Don’t Kill My Vibes
There’s always that one coworker who no matter what is consistency in a bad mood. Whether it’s the Monday blues has the best of them or the coffee this morning isn’t strong enough nothing seems to shake them of their bad vibes. They bring personal problems into the workplace or maybe they hate their job entirely and constantly badmouth the company. While some of the complaints are validated and some of the concerns genuine their misery makes it dreadful for their fellow coworkers to be around them.
Although it’s unrealistic to expect someone to be positive all the time, it’s also not healthy to put yourself in a position where only negativity exists. The older and wiser I become, it’s more acceptable to acknowledge that you can’t control the people who make an appearance in your life. You have no say over family or even coworkers but you can choose the people who lift you up and give them a more permanent fixture. In other words, surround yourself with people who make you happy.
In the workplace, remaining professional and respectful is always of highest importance. Rather you’ve been assigned to the same project or even carpooling, staying calm towards someone who constantly complains can be easier said than done. For those moments, here are a few tips to help you handle the coworker who is always killing your good vibes.
Keep Your Space
There’s no need to be mean or gossip about how you can’t work with this person anymore but it’s ok to acknowledge that surrounding yourself with too much negativity isn’t mentally healthy. It’s a known fact that your surroundings have a direct influence on how your day progresses. One of my favorite sayings is, “a smile is contagious” and if that’s true then so is a frown. Being surrounded by bad company can easily lead to a toxic work environment.
Finding ways to limit your time in their presence Is probably the best move. For instance, if you two always seem to meet at Keurig in the morning try switching up your timing or even bringing a cup of Joe from home. I know it’s an inconvenience to go out of your way to dodge them but this move will allow you to not only get a caffeine fix but also avoid the grating presence of Debbie Downer first thing in the morning.
Have an Honest Conversation
Communication is key. There’s a possibility that your coworker genuinely has no idea how they are affecting the rest of the workplace. To them this could be their way of making conversation and building work connections.
If you’re on friendly terms with your coworker consider inviting them to a hangout outside of work. Personally, I hate talking about work off the clock but just this once it’s ok to make an exception. Most likely, your coworker will start complaining and now is your time to have an honest conversation.
Firstly, listen to what they have to say and then offer solutions. For example, if a coworker is under the impression that everyone else dislikes them politely ask how they came to that conclusion. Sometimes work can feel a bit like high school – everyone cliques up and bullies arise – and if it’s a genuine issue, encourage them to bring there concerns to management. Otherwise, discuss how their complaints in the workplace is toxic and there needs to be a more positive mindset.
Go To Upper Management
What’s that old-school saying, snitches get stitches? I know but this situation is above your pay grade.
Your company has had the foreseen grace of assigning someone in senior management to specifically deal with bad behavior and toxic work environments. It is not your responsibility to handle the grievances of an unhappy employee. If your coworker is as bad as you think, chances are this isn’t the first time it’s been brought to the head office.
This advice can be used as a first call or last resort. Either way, making management aware of a toxic coworker should be on your list of solutions. Personally, I’ve had the experience of going this route. When keeping space and communicating didn’t work, I took the initiative of reaching out to management. My boss handled the situation gracefully and anonymously by setting up a “catch-up” meeting with the coworker and hearing out their complaints. Since then the work environment has become less toxic and the negative energy has decreased substantially.
Workplace environments can be tricky but hopefully these tips will help make the situation better. Have you ever had to handle a negative coworker? Comment below to share some of you’re own tips!