5 ways to deal with negative colleagues


Negative people are an unfortunate part of work life. Often at work, we need to navigate through tough times caused by such people. Sometimes it is just the negative vibe that they spread and at others it can be their vicious acts that might be pulling us down. Dealing with negative people can be quite a hurdle. It is not only frustrating but also a waste of time and energy. Such people can affect our productivity as well as our efficiency. Negative characters at work come in various forms—gossip mongers, drama queens (and kings), wannabe victims— all of who tarnish the positive vibes of the workspace. They tend to distract you and sideline your focus from your goals.

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Here are a few tips that you can use to deal with them:

Set your own boundaries

You are not obligated to listen to the negative chatter from your colleagues. You may not be able to control the negativity, but you sure can control whether or not to engage in it. Distance yourself from such individuals, both physically and mentally. Limit number of interactions with them. Plugging in a pair of good headphones and listening to music is a common workplace tactic to avoid unnecessary conversation.

Don’t react unnecessarily

If it is not harmful, allow the negativity to just pass. Reacting to negative conversations all the time will not just frustrate you, it will also affect your image at the workplace. You might be seen as an argumentative and irksome person. Control your emotions and work away the stress. Simply walk away from unnecessary conflict with your head held high.

Counteract negativity with positivity

Instead of allowing yourself to be burdened by negativity, try counteracting it with positivity. For example, if you see a colleague trying to spread an ugly rumour about someone, ask them to stop it and point out the best qualities of that person. Hopefully, this might help your colleague understand what they are doing is wrong. Agree to disagree in a positive manner. An alternate approach would be to delegate certain tasks to your negative colleagues, if you have the authority to do so. Why let the idle mind be on play when there’s work to be done?

Develop a support system

Build a network of positive friends, colleagues or family members. Ensure that you seek help from them and talk openly to them when things seem to go astray. They will help you approach the situation with a different perspective and find an alternate solution.

Bring it to notice

If all else fails, speak to the concerned authorities at your workplace. In fact, you need to take a call on when to set your foot down. If you find that your negative colleague has affected you in an unforgivable manner or a manner completely unacceptable for a professional space, do not hesitate to speak to your higher management.

How do you deal with negative people at your workplace? Let us know in the comments section below.


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