Dealing with Toxic Coworkers

They get on your nerves. They don’t pull their weight. They constantly complain.

Perhaps worst of all, they can undermine your success on the job.

They’re toxic coworkers – and you’re forced to work alongside them, every day.

Since you’re not in a position to choose with whom you work, you need to develop sound strategies for neutralizing irritating, subversive or just-plain-negative team members. Today, PrideStaff shares practical advice to help you deal with someone you’re not getting along with at work:

  • Name what bothers you. Does this person constantly criticize? Shirk responsibility? Point fingers? Take credit for your work? Try to understand exactly what is it about his behavior that grates on your nerves. Once you understand that, you can do a much better job controlling your reaction to it.
  • Keep your distance. As much as possible, isolate yourself mentally and emotionally from his negative behaviors. If you can’t physically separate yourself from him, find other ways to tune him out. Grab your ear buds and listen to music if that’s permissible, or take a five-minute walk outside on your break. Even a brief break can improve your tolerance.
  • Fight negativity with positivity. One great way to neutralize the negative impact a toxic coworker has on your attitude (and ultimately your job performance) is by surrounding yourself with upbeat people. Make a point of having lunch each day with somebody who boosts your mood and helps recharge your “emotional battery.” And don’t forget that you have great control over the things you tell yourself. Repeat positive thoughts throughout the day to counteract the negative things you hear from that annoying employee.
  • Don’t take their actions personally. A toxic employee rarely takes responsibility for his behavior or considers the negative consequences of his actions. Keep this in mind when his choices impact you.
  • Draw the line. A toxic employee is typically opportunistic and will push boundaries as far as he can. Resist the temptation to pick up the slack for an underperforming coworker or “clean up” problems he causes. If he crosses a line and becomes verbally abusive or otherwise inappropriate, keep your cool. Walk away and go through the appropriate channels to file a complaint.

Need to get away from a toxic coworker or culture? Simply looking for a better employment opportunity? Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities. We’ll help ensure that you don’t just search, but succeed.