doing and just wondering like, Is there anything on the horizon for me? Like, what? What can I do here to really have a chance at some upward mobility and some growth. So Rick gets up and he closes the door. That's either a really good sign, and that's a really bad sign is not a lot of middle ground with that either. So Rick sits back down and he says, All right, I need to tell you something. But I have to swear you to secrecy. This is not common knowledge just yet. And I could get into a lot of trouble. If anybody knew that I shared this information with you. So I have to have an ironclad guarantee from you that you're going to keep your mouth shut. Well, of course, Bob is like yeah, that's fine. I'm not gonna say anything to anybody. And Rick tells him My boss is going to retire soon. all the paperwork is in process. All the wheels are turning, but it hasn't been officially announced yet. When you hear the official announcement, act surprised to play act that you didn't know this was coming. That's, that's important when I don't want anybody to know that I tipped you off the game plan is I will move up and take his job, which will leave an opening in my job. And I really want you to take my job, I will recommend you for it, you'll have to officially go through the HR channels and apply for it. But you're the heir apparent, you're the shoo in, I will do everything in my power to make sure that you get that job. So your timing is great, because actually you are about to move up. I couldn't say anything. I couldn't divulge this information. But you know, I don't want to lose you, I don't want you to leave and go to another company because you thought there just wasn't a possibility to move up, you're going to move up and it's going to be soon. But you're just going to have to keep it under wraps. And of course, Bob is happy to keep this secret. He goes home naturally and tells his wife and she's excited too. So they're all they're all pumped up but mums the word they're not gonna say anything to anybody. Well, maybe two to three weeks later, sure enough, it's announced that the boss man, Rick's boss, man is retiring, and Rick is going to move into his place. So all of that happens. And then this was right around the holiday. So the guy's going to retire during the holiday season. And so I inara to wave sign on to him and Rick's gonna move up and take his position. After that, Rick's position gets officially posted internally. Bob applies for it. Not long after that. He goes through an official sit down interview with HR, and by Bob's own description. They basically just lobbed softball questions at him as a very easy interview. Everybody was relaxed. And he walked away from that interview feeling like yes, I am the heir apparent I am the person that's going to get this job. All of this was just the bureaucratic red tape, just the formalities, but I definitely think I'm the person for the job. So this this part of the journey was happening in late January. So Big Boss Man retires around the holiday season, people go and take their PTO and their Christmas vacation, they get back in the office. Bob goes through the applying and formal interview internally for Rick's job in late January. Okay, the entire month of February goes by and there's no movement at all. And Bob's thinking, Okay, well, I mean, this is a big company and stuff takes time I get it. He goes to Rick at the end of February and just says Is there anything else I need to do? Should I be concerned? Or are the wheels of progress moving? Yet again, Rick gets up and shuts the door and says, Man, I inherited an unholy mess. You know, my boss who retired evidently for the past year, knowing that he was going to be retiring. He had short timer syndrome, and he just straight up did not give a damn, I'm having to do a ton of damage control. I'm having to go out and repair relationships like I, I'm in a mess. I am waist deep in a complete mess. And the truth is, Bob, I don't have time to train you. There are aspects of my job that you've not ever done before. You will need to be trained, you will need to have the guidance given to you and right now I don't have the time to do it. But don't worry, I'm cleaning the mess up. I'm going to get this department into better shape. You will not be inheriting the kind of unholy mess that I am. It'll be once I'm got the time to train you. It'll flow things will be easy. it'll it'll be okay. Just hang tight with me through this transitional period. I promise it'll be okay. So Bob's a little bummed out. But he understands he totally gets it. So then the entire month of March goes by and there's yet again, no movement, Bob goes back to Rick. Rick gives him the same song and dance about having to clean up an unholy mess. But don't worry, just sit tight. There's light at the end of the tunnel, I promise. So now it's April. And Bob is starting to go from being concerned to being frustrated. He goes back to Rick one more time. Rick tells him the