Human beings are phenomenal at adapting to their environment and in corporations, we call it "Playing the game." Okay, we do play it but at what cost?
Your high empathy might result from being in an abusive environment and learning to regulate the abusers' emotions and reactions through changing your behaviour. Some would say "Oh he/she has high empathy which is great!" but it is a coping mechanism you have adopted.
Your mindset might change in order to adapt to an environment where you don't matter or loved. This is when we start hearing "I learned to love myself".
We hear "Work is just work, I need it to pay the bills" or "I am quietly influencing progress" when know we cannot achieve what we want or the role we occupy has no authority or purpose.
We hear justifications for why this job is great despite hating every moment of it. We do that because we were taught to be grateful and find the good things in everything. So we do. We say things like "This is really close to my home" or "It gives me medical insurance" which you can also get at other places.
Toxic bosses are quickly justified by a "She is not that bad you just need to get to know her" or "He shouts sometimes but then apologises in his own way, and I really don't care being shouted at. He is not a bad person and I know it comes from a good place."
This is when we hear people saying "If I just change my way of talking, being or doing I will be accepted, loved, considered, promoted etc.."
Sometimes we are so well adapted that we cannot even see what is wrong with the environment and say things like "This is how we have always done it, it works" or continue doing the same useless thing (annual engagement survey if you ask me) because we truly cannot see the brokenness of the system.
This is when I hear my friend saying "I think life gave me this role to teach the guy what unconditional love means" when she realises that the guy doesn't want her after 10 years but she still continues to be there.
This is when we hear single people who want to be in a relationship but cannot find the right person saying "I love being single because I can do whatever I want." The same applies to many childless women who rather say "I never wanted children" than admit the fact that they do want them they just never found the right partner.
We are extremely good at adapting to our environment but ask yourself the question, "Is it true what I am saying or I am just adapting to the environment?" Most times you will find the latter to be true.
As they say, when you go into a room that stinks of shit you get used to the smell. It is only when you step out of the room and go back again or see something else you realise how bad it smells. The bad news is that when we adapt to a shitty environment we find ourselves in pain day after day. Because it hurts. This is where mental and physical health starts to be impacted. So we meditate, go for yoga, or drink instead of acknowledging the cost of our amazing ability to adapt.
Hanging around negative people, in abusive or unloving relationships, and in jobs that are not rewarding or exciting will impact you despite adapting to the situation. I have seen people staying in these situations for years because they rather find justification and adapt than try something new. Both are painful but which pain do we want to endure more?
The only good players of any of these games are the ones who can adapt without being negatively impacted. Most of us cannot. We will get hurt one way or another.