Feeling wanted at work the key to happiness

Feeling wanted at work the key to happiness

Feeling wanted at work is key to happiness: psychologist

If you feel “on the outer” at work, chances are your mental health and wellbeing aren’t in tip-top condition either and you are prone to anxiety, depression or stress, QUT psychology researchers have found.

PhD researcher Wendell Cockshaw, from QUT’s School of Psychology and Counselling, said the workplace was the top primary social environment for many people and second only to the family for many others.

“We form our self-concept in our primary social contexts. We are constantly, unconsciously monitoring signals from others about how they perceive us. The part of the mind that does this has been called the ‘sociometer’,” Mr Cockshaw said.

“If your ‘sociometer’ picks up signals that you are not accepted and supported then you are going to behave in ways intended to repair that. Sometimes, however, these behaviours don’t actually help.

“One way people try to feel better about perceived slights is to seek reassurance from others, but sometimes they seek reassurance too much so it becomes annoying and frustrating. This causes people around them to give more subtle, negative signals to that person and so it goes on.

“The other way people deal with the feeling that they may not be acceptable to others is to withdraw from personal contacts which, of course, also diminishes their social resources and doesn’t help at all.”

Mr Cockshaw said his research showed that depressive symptoms and general negative feelings were particularly strongly related to lack of “organisational connectedness”.

To read more about building positive relationships and finding happiness at work (key constructs within the positive psychology coaching and consulting we frequently provide to individuals and organisations) – click here