same thing. But don't worry, by the summertime, I'll have all of this cleaned up. Don't Don't worry, don't freak out. And Bob's sort of scratching his head going by summertime. I mean, how much longer is this going to press on? How much longer Am I going to have to sit and wait while that position stays open? Like I'm not I just don't feel sure about this. So he goes back to HR and reaffirms that he's still interested in the position. They confirm it's still open but that Rick is really underwater. He's gonna need to train they essentially they give him the same story that Rick has been giving him and he thinks Okay, well. I'm irritated by This but I can hang in there you have given this company this many years, I can give them a few more months, it's not the end of the world. Bob and his wife at home are having the conversation of like, what if this doesn't happen? Like what's what's your game plan and Bob's like, I don't want to be a pessimist. I don't want to think the worst. I don't want to go out and job hunt right now. Like, you don't want to get so close to this promotion, and then leave a week before they give it to me, that just seems really foolish. So the entire month of April goes by yet again, bump Bump, nothing has changed in Bob's situation. He's just still getting them run around. And as the month of April goes by, he is starting to get more and more frustrated, he's doing his best to cover up the fact that he's frustrated because again, he's still there's it's the carrot and the stick. This promotion is dangling over him. And he's like, well, I want to keep playing nice. I want to keep doing all the right things. And he's trying also to really show himself as the correct person for that job, always making sure that he suited up, he's showing up on time, he's not losing any steam at work. He's doing all the right things to show that he's the right guy for that job. So in May, this company had a like a company picnic company, get together, all this stuff that you extroverts out there absolutely love that we introverts hate, because we feel like if we don't go to them, then we're gonna be on the poop list. But if we do go to them, we're gonna be miserable the whole time. So it's like, Look, Bob's more extroverted than I am. So he was happy to go to this company shindig company picnic in, it was like, I think in the early part of May. So he gets out there. And, you know, people are doing like lawn bowling and softball and sack races and all that kind of stuff. And Bob notices that there is a woman with Rick, that is not Rick's wife, again, Bob and Rick had a very good relationship he had he had met Rick's wife and Rick son before and he knew that this much younger woman was definitely not Rick's wife and that Rick also didn't have a daughter. So he's like, Huh, I wonder what's up with that. So he's standing there drinking a beer, and one of his colleagues walks up, and they just start shooting the breeze and he, Bob reaches over to his colleague and kind of just Hey, um, I know what Rick's wife looks like. And that's not her. I'm wondering who that is that Rick so chummy with that this get together here that he would bring her rather than bringing his wife. Is there something I don't know about yet? And then guy, snort laughed, and said, Oh, yeah, okay. Come on, man. Sure. And mom's like, No, seriously, he's expecting this guy's about to say that Rick is like in a midlife crisis. He's left his wife for a much younger woman. You know, there's some kind of personal scandal that's about to be revealed. And the guy's like, No, seriously, you don't know. Bob's like, No, seriously, I don't know. I've never seen that woman before. And the co worker looks at him dumbfounded. He goes, Well, I would think that you have all people would know who that is. Because that's your new boss. And Bob's like, yeah, yeah. Okay. No, seriously, is that is that like, his mistress? Is that his new wife? Who is that and, and the man, at this point, looks at Bob, like, you know, Bob has a unicorn horn coming out of his forehead or something? He's like, No, seriously, dude. That's your new boss. And Bob just gets this like rushing feeling of like, oh, like that, that that pit in your stomach of like, Oh, God, I think I need to puke. Me thought i, this can't be true. Please, God, don't let this be true. So he was like, okay, no, I didn't know that. And I don't know how you knew it. And the guy's like, it hasn't exactly been a secret. Like, that's it's kind of like common office gossip. At this point. You know, if you came out of your office a little bit more, I know, you've been working hard. But like, if you hung out at the coffee pot or the water cooler, a little bit more, you you would know that this was the this little change was afoot. And Bob was like, Oh, God, Oh, God. So he gets himself to a point where he's calm enough to walk over to Rick, and this girl and be like, you know how, Hey, how's it going? The girl excuses herself and walks off