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Apparently I'm taking up space at work

Sometimes I’m happy I could never truly follow through with ending my life because, damn, do I not want to exist right now.

Apparently I can come off as unsupportive and unwilling to help at work. to me, I’m setting boundaries finally and telling people no or not answering questions for the 10 millionth time. Eventually, when they start to widdle away at me, yea, I will say no. Or not start a message with HIIII!!! but rather just ask or say what needs to be asked or said.

But know most of the team is thinking this right now…kills all motivation. Makes me 100% not want to be around here right now.

And in this meeting with my boss where he told me this, I found out someone else was getting promoted over me AND some of my job responsibilities were being moved. But at least I’m not getting demoted and this conversation isn’t in my official HR profile, just on paper in his own file.

I’m always the person offering advice, going above and beyond, helping on things I don’t have to when asked…I just…sigh


Workplace politics are such a tough thing to balance. That goes double for women in the workplace, and the expectation that they be happy and gung-ho. What you described here are all acceptable professional behaviors, and can even be called good for your professional stature.

What I think I’m hearing is that you decided to change your behaviors to set boundaries and not be an eager puppy dog anymore. Unfortunately, what may have happened is you’re not living up to what they’ve come to expect from old you, and now you’ve been labeled “unsupportive and unwilling to help.” That’s some shit. It’s not something I’ve ever had to overcome, so I don’t have any really helpful firsthand advice for you, but there are articles about how to successfully break female stereotypes in the office. Not repeating answers or not giving happy-go-lucky email greetings are things no one would think twice about from a guy, and it’s not right that you’re getting the side-eye for asserting those things yourself.

If it’s really bad, now is the best time ever to change jobs and start fresh somewhere free of the expectation that you walk around with a smile glued to your face. Whatever happens next, I wish you luck, and I hate that you are going through this. Keep us updated.


keep it as pleasant as you can, tell them you’re better at following up through email, written requests, etc. Form a paperwork trail, an email trail, save everything that they ask you for, to do, any comments made.

Workplace machinations are a heck of a thing. If people ask for stuff outside of your work specs/qualifications/ role, tell them that you’re willing to help out but you’re not qualified for it. If you ever need a fresh pair of eyes to look over some of the content of how you reply to them (trying to sound professional with boundaries versus they’re hearing you be unhelpful or mean), I’m here, and other too I’m sure who would give you feedback.

Sometimes a workplace can develop a culture of how it does things, how it expects people to act. If it’s not a good fit for you, buckle down, do your job as best as you can and power through it, and try to get out when you can,

Also, please never feel badly about setting boundaries for yourself! Well done you, for doing that!


From: Ash

Dearest Katie I am so sorry that when you are choosing you those around you see it as you being unsupportive or unwilling to help when yet in the past you have found and done that. Also I am sorry that people are seeming not respect that too it is not okay that you cant do what is best for you and your mental health. I can feel for that as sometimes in my own living situation I have to try and ask those I live with hey can you not do that or this because it really is tough on me to deal with you are not respecting me as a person. Each and every day its a battle to get those people in our life to respect our boundaries however we deserve to have that. It is something that you want to have and can help you. Respect is a two way street and if you are giving it they should be too. I am glad that this seems to not be going on your HR profile but more a conversation between the two of you. I am also sorry that when it feels like you always go about supporting others they cant do the same back. Thank you for sharing what is going on and hopefully you can keep going and knowing that you are doing the best for you as well as for your mental health.


From: SuchBlue

Hi kaaaatie,

Sometimes people don’t value you as much as they should, especially when you start setting your boundaries after not doing so for a long time. They can’t really use you for everything anymore, and so it “makes you look less supportive and helpful” when in reality you have the right to set your own boundaries and you’re still doing your job.
If you really think that it has reached such an extreme and you feel like you don’t belong there, I’d look into getting a new job but that can also be very hard so make sure that you’re not risking anything with whatever decisions you take.
You are not a worse person, but a better one for setting your own boundaries. It can be very hard to do so and you shouldn’t feel guilty for it, but rather proud of yourself for doing so. :hrtlegolove: You are appreciated


From: Dark Weeb 666 (Matt)

Hi kaaaatie First fo all I am very sorry that you are going through with this. Sometimes it can really feel discouraging to try to make the healthy choices, trying to set boundaries and improve and not being appretiated for trying to do so. I completely understand that. When it comes to asking for things and stuff some people like the small talk before that, some dont like it. Its up to the person and I usually try to remember who likes what. I think that at work people should cooperate, meaning they should hel eachother… again help EACHOTHER is the important part. You should not be the only one who is helping (unless you are helping the new guy and things like that :upside_down_face:) If some people dont understand that well… its sad but you have to set the boundaries like you have said before. It really sucks whenone is not appretiated by their boss. Especially if you aretrying like hell. I really think there are some conversations that should be held between you and your coworkers and your boss. After that you should decide if this place is worth your time or if there is aplace where people will aprettiate your skills and time more. I hope you everything ends well for you. Wishing you good luck :slightly_smiling_face:.


From: Aces MCL36M

Hello! If other staff are being mean to you in a work place, the best suggestion is telling is telling someone higher up in the ranking like the boss or the manager. As they can take action on the hate on you, but doing a Permanent to a temporary problem is not the answer. The way on getting that promotion is making you stand out in work by making you’re voice heard. By working more efficently and stepping up to fix problems to prove that you worthy enough for the promotion.

I never came back to this post. It got better and then started to spiral a bit again. Had a nervous breakdown today because of a confrontation with my boss and finally telling him how I’ve felt for the last couple months. Luckily he’s leaving and we get some fresh air next week with a new director. But it’s hard to be happy there. And hard to find somewhere else to go. Luckily the last issue ended with the main perpetrator leaving, and I enjoy my coworkers, but it’s just damn hard sometimes.