Most people want to simply go to work, accomplish their tasks, and enjoy the company and camaraderie of their co-workers. Unfortunately, some gloomy employees feel frustrated by their job position or some aspect of their personal lives and tend to spread their negative attitude around the office.
If you are a generally positive person at work, you may need some help dealing with a negative co-worker or two.
3 Tips to Help You Deal with Negative Coworker Types
A common strategy employees attempt to employ to deal with negative coworker types is to try to avoid them, but that is not always a reasonable or realistic option.
Take a moment to see if these three tips can help you better navigate office contrarians so you can keep your peace of mind as you perform your duties to your employer’s expectations, as well as your own.
1. Recognize and Acknowledge That You Cannot Control Their Attitude and Behavior
If each interaction with a co-worker leaves you feeling down and frustrated because of their sour mood or constant complaining, it is important to understand that you have little or no control over their demeanor and actions. The only thing you can control is your response, so try to remove your own emotions from your interactions with negative people.
2. Question Gossips to Draw a Story Closer to the Truth Out of Them
Gossips seem to be a fixture in the workplace. It is up to co-workers who understand the negative impact of gossip to work to defuse the power of rumors, slander, and tall tales. Many diligent workers do their best to avoid gossips, but sometimes their chatter can cause harm if not questioned. The Muse recommends pushing back and asking more in-depth questions about an issue that may cause harm, asking questions like “Is that a fact?” or “Did you hear that from someone?” Another strategy is to shrug off their comments with an air of helplessness, saying something like” Wow, I don’t know anything about that, sorry” then changing the subject to something decidedly positive or letting them know you need to get back to work.
3. Encourage Positivity and Accountability from the Office Victim
In nearly every office, you are likely to encounter someone who takes no ownership for their own shortcomings. They can blame everything from a missed deadline to catching the flu on someone else. These people tend to be sensitive as well, so it is important to find a strategy that counters that tendency. Try letting the person know that their negative attitude may be generating further bad feelings and the ability to thrive in the workplace. Tell him or her how much you value and flourish in a positive environment to. Even if they do not adopt your attitude, they may not come to you with their complaints as much.
Regardless of the type of negative co-workers you encounter, the best strategy is to remain true to yourself and your own positive code of conduct in the workplace to avoid being dragged into their drama and, ideally, helping them to develop a better outlook.