There’s always that one person or group of persons who will make your work life a living nightmare. “While we assume that most people follow the golden rule of “treat others the way that you would like to be treated”, there are definitely some individuals who are not guided by this principle and regularly break this rule”, says Dr Damon Ashworth, a Clinical Psychologist. One of the main things that my psychiatrist have taught me when dealing with toxic people at work is that one must first get to know how they’ve turned out to be impossible to get along with.
Not only that, there are a couple of things that my psychiatrist has revealed to me that made me change my perception towards my co-workers.
Here are the things that I learned which made a lot of sense:
- They Might Not Mean It
Sometimes, we are so caught up in all the negative things about our insufferable co-workers that every mistake or comment gets magnified, intensified, and overanalyzed. Individuals are called as such because we are composed of different personalities – what you’re used to might not be the same with your co-worker. People don’t wake up and instantaneously put your name on top of their “Today’s To Piss Off List.”
One must admit, we are not always bright and sunny and we can be the problematic person for someone inside the office on any given day. You have to face the fact that people experience bad days and weeks and dumping that frustration towards colleagues is an insanely normal thing to do. We just can’t help our outburst, especially those who don’t have proper coping mechanisms for stress and pressure. Psychotherapist Amy Morin, pointed out “that toxic people can take “a serious toll on your mental well-being”.
Intentions of people vary and most certainly, their life goal is not to irritate you or be upsetting. Often, these troublesome people are also victims of their storms.
- Calming Ourselves Will Not Enable The Nuisance
Heated arguments with toxic people can happen, especially if you’ve just reached your maximum tolerance. There are only two outcomes from this: you’re like adding gasoline to fire or shutting the other person down entirely. However, challenging people, much like bullies, are often prepared for comebacks.
Keeping your cool can make a lot of difference. “Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness” said Travis Bradberry, Ph.D. Though it is easier said than done, miscommunication often intensifies if you act on the aggressor with a raging disposition. So, giving yourself time to breathe and relax before making a reply is a valid rebuttal to a frustrating co-worker. It keeps your emotions at bay and disables any impending work-related problems.
- Understanding People Can Go A Long Way
Misunderstandings are one of the leading causes of work-related drama. Though it is challenging to see eye-to-eye, you can turn things around by trying to understand a particular topic from the person’s point-of-view. By doing so, you are developing an emphatic attitude that will not only make you further figure out why the person is acting out a certain way, but will also make you feel better.
Empathy for a person’s inner struggles can benefit one’s perception and maturity. On the plus side, being empathetic creates more manageable working relationships.
If you have someone inside the office that’s making your work life miserable, acknowledgment of their behavior does not mean immediate acceptance. Boundaries or limitations must be established; otherwise, consequences must be initiated. Remember that in workplaces, there are specific departments and individuals whose primary responsibility is to handle problematic people. If your capacity to deal or handle toxic people has already been depleted, you can always seek help, especially if the problem is affecting your work and well-being.