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Cycles of Mistreatment

How mistreating people can become generational cycles.

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I was curious about interviewing my dad who is a partner at a law firm. His law firm is in a competitive field in which people are highly stressed because of the constant need to attract clients. As someone in a senior position in his law firm, I was curious how he incorporates or doesn’t incorporate gratitude in his office interactions. 

I was particularly curious about interviewing my dad because there have been many people in my family who have struggled with mental health issues. I wondered if mental health played any role in his decision about showing gratitude, or just interactions with people in general. 

Me: Do you feel that expressing gratitude is important in your job?

Dad: It’s important of course in a client interaction, but it’s also important in day to day interactions with people working in the firm. It’s easy to become so caught up in what you need done and what you need other people to do for you, that you forget to be thankful. 

Me: Why do you think that showing gratitude is important? 

Dad: A kind of cycle of mistreatment can form in partnerships. A new associate who comes in and is poorly treated will likely go on to treat new associates poorly when in a higher position. It doesn’t necessarily add anything to the environment or work efficiency and is damaging to mental health. I think it’s a cycle that is common and should be broken. 

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