7 Ways to Cope With Toxic Coworkers and Avoid Confrontation
A study concluded that being around toxic people in the workplace can lead to depression, anxiety, and insomnia. This can negatively affect projects and people’s health. And, unfortunately, we know that working alongside these difficult coworkers is incredibly common.
We at Bright Side understand that, at some point, you may come across coworkers that will drain your energy in the workplace. For when this happens, we gathered a few tips on how to deal with them in a simple, peaceful way.
1. Don’t dive into your coworkers’ negativity.
Imagine joining a new company and being welcomed onto a team in which people are being negative toward everything. It’s unmotivating, isn’t it? Unfortunately, having a coworker with an abundance of negativity will influence the whole team. Someone once said: “Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them.”
With that being said, don’t let their negativity weigh you down!
2. Be assertive with your ideas.
You may come across coworkers who will try to question your decisions or ideas in front of other coworkers just out of sheer fun or to make you look less competent. In these cases, take the high road and ask them for their opinion and for other’s opinions. Also, explain your point of view in an assertive way. This will make you look like more of a leader and a collaborative professional.
3. Know your limits and when to say no.
Sometimes toxic coworkers will try to overload you with activities, and that may burn you out. Understanding the scope of your projects and work will help you to say “no” to a new workload. This way, people will understand what your priorities are before asking you to perform another task.
4. If possible, try to reverse the situation.
There are times in which coworkers will develop toxic behavior toward you because of jealously. Maybe you’re performing better or have good communication with other people — the reasons can vary. If you identify this kind of behavior, it may be a good idea to understand why they feel threatened by your presence. You could also find ways to make them feel less insecure.
For this, consider teaching them a new skill or acknowledging them in front of other people. Maybe this will be a total game-changer in your work environment!
5. Set boundaries — don’t gossip!
You’ve probably encountered gossip in your workplace, especially the malicious kind. A study revealed that both job-related and non-job-related gossip indicated distrust between employees. But truthfully, we never really know what people are going through in their personal lives. To avoid those toxic coworkers, draw your limits and do not engage in venomous chit-chat.
6. Don’t try to reach their unrealistic expectations.
If someone is trying to pressure you into performing at the same level as them, first take a step back and evaluate your time, resources, and people helping you. If you understand that the pressure has a toxic intention, refrain from being anxious and work at your own pace, always aiming for ethical and good results.
7. Keep it positive when it comes to your work.
Focus on building up your confidence and knowing your weaknesses and strengths. Understand how to better engage with people — that will be the key to success, and it can create strong networking. Also, remember that not all people are toxic. Focus on being positive and uplift those who strive to grow as professionals and most importantly, good human beings.
What are your experiences with toxic coworkers? How did you manage to deal with their negativity? What are your tips for people who are dealing with this difficult situation?