Dealing with Negative Coworkers

Apr 25, 2019 General
Dealing with Negative Coworkers
Some people exude negativity. They don’t like their job or they don’t like the company. Their bosses are always jerks and they are always treated unfairly. The company is always going down the tube and customers are worthless.


Every organisation has some of these negative “Neds” and “Nellies”. Unfortunately, one negative employee can infect an entire team with negativity faster than you can imagine, lowering everyones productivity and maybe even leading to a great worker choosing to leave.


Your career and job should bring you joy – not negativity. The following tips provide advice about how you can approach them differently and ensure that their attitude doesn’t have an affect on your own happiness within your role.


Start by realising you can’t control their behaviour
The first step in dealing with someone who is very negative – particularly in the workplace – is coming to terms with the fact that you have little to no control over their behaviour, only how you respond to it. Try to remove your emotion from the equation as much as possible, and focus on how you can react to their behaviour in a way that doesn’t drag you down or leave you obsessing over the situation.


Resist the office politics
A certain subset of negative coworkers are those who can’t help but gossip at every chance they get. To successfully navigate the gossip queen(s) of the office, try your hardest to resist getting involved in any office politics.


Remain polite but firm
Working with colleagues who are eternally pessimistic will test your patience, but the worst thing you can do is retaliate with hostility. Losing your temper and flaring out at the person typically isn’t the best way to get him/her to collaborate with you. Instead, ensure that you speak with an even, polite tone at all times so the situation doesn’t escalate.


Establish boundaries
Everyone needs healthy boundaries, all the time. But, it’s especially true when you’re dealing with people who have a toxic impact on others. Consciously decide to keep an emotional distance with them. Even when you do interact, you shouldn’t be totally open. Work on disassociating yourself while still being friendly and positive, just also a little removed.


Physically distance yourself
Emotions are literally contagious. Being around a negative person can start to rub off and before you know it, you are feeling some of those ways yourself. So, if at all possible, try to physically distance yourself from this person as much as you can. It will make it much easier to apply some of the other strategies if you have limited your exposure or reduced your proximity.


If you have already tried everything above and the person’s attitude is still having an impact on you, the best way might be to just ignore. Get on with your daily tasks and interface with the person only where needed.

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