I've had a small whiff of office politics while I was at my earlier job. My reaction was one of distaste and "I can keep myself above this and do my work" but I didn't have enough time to realize if it was working or not.
I've learned a whole lot since then, about bullshit and the peculiar variety called corporate bullshit. My husband taught me almost everything I know about negotiating at the work place. How to ask for something, how to stand my ground, how to be tactful. He has also reiterated to me many times that I have to evolve past being a "straight shooter" because real world is not ideal. I am finally getting the hang of what he means.
I've now come to a point where I willfully embrace the politicking. I feel confident that I can tell bullshit from real, know when to take stuff seriously and when not to, when to faff superficially, and, how to react to statements, read between the lines, and how to detect bluster and not give it any attention. Somewhere I feel like I've lost a small part of me, but that doesn't bother me too much.
Overall, its a very empowering feeling.