Difficult co-workers are among the reasons why going to the office can be a real downer. Oftentimes, people hit the jackpot as they find the job of their dreams, only to discover that the workplace is full of unpleasant people to work with. But instead of losing your cool, there are different things that you can do to deal with even the most stressful of your colleagues.
First, find out what type of co-worker you’re dealing with. Some of them can be downright nasty and mean and seem to take pleasure in the suffering of others. Others may be mildly annoying as they constantly ask for favors or have nothing better to do than waste your time. Then there are those who are simply toxic as they delight in spreading rumors or negativity around.
Once you’ve identified what kind of colleague you’re dealing with, here are some tips on how to deal with difficult co-workers.
The negative co-worker- This type of office worker always seems to suck the optimism and joy out of the place as he or she could always be counted on to say only negative things about the company. These people are never, ever happy and will whine about their paycheck, unfair treatment, the boss, their workload, and other things, real or imagined.
To deal with the negative co-worker, simply avoid them and stop agreeing with them just to get them to stop talking. Agreeing with their views only gives them more reason to spread negativity in the workplace. One can also counteract their bellyaching with a positive comment, done in a non-confrontational way.
For instance, if they say, “I’m so tired and overworked! I can’t stand it anymore!” simply say, “Hey the weekend’s coming up! That’s something to look forward to!”
The gossip- Is there someone in the office who always knows what’s going on in his or her co-workers’ personal lives? And does this person feel that it’s up to him or her to let everyone know about it? Then you’ve got a gossip for a co-worker.
To deal with the office’s walking version of TMZ, learn not to encourage them when they approach you with the latest scoop about the boss. According to Tough Nickel, if this person gossips about others, then it’s likely that he or she also talks about you.
The jerk- The jerk comes in many forms. There’s one who always seems to be snide and sarcastic, and there’s the one who openly bullies and belittles people. Some of them will resort to aggressive gestures such as sending nasty emails, while others could go the “Mean Girls” route as they encourage other people to alienate one unlucky co-worker.
To deal with this type of difficult co-worker, accept that nothing you do is going to change him and that there could be other reasons why he is being so unpleasant. It’s highly possible that he’s unhappy with his own life or is going through a personal crisis. But if you feel that you’re being personally targeted to the point that you fear for your safety, this may be a good time to get human resources involved to resolve the matter.
For more tips, check out Jobs & Hire’s tips on how to makeover your career the Kim Kardashian way.