Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dealing With A Frustrating Co-Worker

By April Fischer

Difficult people exist everywhere, especially at work. What makes these people so much more frustrating than most is the fact that we can’t necessarily escape them. We have to spend our days sharing an office space with them or working with them on a project. So how do we deal with someone who makes our blood boil?

Fortunately, there are a few tricks to help make them less of a nuisance to you.

Be prepared to deal with this person. We want to be comfortable and happy at work, but when dealing with a coworker who belittles us, gossips, or is a general office whiner or control freak, we have to be prepared for the worst. Before you interact with this person, take a deep breath and know what to expect. Being prepared for these interactions will make you much less likely to be annoyed by them.

Know that you can’t control this person, but you can control how you react to them. Much of our happiness in life is determined by how we react to things and people. We can let our colleague’s pettiness anger us, or we can calmly observe and choose to focus on other things. Accept that no matter what you say or do, this person is unlikely to change. You don’t want to waste time and energy stressing over them.

Don’t fuel the fire. If this person is a gossiper, don’t make the problem worse by joining in on it. If you feel that they belittle you, exchanging cold words will get you nowhere. In fact, it will make you feel even more worked up. The oldest trick in the book is to kill ‘em with kindness. When you see them, smile and say something polite. Wish them a good day. Being friendly and kind when the situation is negative will result in them either becoming too bored or too frustrated to continue hounding you.

Move on. There is nothing you can do to change this person, especially if they are your boss or superior. Sometimes you simply have to deal with the cards you’ve been dealt in life. They may not always be pleasant, but focus on the positives of having a job and making an income in this dire economy. If the situation becomes one that affects you physically or becomes extremely harmful emotionally, then it’s time to take your complaint to someone in authority who can resolve the issue.

All in all, there isn’t much we can do to rid our world of difficult and frustrating coworkers. But by using the tips above, we can become happier people at work and make a change in the environment we spend our days in.

Want more tips on communicating more effectivley with people in both your professional & personal life? Check out our course - Communicating with Difficult People. Find out what style you are and how to communicate more effectivley to get better results!

About the Author:
April Fischer is currently attending Arizona State University. She is majoring in journalism with an emphasis in public relations and hopes to do PR for athletes after she graduates. She is currently a communications & PR intern for Fresh Start Women’s Foundation and is an active member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. April also has written for a local teen magazine, AZTeen, and has articles published in ASU’s student newspaper, The State Press.

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