You know the kind of people I’m talking about. The ones you just can’t stand to be around. They’re difficult, annoying, rude, conniving, hateful and basically horrible people that we want nothing to do with. We all have our own ways and strategies of dealing with such kinds of people. These situations aren’t easy but our options are further limited when we have the misfortune of dealing with them at the workplace. You just can’t let their calls go to voicemail or stop going to the places they frequent. Sigh.It would have been so much easier if that was the case. But no, we have to see them day after day and sometimes it seems like there is no end to the
suffering. While they leave mass destruction in their wake, they carry on with their lives unperturbed. Life isn’t fair. Life is hard enough without having to worry about a difficult co-worker or boss.
Relationships play a major role in our lives; they can build us up or tear us down. Being surrounded by negative people has adverse effects on us. If we’re not careful, that toxicity may seep into our lives and affect the way we think, feel and relate with other people. This mental torture is something that we can do without. Not all of us have the option of quitting so here are a few tips to deal with difficult people at work.
DISTANCE YOURSELF FROM TOXIC PEOPLE
One of the easiest and effective ways to deal with difficult people is to not have to deal with them at all! If the person is giving you unnecessary stress through their taunts, accusations, and behaviour and you have the opportunity to limit the interactions, grab it with both hands. It’s great if you can maintain physical distance. Maybe find excuses to change your seat or sit elsewhere for lunch. Out of mind, out of sight. Even if you can’t distance yourself physically, try to distance yourself mentally and emotionally. Remember that no one can make you feel or think a certain way unless you let them. The only thing that you have control over is your thoughts. Don’t let their snide remarks get to you. They’re not worth your time and energy!
SET CLEAR BOUNDARIES AND LET THEM BE KNOWN
You need to set some boundaries for yourself and be very clear about them. This will save you from a lot of uncomfortable situations later if you make it known what is and is not fine with you. Don’t hesitate to put people in their place if they come too close to the line. If you don’t let people know that you take that imaginary line seriously, they will assume that you will put up with a whole lot more and constantly keep pushing your boundaries. Toxic people need to be kept at bay and you should be firm about that. They will see your hesitation as weakness and pounce on it. Never be uncomfortable just to accommodate someone else. Don’t be intimidated by anyone and stick to what you think is right
RISE ABOVE THEM
Difficult people are often irrational and follow no logic. Their behaviour makes no sense to you. You fail to comprehend why they do what they do. Instead of trying to figure out their motives and beating yourself up over it, rise above them. Accept that they are who they are and there isn’t anything you can do about it. This will let you move forward and not respond to them emotionally. Be detached and keep emotions out of the equation. Analyse the situation and respond accordingly. Never react. There is no point in reacting emotionally and getting drained. These people are not worth it!
LET THEM ACT OUT
Don’t shut them out completely. After all, you have to work with this person and interact with them in a professional capacity. Whatever they may do, don’t stoop to their level and gang up on them. Give them the professional respect that they deserve. Let them speak and express their views and opinions. Interrupting them or ignoring them completely will shine a bad light on you. People may think that you’re the difficult one. Letting them act out will give others a chance to know how toxic that person is. No one likes to be shut out completely. They’re more likely to explode in such situations.
BE IN TUNE WITH YOUR EMOTIONS
For most of us, emotions guide our actions. But that is exactly what you shouldn’t do at the workplace! It clouds your judgement and you may not take the best decisions. Don’t let the toxic person get to you and provoke you. Some of them derive pleasure from riling you up and that’s exactly why you shouldn’t fall into their trap. When you are in tune with your emotions you’ll know when someone is trying to play you and you can avoid the whole mess. Try to think analytically and respond to facts. Sometimes it’s better to not react and let them think that they are right. Choose your battles wisely. Getting overly emotionally at work is not going to benefit you!
What you need to realize is that these toxic people are harmful to your health. According to a study, 43% of adults suffer from health problems due to stress. Is your work more important than your health? The people you are stressing over probably don’t even worry about you. They’re sleeping peacefully at night while you stay awake thinking about how horrible they are to you. There’s no point in obsessing over the problem; think about the solution. Think constructively and you can deal with anything that comes your way. Don’t let your work dominate your life. Being a workaholic isn’t something to be proud of! Drive away all thoughts of work the instant you leave the office. Having good relationships and focusing on yourself is just as important as being successful. Everyone comes across toxic people in their lives. We would love to hear about how you dealt with them in the comment section below!