to go get something else to drink. And Bob's like, hey, I need to talk to you because I just heard some. I guess it's gossip. I don't know. Hopefully, that's all it is. But I need to find out if it's true. I just heard that that woman over there. Standing by you is my new boss. And Rick hung his head. Look sheepish didn't didn't want to look Bob in the eye. said Yeah. Yeah, that's right. She we did hire her. She is going to be taking mine spot, but I don't, I don't want you to leave the company. And Bob said, this was one of the things that just burned him. Rick, when Rick finally did quit looking at the ground, and he looked Bob back in the eye again, he said, but don't worry, we'll get you next time. I'm just gonna stop for a minute let you process that. Rick continued and said, You know, I've only got a few more years that I want to stay in the workforce. And she's going to stay where she's at, you know, she, she doesn't have enough experience to move up into the job that I have, but you do. So we'll, we'll get you next time, you'll be the heir apparent for my job here in a few years when I leave. So if you stay, you can just leapfrog over her and take my position. So he's basically be like, we're hitting you with two promotions at once if you're willing to wait it out. And Bob said he was so mad and so disgusted that he felt like the best thing to do was to just walk off. So on the way out, because he's like, I'm done. I got to go, I gotta leave this whole picnic shindig and GTFO. Now, before I like my head explodes off my neck and shoulders. So as he's walking out, he's like, trudging off, ready to go into full beast mode. He pumps the bumps back into that co worker again, and the co workers like I told you, man, I wasn't making that up. I wouldn't I wouldn't make up a lie. Like that is a joke. And Bob was like, I can't believe that I didn't have any idea. And the coworker was like, I can't believe you didn't have any idea either. He's like, I sincerely thought that you knew. And Bob was like, No, I didn't. And and the co worker said, Well, do you know who she is? Bob said, No, I don't. All I know is that she looks like she's maybe fresh out of college. And I can't believe that she's getting hired in at this upper management position, right out of college. If she is, and the guy said, Yeah, she is. he's like, you remember how ick son got married? Not long go, Bob says now, the guy goes, ell, that's his daughter in aw, that that's really the eason why she's able to get nto that upper level management osition is because she's Rick's aughter in law. And Rick has a ot of pull within the company. nd so he was able to get her ired for that job. So yes, in act, your new boss is somebody hat just got out of college and oesn't have any work history et. Not really. And so then ob, Bob really feels like his is, he's just gonna catch on ire. He's so mad. And he's ike, Okay, well, I gotta go. So e gets home from the picnic and e's stomping around and the ife, his wife was like, What on arth is going on with you? And e so he relays this whole story o her and she's like, Oh, god, h, this is bad. This is this is horrible betrayal. And Bob's ike, I got to quit. I got to esign. I can't, there's no way hat I can continue working here. I would be like the iggest doormat in the world. If stayed after this. His wife aid, Yes, I agree that you need o leave. But don't, don't throw it, don't wig out. Don't do any hing to get security called on yourself, just, you know, ine up another job. First, it's easier to find a job when y u have a job, lined up anothe job first, and then resign give them a two week notice do things the correct way do't wig out on anybody. So Bob wa gonna try he spent the rest o the weekend doing what he cou d to try to get himself calm d wn. And he went to work on Mon ay, angry, but trying to do the best that he could to hide i and manage that anger. And he went into his office and he shu the door. And he just stared at his computer screen, looked around at the walls. And he tho ght I can't do this. I can't e here. I'm so angry. I feel s betrayed. I feel like a fool. cannot be here. So we packed this stuff up, dropped off la like one before he left he got into his computer and typed p a quick and dirty resign tion letter in Word, printe it off, got all of this stuff oxed up and ready to go. And he dropped one copy off with the HR manager. And then he droppe another copy off with Rick. nd he said that Rick was like, ell, I really wish you'd recons der. I know that right now yo're upset. I know that, that i the heat of the moment, it's e sy to leave a place and he sai, I really wish that you wouldn t because I promise you you're going to get to leapfrog over h r and take my job when I retire Did you know Rick still blowin all these hot air promis s at him? And he's like, no, I eed to move on. You know, I was hinking about moving on before I felt like things were gettin stagnant and I was feelin restless. So it's just time f r me to