Sharing – Pandemic Leaves Some Struggling with Survivor Guilt at Work

I think this is happening, and I think it goes even further than described here, at least for me.

“Survivor guilt can occur when a person survives a traumatic event, such as a car accident, while others do not. It’s also seen in the workplace, according to John Hackston, head of thought leadership at the Myers-Briggs Co., which is known for its personality, career and organizational development assessments.

The global pandemic, Hackston said, has forced many organizations to reduce their staffs. That can cause workers who remain to feel guilty; they may also feel stressed or anxious as they are asked to take on more work in their colleagues’ absence.”

Here’s the thing. I think everything that has been going on around the world, let alone the US, is creating a lot of survivor guilt. For example, I recognize a lot of the symptoms in my self right now, and I don’t fit the description in more than one way.

One, my company hasn’t been letting people go, in fact we’ve been doing pretty well. But there are a lot of people I know who haven’t been as lucky.

Likewise, I was already working from home before all of this started, so I haven’t had a huge adjustment. I don’t have kids that I’m also trying to cope with being home all day either.

I’m not directly dealing with racism, and I’m also not generally on the “feeling” personality side of a Meyers-Brigg evaluation, as described in the article as people more likely to “feel” others pain and thus deal with survivors guilt.

Yet, despite all the things I don’t have to deal with, I’m freaking exhausted. I’m constantly overwhelmed with trying to find ways I can help all of the people I know who are dealing with all of these things directly, and frustrated that I can’t really help in most cases.

And, let’s face it, the world is a mess right now. There is so much uncertainty about everything. Even if, like me, you’ve been lucky enough to continue working, and stay healthy, there’s no guarantee that won’t change tomorrow, or that someone close to you won’t get sick, or lose their job. In the midst of all that uncertainty, I think it’s OK to admit that I am both grateful for what I have and where I am, but still not OK.

I don’t think anyone right now, can be faulted for not being OK, so I also don’t think any of us should feel guilty about it either.

Raise your hand if you’re also dealing, but not really OK?

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