How do you deal with a toxic coworker?
If someone at the office is making you feel consistently stressed or unmotivated, you might be dealing with a toxic coworker. I personally suggest don’t take it personally and don’t let this toxic behavior damage your emotional and physical health.
Have you ever worked with a toxic coworker and how did you handle it?
That's a great question. I like your tip about trying to not take the coworker's behavior personally and trying to block out the toxic behavior. Sometimes that can be easier said than done, though.
Personally, I have a great team here at business.com and haven't had extensive experience with toxic coworkers in other jobs, but I have a few friends and colleagues who have shared stories of toxic coworkers. From those conversations and conversations with other small business owners, I've compiled a few tips.
1. Try to work out your disagreements with them. Having an honest conversation, without confronting them, is one of the better ways to try to deal with toxic coworkers.
2. Try to stay calm. Like you said, it's a good strategy to take a step back mentally. Remember that this coworker doesn't determine your happiness or worth. Try to remove yourself from the personal connection and limit your emotions when reacting to their behavior. Take a deep breath and focus on your work.
3. Go to your boss. If you can't block out this toxic coworker and you can't make progress by having an honest conversation with them, ask your boss for help. Explain what makes your coworker toxic to the work environment and share what you'd like tour boss to address with them.
These three tips should help someone deal with a toxic coworker. Additionally, I'd recommend checking out these articles:
Advice for dealing with a toxic coworker - https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/12026-dealing-with-bossy-coworker.html
How to identify and avoid toxic coworkers - https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5303-toxic-coworker-test-boundaries.html
How to cope with annoying coworkers - https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5867-ways-to-handle-annoying-co-workers.html
I am a pretty direct person. I went to my supervisor first and explained how I was feeling and then asked what the appropriate steps were within company policy... if it were appropriate to go directly to them or let them handle it. Thankfully the supervisor went to the person and discussed what was going on. Apparently, they were under immense pressure outside of work and had no idea that they were affecting others in the office that way.
It was squashed that week. They got more work from home time and everyone was MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH happier.
Consider your locus of control:
Every time something at work stresses me out, whether it be a person or an event, I try to look at the situation objectively and identify whether my concern is attributed to an external or internal locus of control.
Put simply, there are many things you can't really control, and it's pointless to worry about them, and in this case, that'd be toxic colleagues. Instead, it's much more rewarding to worry about things that you CAN control, like your attitude towards your colleagues or how you choose to respond to their toxic behavior.
It is very easy when interacting with toxic people or a toxic environment to "become a part of the surroundings." The best methodology I've found is to remain you and be true to who you are. If you are a happy-go-lucky person, greet this person with a smile every single day. If it's the environment, greet everyone in the environment with a smile and hello.
Toxic people and environments are sometimes unavoidable and you will never change them. What you do have the capacity for is to change how YOU interact. Remain in control of you.
Unfortunately, it's not an uncommon situation. Currently, I'm working with a toxic coworker who is not just a toxic person, but a misogynist as well.
My advice is to let it all slide off you and don't negatively react to his/her attitude. Thank him/her when he/she helps you, keep a pleasant smile on your face, be polite to him/her even when he/she's being rude to you and basically just "rise above it" and do your job.
Since these people show up everywhere and you can’t change them, your other alternative is to avoid them the best you can and simply stay out of their way.
First know your reason for working, having understood the value of the job knowing that you never planned to meet that individual there, learn to avoid the person.
Also, know the rules of the job, so as not to be found wanting in any way this is mostly in the case where the person in question is your boss... (Read the book Attitude is everything).
Unfortunately, it is an irritating but pretty common thing, which I think can be countered, but can't be changed, because how can u change a person or group of people's behavior if they are used to it. So it can only be countered by u by only interacting with them only in a positive conversation and by remaining confident in our actions and thoughts.