Imagine what it’s like to work from dawn till, no not dusk, till the middle of the night. Imagine if you do this while you have a background program in your head saying “Worry, the catastrophe is about to happen.”
Even when there’s no big deal issue there are those whose first love is to see impending doom.
Welcome to the world of the martyr.
We had a martyr work for our company and she made Debbie Downer look like a first rate happy go lucky fun gal.
Janine was always first in and last out of the office. She ate lunch, if in fact she ever took the time to chow down a sandwich or salad, while working, working, working. And then….. complain about her indigestion…. to everyone.
While she did get a great deal done each day there was a cost. It was listening to her bitch and complain about too much to do and never enough time. Yet, when she was offered help, she refused. “No” she would say with a weary sigh, “It’s something only I can do!”
Martyrs suck the energy from any office. They want to appear as “servant leaders” yet, in reality, they make everything harder and slower.
Martyrs are nervous individuals who have a huge need to be needed. Not just needed, be someone you depend on and cannot, absolutely cannot be without. It’s called job security.
The more you want to get help for them the more they will chew up those who may, just may, be as good as or better at their job.
Here is how you know you have a martyr in your midst. They will bring in homemade cookies. So far, that’s a good offering. However, they will make sure you know they did this at 2am when they couldn’t sleep because they worried about work that had to be done.
Often, the pattern from childhood is one of being discounted or ignored by parents and they spend all their time wanting someone to tell them how great they are….. over and over and over. It’s like a bottomless emotional pit that can never be filled.
If you work with (or live with) a martyr, watch the video below for some ideas on how to help them see the rut they have created.
The good news is that martyrs, once transformed, take all the pent -up energy pleading for recognition and turn it into being a great team leader. They become, ta dah, integrators who know how to divide tasks so everyone participates to help each other. Whew, that sure sounds good, feels good and looks good. A team with a transformed martyr will make miracles happen and have fun at the same time.
And, just so you know, no martyr buttons allowed, only integrator buttons that say “E Pluribus Unum.” You know, “From many, one.”
Ok…. This is a bit of a stretch, however, it really works. The martyr brings together people to work effectively so all are included. Who would you give an integrator button to?