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Is it discrimination or hypersensitivity to criticism?

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in Your Office Coach

Question: Several years ago, I filed a discrimination charge against my boss.  After the issue was resolved by the EEOC, she and I were able to repair our relationship. However, she recently retired, and now I have a new manager.
From day one, my new boss has treated me like a troublemaker, so I assume he was told about my discrimination complaint. Because I felt he was targeting me, I complained to the EEOC again.  However, this time they didn’t do anything. The mistreatment continues, and so does my battle.  What can I do to have peace in this job?  Sick of the Fight

Answer:  This is a difficult question to answer, because the best path to peace depends upon your specific circumstances. In the absence of complete information, let me propose two possibilities.

If you are clearly being harassed or denied opportunities because of your race, gender or other legally protected characteristic, then you have a choice.  Either continue to pursue your lawful rights or, if you’re tired of fighting, find a workplace where such treatment is not tolerated.  

On the other hand, if you tend to be hypersensitive and easily offended, you will have no serenity until you shift your attitude a bit. Viewing every criticism or slight as grounds for combat will only ruin your relationship with management and jeopardize your career.

In reality, issues of injustice can be difficult to sort out. Many employees do encounter prejudicial attitudes on the job, yet there are also countless examples of unfairness and bad management unrelated to discrimination.  

So try to step back and objectively assess your situation. Perhaps then you can determine which piece of advice applies to you.

If you think management may be viewing you negatively, you might find the reason here: Six Signs that You May Be "Hard to Manage."

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