Difficult Co-Workers: How to Deal with Them So You Can Love Your Job

Work (Photo credit: Devar)
I think that most people will tell you that it is the people that you work with that make a difference in how much you like going to work.  Even if you have a job you love, it can be hard to enjoy it if your work environment is filled with negative people or co-workers that make life miserable for you.  What if you do have those people at your job?  Should you quit?  Or is there another way to deal with them?

There are ways that you can deal with negative co-workers so that you can still love your job. Try out a few of these techniques:

1.  Stay Positive

There’s nothing that combats negativity more than positivity so when others are trying to bring you down think of something that makes you smile.  Think about a project you love to do or think about the things you get to do when you’re not working because of the money you earn at this job.  Feel yourself zooming down the ski slope or smell the air on the beach that you’re going to for your next vacation.  Your attitude is the best thing to combat someone that is trying to bring you down.

2.  Avoid Negative Situations

If the lunch room is filled with people griping about work or even bullies, try to find another place to eat at lunch.  Sometimes that is unavoidable because of weather or company rules though. What then?  Bring some great music to work with you and magazine or book and plug-in and tune them out.  If you can’t hear what they are saying they can’t affect you.

3. Ignore Those That Make the Workplace Negative

Sure, there will be times that you have no other choice but to talk to them but when you don’t have to, ignore them.  Focus on your work, steer clear of their desk or just don’t make eye contact when you pass.  You don’t have to give them the satisfaction of giving them attention.  Does it drive you crazy that they are always doing crosswords when they are supposed to be working?  Then don’t watch.  They will get what they deserve in the end.

4. Take Positive Steps

There will be times that ignoring someone is just not enough.  If they are affecting the whole work place or they are bullying someone, something  needs to be done.  There are two things you can do.  One of the actions you might take is to speak to them yourself.  Sometimes people just don’t realize how they are affecting others.  If you take a casual and non-threatening approach, your feedback may be appreciated.  The other thing you might need to do is speak to a supervisor about it.  If you do choose to do this, make sure you have a mature manner.  Don’t go in with a whiny, “So-and-so is being mean and I hate that – make them stop!”  You will not be taken seriously.  Instead, show your boss how this person is affecting the work place and make the main concern productivity and morale of the office.