This article comes from a short Ask A Shrink Series that I did for SF Weekly. If you’d like to read more like this, check it out Here.
Ask a Shrink: When “Too Nice” Goes Wrong
The following comes to us from a person who describes herself as a “mid-20s, woman of color.”
I just quit my job at a high-profile tech company. I reported sexual harassment from a (male) coworker, then my (female) boss retaliated against me and told me it was my fault for “being too nice.”
I made the decision to quit that toxic environment. But how do I get over the deep resentment and bitterness I have about how I was treated? Aside from my boss and that coworker, this was a great company: great benefits, good pay, and potential for a good career path. I am so angry about that loss, and I am trying hard to convince myself that it’s not ME who was not good enough to make it there. I can’t seem to move on, and fantasize about “revenge” against my awful narcissistic boss. I want to move on, but I’m stuck in bitterness.
– Too Nice
Hey “Too Nice,”
First things first: fuck yeah for quitting. Any professional situation where your kindness is on trial in a sexual-harassment situation is not the place for you. Run swiftly, like the wind.
You say that you are reeling from resentment and you want to get over it. Gotta tell you, TN, we therapists are not big advocates of Getting Over Things. Rather than shoving them aside, I’d encourage you to revel in those fantasies of vengeance.
The human capacity to fall deeply into our anger has led to such glorious works of art as The Iliad, The Count of Monte Cristo and Office Space. Your unconscious mind has a message for you and it sounds like it’s communicating in the form of vengeance. Pay close attention to the way these stories play out as there is likely an important lesson in there for you…Read on in SF Weekly