Quiet Quitting has become the newly popular concept to talk about and I find it really interesting from the perspective of being a generational trauma coach. Now I have to admit, I don’t actually like the term quiet quitting because 1. It doesn’t actually describe what’s going on and 2. There’s a negative connotation around the term on the part of the one doing the quiet quitting. But that also makes sense when you consider the patriarchy and white supremacy rules.
What is quiet quitting? It’s simply the process of doing the job people were hired to do without the extras. It’s setting boundaries and upholding them. This means if a person is hired to perform specific skills and work a specific number of hours, they are doing only that, no more and no less. They’re doing the job as it was laid out most likely in the interview. What a radical concept, except it, shouldn’t be radical and it shouldn’t receive the shame I’ve seen many older generations and/or corporate bosses spouting about it.
Most of my clients have grown up with very narcissistic and/or controlling/abusive parent(s) and at some point, we dive into how this affects their relationship to work, career, and money. The same ways many of us have learned from our parents to do as we’re told, or denied the ability to set boundaries, speak up for ourselves, express our hurts and grievances when we’ve been wronged, and feared punishment if we stand up for ourselves applies to a lot of what we experience in work.
Our whole society for a long time has been built on this idea of respecting the authority figures which includes bosses but it’s not really about respect. What we’ve really been told is to comply with the demands and abuses of authority figures and for those of us that grew up with those narcissistic, controlling, and/or abusive parents the messages were drilled into us so far that we learned to fear the withdrawal of love and that fear around the withdrawal or withholding of love often affects our romantic relationships and friends in a very direct path. But it can also play into a fear of termination, reprimand, or loss of opportunity for advancement in our careers. That’s not entirely unfounded because we’ve seen nightmare bosses become vindictive when employees set boundaries around doing the job they were hired for, and the hours scheduled.
Again, our society has been built for centuries on the beliefs of complying with authority and receiving punishment when we don’t comply. We’ve seen it in very blatant and covert ways, but it all comes from the same place and the same ideas. Depending on race, gender, caste, and religion some of the punishment has been and continues to be more extreme. So, the idea of accepting more workload, more hours, and more mistreatments has been ingrained in most of us on personal levels depending on what we learned as kids and societal levels which is why healing individual trauma always has a societal healing element to it.
In a world where more people are beginning to seek mental health support and work on themselves, it’s not at all surprising to me that we’re seeing a movement of boundaries being created around our careers. For anyone that suddenly got to work from home during the pandemic to discover they could do their jobs in a fraction of the time with more time to spend with family, friends, pets, and themselves you get it. We need boundaries in all aspects of our lives, and we need the freedom to set them. That means companies, employers, and sometimes even customers need to understand that setting boundaries is not a bad thing and it’s not suddenly making people lazy or disinterested in doing their jobs. That’s the fear along with the idea that now these large corporations are actually going to have to hire more people, pay better wages and dare I say provide better benefits and working environments. We deserve that and I’m all for these boundaries being set. If you haven’t considered what types of boundaries need to be set with your work/career or you feel a connection between the lack of boundaries and safety, you experienced growing up along with the lack you have in your work/career now I encourage you to evaluate that, get support to work through any fears and create a game plan to start setting them because you deserve that!