How to Deal with a Toxic Coworker
Working with a toxic coworker can be frustrating and, at times, discouraging. In order to manage them, it is essential to understand the nature of their behavior and how it affects you.
Dealing with a toxic coworker can be very difficult for you and your coworkers. It is crucial to find ways to handle this type of situation because the consequences can be detrimental to your career and personal life.
If you feel your coworker is a toxic influence on your work, consider talking to them about your concerns. Doing so can help you recognize the adverse effects of this kind of behavior and take the necessary steps to correct it.
Toxic coworkers can be hard to work with because they cause a lot of stress. They often make unreasonable requests and will often overreact to a simple mistake. When you are dealing with a toxic coworker, it's important to have thick skin.
If they attack you, don't react or retaliate with attacking talk. That just makes the situation worse. It's important to ignore the negativity as much as possible.
In order to manage a toxic coworker, there are a couple of strategies you can use which we will discuss today. Let’s start!
Identifying a Toxic Coworker
Sometimes, people are just difficult to get along with, but never is it more apparent than when they are your coworkers. Many people have at least one toxic coworker that they come into contact with at their workplace. They can be challenging to work with, they can have a negative attitude, they can be manipulative, rude, and the list goes on.
Toxic coworkers can have a massive impact on your work life. One of the most significant impacts they have is the spread of negativity. This is because toxic coworkers are so negative, it can be contagious. Some of the identifying traits of a toxic coworker include:
- If they're rude and disrespectful
- If they're confrontational and aggressive
- If they blame others for their mistakes
- If they're always greedy and unsatisfied
- If they act like they know everything
- If they frequently use sarcasm and ridicule to tear down others
- If they frequently use negative language
- If they are controlling
- If they frequently use negative body language and gesture
Dealing With a Toxic Coworker
Dealing with a toxic coworker every day at work can become exhausting. In a situation like that, you need all the help you can get. Here are some things you can do to make it better for yourself.
Learn About Them
The first step in dealing with a toxic coworker is to learn more about their behavior and their thought patterns. It may sound difficult to watch their every move, but if you do, you can begin to understand the problems and develop a plan to deal with them.
It is a good idea to take notes during the day while observing the behaviors of your toxic coworker. Review these notes later to see if they reflect your own feelings.
Understand What is Going on With Them
One of the most effective ways to deal with toxic coworkers is to acknowledge their distress. If they become fixated on a particular issue, it is a sign of psychological distress, and this should be acknowledged.
If they seem to be underappreciated or scared of the next step in their career, it is best to avoid bringing the matter to your manager. By understanding their motivation, you will be able to make an informed decision and prevent the situation from spiraling out of control.
Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms
The second step is to implement coping mechanisms. A toxic coworker can drag an entire company through the mud. By adopting the strategies listed in this article, you can protect yourself and your business.
It is possible to get through a toxic coworker, but it is a very tough pill to swallow. By implementing these strategies, you can prevent yourself from letting your employees suffer as well.
Before speaking to the toxic coworker, take time to develop your own coping strategies. By focusing on your work, you can stay calm and avoid getting stressed out. Taking a break from work for a few hours can help you avoid toxic coworkers, as well as keep your own work and health in check.
If you feel like your coworker is making you miserable, try to remember the positive aspects of the workplace and focus on these things.
Avoid Engaging with Them Unnecessarily
If you notice a toxic coworker, try to avoid engaging with them. Often, they will disagree with you or dig in their heels when you try to talk to them. By modeling a positive presence, you can reduce the harmful effects of the toxic coworker.
By showing your integrity, you will be a role model for your team. If your coworker has a positive attitude, they will respect your efforts. Rather than interacting with a toxic coworker, try to stay away from them.
They are not going to listen to you and will likely only hurt your career. Besides, you won't be able to focus on your work and your personal life if you keep up with them. It will affect your productivity and your overall health. And you should also avoid their negative behaviors. These are all signs of toxic coworkers.
Try Talking It Out
In some cases, a toxic coworker is hard to deal with, but you can make it work by setting up meetings with them. A meeting will help your team build trust and increase accountability between members.
But don't make it a ruse! It's better to have real, authentic interactions between team members. Creating a positive environment in the workplace is a must for your career.
Talk to Your Superiors About It
Bring it up with your superiors. Proactively suggest to your manager that the group hold a meeting to determine group standards and start to address all of the negative practices and environment.
You shouldn’t use this meeting as an opportunity to ambush your coworker or throw them under the bus. Instead, you can ask everyone on the team to come up with practical solutions for the problems everyone is facing.
While a toxic coworker's behavior can have a negative effect on your career, you can help the team to succeed. By acknowledging the unhealthy behavior, you'll be able to hold them accountable for their actions.
If they're a toxic peer, it's essential for the team to hold them to a higher standard. But it's important to realize that this type of peer is hard to change, so you need to make sure that you keep your cool and try to avoid escalation of the situation.