Work can be terrible for your mental health. Even when you have co-workers you love, leaders you admire and an organization that supports you, your job will probably still stress you out sometimes. Many of us give so much time and effort in our career, that we have a lot at risk when work is bad for us. Our work can easily define us, provide a (false) sense of identity and assume the role of the most important relationship in our lives. So when work is bad, we feel BAAAADDDD. When these negative experiences persist, they hurt our soul and can cause us to transmit the pain we experience on the job to the other relationships in our life.
This is why you need a Group Chat that could get you fired!
Here's what I mean: you need an immediate place to process your unfiltered work thoughts and feelings that is so safe, if your supervisor discovered it they might decide to let you go. Here are the 3 reasons these group chats are so important to maintaining your mental health while you work:
1. You need a place for unbiased support
Having a friend group that has your back won't just help you at work, it will help you be a better human being. A group chat with trusted friends gives you a quick and easy place to seek out in the midst of stress on the job, where you know the people have your best interest in mind. Even if you love where you work, it is not the organization's responsibility to support you or look out for you. And sometimes your work friends may consciously or subconsciously have an agenda, because your issue may affect them. If you're in a relationship, it is extremely important to discuss this stuff with your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend but they can't carry this weight alone. A virtual collection of non-coworker friends that are only a few clicks away can always focus on caring for you with no qualifications. Sometimes that means dealing with heavy emotional issues, sometimes that means sending dumb memes that you can't send to anyone else that bring you a great deal of joy.
2. You need a place to process your frustrations
If you don't have an outlet for the complex physical, mental and emotional issues you deal with at work, you will eventually explode from the stress. Without a release valve, the pressure will turn toxic and consume you from the inside out. But, you may not know exactly what you feel or think about your workplace situations without a spot to sound off. It's important to be able to process what's going on with friends who can provide a digital ear and valuable perspective. These people know you, for better or worse, and will help you gain clarity and direction.
Note: I didn't say "vent" intentionally. Often when we vent, we're just transferring raw emotional pain to someone else for them to carry. This is a relief for you, but burdens them. Processing is about working toward something better not just unloading.
3. You need a place to be vulnerable
Having friends who know who you really are and accept you is a foundational social structure for every single human being. That sense of belonging unlocks parts of us we didn't even know were there. We are social creatures, wired for relationship and being a part of something bigger than ourselves. The Group Chat is a digital recreation of this tribal effect. So when we "gather", it allows us a safe opportunity for emotional exposure, risk, and exploring uncertainty together. While it may be more satisfying to meet in person, the Group Chat is a far more immediate approximation that won't require you to coordinate schedules. Send a message, get a response. It's that simple.
If you have a Group Chat that could get you fired, take a moment to thank them right now and share how much you appreciate them. If you don't have a Group Chat like this, think through 2-3 friends that know each other and start one. Sending that text could be the best investment you make in your career.