go on. Got to go on. He held his temporary and smart ff to Rick so that was that t at took a lot I know it did. A d he packed his stuff up and se urity walked him out and that w s the end of it. And he got ho e. And when his wife got home f om her job, she could just i was very easy for her to read t e room was very easy for her to read the situation. And she lo ked at Bob and said, You quit t day, didn't you? You, couldn t you there was no way that y u were going to be able to sta till you found another job. A d he said, Sarah, I looked at her. And I said, well, exactl what I felt exactly what I thou ht in that very moment, which as, I just can't get over it. I an't let this go. I can't just m ve on. I can't just preten I had to pack my stuff up for my own sanity and my own emotio al well being, I had to pack m stuff up and get the hell o t of there. I couldn't sit an play pretend. And I get it. Yo know, if you're wonder ng sort of the PostScript to Bob s story, he was able to find a other job, he landed on his fe t, things were okay. Now, I tend to agree, whenever possib e with Bob's wife, genera ly speaking, it is easier to fin another job. When you are cu rently employed, it takes some o that financial pressure and so e of the desperation out of it. Some companies still have this o d school mindset that well, ou're working for somebo y, you they're willing to keep y u around, maybe you'll be okay h re too. Although I think that i changing. As people have bridge jobs, they do temp work, more p ople freelance, there's a lot le s stigma around leaving a job th t you freaking hate in order o find something better. So I d think that times are changi g. But you know, we're going o have those times in life, here when we take an honest appraisal of where we're at emo ionally, or where we're at spi itually, we just go, I can't ust like Bob, I just couldn t let it go. I couldn't move o. I couldn't get past it unique He realized that the health est thing for him to do in tha moment, for his own safety and everything else was just t just to leave just to resign get the hell out of Dodge, and try to pick up the pieces from there. So what do we do in situation like Bob's, when w realize we can't get over i, we can't let it go. This i not going to be a wound that w can immediately heal. What t en? Well, the first tip that I will give you is Know thysel. Just like with Bob, he got to the office that Monday mornin and sat there and realiz d, I can't, I'm so angry. I'm so upset, I don't need to be here a ymore. I need to remove myself from the situation. having enough self awareness and being n tune and in touch enough with your emotions to come t that conclusion is so import nt. Trying to stifle it down, o into denial, pretend you're not angry, pretend you're not up et. those emotions are going o find a way out, we may think hat we're fooling oursel es or fooling our body. But re lly, we're not. I rememb r, I had a temporary job. And th s is a point that I want to mak. Because I understand that f nancially, not everybody is in situation like Bob where they c uld just walk off there, there ay have been real financ al monetary concerns where hey can't take the leap of fai h and hope that they find someth ng quick, fast and in a hurry. So like I had this situat on once where there was going o be a gap of a month betwee me leaving a full time perman nt job and me being able to sta t the next full time perman nt job. And at the time, there as no way that I could go 30 day without any income coming in it just at that point in my ife, it was not feasible. I need d to do something to bridge that gap. So I took a temp j b. And everybody in this situat on knew that it was tempor ry. I didn't mislead anybod. Everyone knew, hey, I'm here f r 30 days only. And then I'm go ng on to a full time job. I hate the company. Not gonna lie. J st being totally honest here. hated the company. And I hated he work that I was doing. It was very repetitive and very tediou. And there would be days that I thought I don't know how much l nger I can sit here and stay a ake. I mean is highly monoto ous job. The pay was great, though, because it was just a 38 day temp assignment. They n eded somebody who could really commit to being there for that 3 day period. So the money was ex ellent. And it gave me a chance to get ahead a little bit financ ally, but I just had to keep r minding myself, this is tempor ry. And I had a calendar where would mark the days off and be like, Alright, here's how many d ys here's how many hours I have left to be at this place. And he e's how much money I'm going o make if I can sort of take a deep breath and remember this t o shall pass. I am going to mak some really good money from t is. That might be another consid ration. If you are in a positi n like Bob we were like I don't hink I can be here. I I need t go Is there a way that you ca get a bridge job? Can you ta e a temporary assignment to mak ends meet until you get from p int A to point B, but