7 Rules for Dealing with Difficult People

It’s something that we all dread: dealing with those toxic people that dot our professional lives. Never-the-less, they are present; gratefully not in large numbers. When having to deal with difficult people in your workplace, here are 7 rules that will help lessen the stress and the burdens.

  1. Contain Complaints: If you have a co-worker who complains constantly, don’t feel obligated to continually listen to the incessant list of problems. Set limits on how much time you spend (or waste). Instead, try asking them what they are doing to solve the problem they are complaining about. This can either send them down the right path of correcting their own situation or cause them to stop complaining if they are the type of person who complains but never really wants to fix the problem in the first place.
  2. Pick Your Battles: You probably know this already because “choose your battles wisely” is a popular saying. Try your best to be strategic and unemotional when it comes to confrontations and disputes in the workplace.
  3. Don’t Let the Negativity Spread: It is easy to let negativity to take over your emotions and spread. Instead keep your cool and stop the spread of negativity by calmly avoiding situations.
  4. It’s OK to Be Happy Even if Others Aren’t: Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your happiness is contingent on that of others. If other coworkers around us are unhappy and vocal about it, we tend to adopt the same thinking. Avoid doing that and allow yourself to be happy about your own achievements and accomplishments.
  5. Keep Focused on Solutions: Toxic co-workers can take all of your time and energy. Instead of dwelling on the negative, keep focused on the positive. Staying on a clear path of positivity will allow you to concentrate of that which will make you and your company both successful.
  6. Look Out for Physical Stress: In many cases toxic individuals can add too much stress to your life. Do the things that you need to do to keep yourself stress free and in good health. Exercise, relax, and eat right to avoid physical stress.
  7. Ask for Help When You Need It: If toxic colleagues start to get the better of you or are interfering with your daily job then it is time to ask for help. This could mean talking to management or a supervisor. If that isn’t an option, look into alternative solutions such as moving desks, asking for a schedule change, or speaking to the person causing the problems for you in the first place.

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