Why “Not Being Clingy” is Good in the Workplace

Have you ever encountered some excessively tenacious individuals in your professional and personal spheres? For instance, someone who employs flattery and ingratiates themselves with the leader, relentlessly currying favor?
People who exhibit non-attachment can be described as follows: their rapport with their superiors and colleagues is uncomplicated, invigorating, immaculate, and unequivocal. They do not cling to their leaders, abstain from flattery, and are not adept at establishing proximity; they refrain from engaging in banter, indulging in food and drink, seeking favor, or forming cliques with colleagues. Most of the time, they immerse themselves in their work and eschew entanglements.
The notion of “not being clingy” is intriguing.
Presently, numerous companies, both large and small, emphasize order and hierarchy. Subordinates must decipher the intentions of their superiors and strive to be as subservient as possible. Even if they experience discontent, they conceal it.
Among adults, attachment ought to be absent, yet due to the unspoken rules of the workplace, many individuals exert themselves to conform.
Perhaps the most typical scenario is “refraining from leaving work before the leader.”
There is also a type of stickiness that is not necessarily rooted in power dynamics, known as work camaraderie.
This is particularly conspicuous in certain startups or organizations. Everyone is a comrade and shares an intimate bond. They spend time together after work, dine together, indulge in drinks, and allow work to permeate their personal lives.
While such camaraderie is undoubtedly valuable, it is rather imprudent. Once an organization becomes formalized, it encounters challenges, such as discriminating against new employees. Moreover, even in the most benign state, it eventually engenders misery for the participants. Everyone contributes excessively, and such intimacy becomes unsustainable.
All “sticky individuals” exhibit an amiable facade, but deep down, they also harbor weariness and even heartbreak.
The primary issue with stickiness in the workplace is the erosion of boundaries. Whether it is between superiors, subordinates, or colleagues, everyone is bound by a contractual relationship, brought together by work, and stickiness represents superfluous emotions—an alienation of this contractual relationship.
Clinginess essentially entails cultivating redundant interpersonal connections.
It possesses a warm aspect because traditional Chinese society is built upon blood relationships. When people refer to one another as brothers and sisters in the workplace, this type of intimacy can be interpreted as an attachment to the traditional social structure.
The modern workplace, however, operates on the division of labor. Each person has their own responsibilities within their respective roles. As long as everyone fulfills their duties competently and remains loyal, the entire system can function optimally.
Some individuals lament that Shanghai men are not clingy because as soon as they finish work, they hasten home to purchase groceries, cook meals, tend to their children, or devote time to their wives, focusing on their private lives. This statement is only partially accurate. They are able to avoid clinginess because the interpersonal relationships within their organization are straightforward, and everyone adheres to a more modern workplace culture.
In this kind of workplace culture, leaders do not perceive subordinates as being obligated to them beyond the scope of their work, thus refraining from excessive demands. Subordinates can also maintain their individuality and preserve the integrity of their personal lives to the greatest extent.
This is unsurprising. The more metropolitan cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou tend to exhibit less clinginess, whereas smaller locales rely more heavily on interpersonal relationships. As small cities inherently foster familiarity, deviating from societal expectations can be viewed as peculiar.
“Not being clingy” often serves as a litmus test for your boss.
Put simply, it hinges on whether you can endeavor to avoid assigning overtime work during non-working hours and refrain from disturbing subordinates’ rest. It also depends on whether subordinates possess the freedom to ignore calls or withhold replies to WeChat messages.
Very few companies can accomplish this feat, but with the influx of the post-90s and post-00s generation, who prioritize individuality, the workplace culture is gradually transforming.
Aristotle once said, “Cities are composed of dissimilar individuals, for like-minded people cannot form a functioning city.”
This diversity and independence can be regarded as the fundamental elements of a city.
Cities are societies of strangers, and maintaining an optimal distance between individuals is key to everyone’s comfort. “Not being clingy” is commendable!

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