Dealing With Toxic People at Work

Have you ever had one of those days where the last thing you want to do is get out of bed and drive into work?  Of course you have!  Everyone has a day or two when they just want to pretend to be sick and stay at home in their pajamas all day, watching Netflix and eating chocolate chip cookie dough.  When you have a day like that, do it.  Take the day off.  As long as it’s not happening on a regular basis, calling out once a year is completely understandable.   It becomes a problem, however, when that’s all you ever want to do.

There is a myriad of reasons why the workplace seems like abject torture.  Maybe your boss is a micromanaging task master who incessantly emails you all day for no reason.  Perhaps your cubicle neighbor eats smelly food and you because instantly nauseated when he warms up his lunch every day.  But, maybe it’s something more.  Sometimes the feeling of dread sitting deep in your soul at the thought of going to work is a bit more serious and a lot of the time its caused by working with people who aren’t feeding you on an intellectual, emotional, or spiritual level.

Breeding Negativity

Working with toxic people, who are constantly reinforcing negativity can be a complete drain on your soul.  Every positive emotion you have is overwhelmed by their horrible attitude or their overall view of life.  Sometimes, they’re the complainers; the people who are never satisfied with the way anything is done, but they have no suggestions to make anything better.   There are times that our days are made worse by the people who are constantly passing the blame for their shortcomings to others and you’re left to pick up their slack.

No matter how you slice it, working with toxic people can make the work experience more of a chore than a joy.  Marc Anthony said, “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”  If you truly love your job, but can’t seem to get your head right about it, it could be because of the people who are dominating your days at work.  Toxic people have a way of infecting the people around them and making the experience difficult for everyone with whom they come into contact.

How to Fix It

Here’s the trick; you either have to overcome or find a different place to work.  Complaining to your superior is only going to turn you into the office snitch and no one is going to trust you.  You could make an effort to talk to the toxic person with whom you work, but unless your conversation styles are similar, it will be akin to beating your head against a cinder block wall.

If you’re in your ideal position and you want to make things work, you’re going to have to find a way to process what’s happening around you and create the most positive environment for yourself.  If you’re constantly forced to work together in teams, choose a team that doesn’t involve that person.  If you simply work in close contact with that person, make your office, cubicle, or desk expressive of the things that make you happiest.  It will go a long way towards brightening your day and it will help you to achieve a level of peace in your workplace.

If you know you’re not where you want to be in terms of your career, then it may be time to move on.  Don’t cut your nose off to spite your face, though.  Stick it out until you find a new job and try not to let the negativity follow you to your new workplace.

Toxic people have a great recruitment skill.  Misery loves company and their misery spreads across the office quite easily.  It’s easy to become just like them, but you’ve got to work hard to combat that desire or you’ll be the person making someone else’s day a torturous experience.

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