Toxic Coworkers: How to Deal with Negativity in the Workplace
13 July, 2018 in Career Advice

If you are working in a place you enjoy, you are definitely a lucky person. However, a great workplace is defined not only by the career prospects, good remuneration, and an interesting job – there are also people that bring specific atmosphere to your working environment. Particularly, toxic coworkers might negatively affect your overall perception of your company and your role in it. There is hardly any firm or organization that has only amicable and open people – if you are working at a company and dealing with people, you will find out that there are frustrating and annoying personalities. Do not take such cases close to your heart – you are not the only one surrounded by toxic coworkers. Studies reveal that one in eight people tends to leave the workplace because of negativity in the workplace, and it is totally logical as people tend to spend more time at work than at home. However, there are tips that will help you handle the situation as constant leaving of every other workplace because of toxic coworkers may not turn out well for you. 

Classification of Crazy Coworkers and Tips on How to Deal with a Difficult Coworker

The Bad News Bears

These people always soak in the negative. Whenever you are talking about something good or positive, they will straightaway find a negative aspect of anything you say. Besides, these are people who can’t wait to immediately inform who made a mistake, didn’t manage to cope with some task or didn’t manage to meet the deadline. It is evident that no matter how hard you try to escape from this negativity, it is likely to affect you anyway. According to research evidence, negativity in the workplace has a deteriorating effect on your emotional, physical, and mental health. 

The best solution here is to tackle the issue straightaway depending on the severity of the problem and its manifestation. Actually, it is advisable not to react to that negativity but to walk away from that communication and not develop that dialogue with a toxic person. If you are worried that you will hurt other person’s feelings, just say you are busy, have to go or have to answer a phone call. 

The Gossip Monger

Whenever there is more than one person, there is a high probability for rumor spreading. In some working environments, it may seem that rumors never stop. The most widespread question here when you end up in such working environment is how to deal with gossip. While working among such people, you are always aware of the new workers being employed, of who is dismissed, who goes on maternity/ paternity leave, etc. 

Gossip mongers have no argumentation to provide when it comes to direct questions, “Where have you heard that?”, “Is that a fact?” So, the most ecological way to react is to double-check the source of such information and directly ask, “Is what you’re saying now an unquestionable fact or have you just heard it from someone?” The other person’s reaction will definitely indicate whether the statement can be believable or not. 

In cases when the gossiper is looking for approval, acceptance and your support, just react by saying that you cannot help him/ her with those matters/ conversations, etc. If you do not to be dealing with such people and be involved in gossiping, just make sure you establish your boundaries and refuse from participating in such talk. 

The Drama Kings or Queens

These people like being in the spotlight as they crave for attention from other people. They do not care about the means they get that attention, and mainly the means are not so good as they distract others’ attention and drain their energy and time. 

You will recognize this type anywhere: in the workplace, among your friends, and probably even in your family. When talking about drama kings and queens in the workplace, these people always have the biggest amount of work, they have the most terrible flu, they suffer from unfair treatment of their supervisor, they have the worst and the most annoying clients – the list can go on and on. 

How to deal with drama queens and kings? Just notice when they are living the role and refuse to react to that kind of behavior and words. Do not support the talk about ungrateful clients, the worst work day ever, and so on. Bring the person back to reality and encourage to evaluate things happening around objectively. Do not waste your time and emotions on responding to attention-seeking drama queens. If you do not react, they will notice that you are disinterested in those sharings and they will not continue them afterwards. 

When dealing with such people, an important thing is not to be afraid to provide them with a frank feedback or opinion on their behavior. Just tell them that they tend to exaggerate most of the situations. You may as well admit that you understand their feelings and reactions but there are far better ways to deal with them rather than focusing on the negative aspects or adding unnecessary drama. 

The Chicken Littles

These are coworkers who complain about everything and seek for pessimistic notes in every phrase or experience. For such people, the sky is always falling. If you share a piece of good news with them, you will never notice that they are happy for you or enthusiastic about what you are talking. They will probably respond with a negative and pessimistic reply. First it will come as a surprise for you but later you won’t want to deal with these people and share anything positive with them. 

The best way to deal with such coworkers is to provide them with a feedback. Particularly, you may state that such negativity cannot positively and favorably influence the overall atmosphere in the workplace, the team, and individually in every worker. As a rule, the chicken littles are not aware that they are playing a destructive role for the environment and that they are actually doing harm for the team and separately for each coworker. Therefore, gently pointing to these vices is a good option to deal with these teammates. 

The Victims

These can be angry coworkers who do not bear responsibilities for their actions and aftermaths or outcomes of them but always blame others for everything that happens to them. If you notice such coworkers who blame others for missing the deadline, or for failing to report on time due to bad weather/ poor Internet connection whatsoever, these are victims. 

Workers with a syndrome of a victim tend to always complain about bad happenings and blame others but not themselves. They do not even realize that it’s only their own activity or inactivity that has led to particular consequences. They cannot accept their own responsibility and cannot realize their own control of what is happening in their lives. As a rule, they suspect that there is some world conspiracy that is playing against them. 

When looking for a solution, it can be tough to express your feelings and opinions to these people as you might be afraid to hurt their feelings. Still, involving in a constructive dialogue with them is a must as they should learn how to realize and accept their own responsibility. Just ask them what could have been done in other way to avoid such outcome as they have now. Probably, after such questions, these victims will learn how to think differently. 

Hopefully, with these tips, you will be able to successfully deal with toxic colleagues in the workplace without having to leave the job.

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