it's s important to know yourse f and know your limits, and to be in tune enough with your e otions that if you realiz you're a boiling cauldr n, and you need to go, really really embrace that and unders and it, so that you don't wind u hurting yourself or someon else. The second thing I'm go ng to say is lean in to those motions, and give them valida ion. I mean, in Bob situat on, it's so clear, to unders and why he was angry, why he fel betrayed, why he felt backst bbed. So, in the same way that i's important to know yourse f, and to have those health check ins with your own emotio s. You want to give yourse f permission to feel what you ne d to feel if someone has betray d you. If maybe you find out yo r friend has been spread ng rumors behind your back, r you find out that you're on the poop list at work, and yo don't really know why and yo're upset about it. Allow yourse f to feel those feelings of ups t of hurt of anger, don't immedi tely rush to trying to get ov r them or to try to sweep them u der the rug and pretend that t ey're not there. really allow ourself to feel what you need t feel and do some journa ing. Talk to a trusted friend or family member and get that o t of your system. express those motions in a healthy, safe e vironment. And it's so import nt to reach out for therap or for counseling, if you fe l that you need it. You don't ave to bear all of your burden alone, you don't have to do eve ything by yourself. And if you feel that sitting down in a ther peutic environment with comple e confidentiality, and the sp ce to say anything that you ne d to say, will help you, by all means take advantage of it, es ecially in this era of telehe lth, you have so many option of being able to connect to exa tly the right therapist in the right time zone in the right lace to be able to intera t with you and give you what y u need. The third thing I will s y is, when you are ready to beg n that healing process, when y u feel like it is time to let it go. It is time to move on. Ta e it a little bit at a time. t's like the old cliche about ow do you eat an elepha t, one bite at a time. One of my teachers has me doing an exe cise right now that has been f eaking amazeballs. I recomm nd it for anybody and it can wo k in so many different situat ons. I affectionately call i pick a brick. So we were talkin about different mindset issues limiting beliefs, things that m y still be holding me back. ou know, I've mentioned in pre ious episodes, I'm kind of mak ng some maneuvers for some b g financial deals, making some b g moves in my life, both person lly and professionally. Now I' e been working with a person I call a wartime consta tly airy to get through these aneuvers to really strate ize things out. And someti es in life, when we're making those big moves in our person l life or in our busine s, we start bumping up agains our shadow, limiting belief, things carried over from c ildhood, old traumas, things that we might not have though about in years, or things that we thought we were done w th we had put them to bed, w had resolved those issues Sometimes when we're having to feel the fear and do it any ay and make these big moves. It's like, Oh, God, I though I had finished that I though I no longer held that belief I thought I had had busted through that blockade. And th n we realize that maybe we hav n't. So one of my teache s has been working with me abo t setting a brick down, pick a brick every day, instead of try ng to set down the entire bag of bricks that you're carryi g at one time, if that seems cary or intimidating, or you're worried that you won't totall bust through the blocks, pick o e brick every day. So I have l ke a little notebook where'll write it down. Like here's the brick that I'm puttin down today, feeling needle s guilt, beating myself up ove things that happened 10 years go, feeling like a dweeb. If I s y something minorly awkwar and then carrying it with m for weeks afterwards. Things of that flavor, by all means, please get into your own head, et into your own space there nd pick the bricks as well. o around this particular situat on that you're feeling like d mmit, I can't let it go. I can' move on. Once you've proces ed those emotions, and you've really felt whatever anger age, upset disappointment that y u needed to feel start to take o e brick out of the sack at a t me today. I can let go of the bi terness. Tomorrow I can let go of resentment. In a couple of weeks. Maybe I'll be ready o let go of wishing that things could be different. Not even G d can change the past. So I need to just let that go. by me put ing it down into manage ble bite sized portions instea of trying to just let the wh le thing go at one time. I real y think we give ourselves not on y a better chance for long t rm success, but a better chance for long term healing. We hope you enjoyed today's episode. If you haven't already, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. Thanks for tuning in. We'll see you next time.