Amber Little

Big Business Blog: a guide to work, life and happiness

Five ways to deal with a negative coworker March 1, 2011

Filed under: Tips for a successful career — Amber Little @ 5:58 pm

Every workplace seems to have one.  That one person that just wants to crap in everyone’s cheerios.  Day in, day out, all they to do is complain, complain…and complain some more.  I’ve been around a few doozies, and they can seriously suck the life out of you.  Being around all of this negative energy can be exhausting, and can even take a toll on your ability to perform professionally at work.  Pretty soon you may start feeling just as down and depressed as the negative nancy sitting right next to you.  So what do you do?

First thing you want to do is take plenty of Xanex (oh come on, I kid).  Really, you need to look around and identify all of the people in your life that cause you stress, both at work and at home. Pay attention to how you feel when you are around certain people.  Do you feel anxious, annoyed, on guard, demeaned or attacked?  Do you feel like it is almost a chore to be around that person?  Once you identify the culprits, try these easy tricks:

#1 Really Listen: Sometimes people repeat negative sentiments over and over again because they feel they are not being heard.  Maybe that person just wants to be listend to and will can it when they are done venting.

#2 Set Limits: Although listening and giving advise can be helpful, you need to know when to draw the line.  If you feel that the conversation is making you feel uncomfortable, a good way to disengage is simply  excuse yourself and walk away for a bit.  Or, a more direct way would be to tell them that stress gives you explosive diarrhea and run away.

#3  Don’t be part of the problem: As the old saying goes, misery loves company.  So try not to participate in gossiping of any kind…it will almost always leave you feeling down, and it SHOULD you big jerk.

#4 Avoid spending time with the negative nelly:  Try not to spend breaks with that person, or have contact with them outside of work.  Who needs it.

#5  Realize that sometimes you can’t fix the problem:  Some people love complaining, it’s just who they are.  If one problem gets fixed, they’ll find something else to nag about, it’s in their DNA.

photo credit


2 Responses to “Five ways to deal with a negative coworker”

  1. Amber, you got it right.

    Negative people are the worst to be around. The sad part is that, like you mentioned, if you choose to stick around the negative Nancy, you’ll automatically be pulled down the same crappy path she is in-daily routines of pulling teeth. Take distance and refocus on the more radiant and positive people in your environment, if it’s at work or other areas of your life.

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