How to Handle Toxic Co-Workers

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We’ve all had to deal with negative people who suck all the energy out of the room. The kind of people who complain about anything and everything, and have excuses for days. Working with these types of people can be challenging and exhausting. Below are a few things I have learned that help keep the peace when you find yourself dealing with a toxic co-worker.

Do not take it personally. When someone else is acting irrational it is critical to refuse to stoop to their level. My mom always said, “kill ’em with kindness”. Being genuinely nice and remaining positive will help you carry on in negative situations.

You cannot control how they act or what they say. But you can control how you react to them. Be aware of your co-worker’s emotions while controlling your own. Try to remain neutral by not showing anger or becoming impatient. Stay calm so you can think clear and make logical decisions.

Be aware of your body language. Don’t roll your eyes, cross your arms, or invade their personal space. Be sure to stand or sit up straight, and don’t back down. Stay open-minded and objective so you can hear them out without being judgmental.

Depending on your relationship with the person, you may be able to call them out on their behavior. We all get stressed out or feel overwhelmed at times, but there is no excuse for being difficult at work. Sometimes people don’t realize the impact they have on others until someone else makes them aware.

Don’t become defensive or let their negativity affect you. If you feel you are becoming emotional or they are being overly dramatic and about to cause a scene, then remove yourself from the situation. If it is important, you can discuss it later after you have both had a chance to cool down. If it isn’t important, just let it go.

When someone acts uncooperative it says more about them than it does about you. Do not allow their negative vibes to dull your sparkle. Keep your cool, and shine on!