Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The pitfall of the missing parent figure

If you work for your father or mother, chances are they are more your boss than they are your parent. Distorted, I know, but there is no avoiding it. The family business seeps into every corner of our lives and with it our respective roles at work (the family dinner table is just another meeting room). The biggest issue with this is that we end up missing out on a parent. A parent who looks out for our interest above all else.

Over time this creates a deficit — one that we continuously seek to fill. But in our quest to quench this thirst we at times get confused. This happens when we come across a person (who could be our parent) and "allow" him/her to fill the void. We confuse their empathy/sympathy as "parent signals", which our little antennas are more than happy to receive... When this happens we drop our guard, allowing the child to get what it wants, while putting reason (the adult) aside. With reason on a leave of absence we risk making the wrong choices/decisions.

This could happen in different situations: interviews, negotiations, business/casual meetings; basically, any place a could-be-parent is present. And we must be wary of this so that we don't put ourselves (and our positions) in jeopardy...

The void that is a missing/lacking parent is a painful one, but it is one that we must learn to live with. More importantly, we need to accept that there is no such thing as a replacement parent.

Accepting this will only make you stronger.

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