Negative co-workers may do more than create a negative environment, they may actually sap your energy, darken your mood and reduce your productivity. The positive and negative effects of everyone’s emotions have a way of spreading throughout the environment, which is why it’s crucial to recognize and deal with negative employees. Whether you are the CEO of the company, a manager or a frustrated colleague, there are important ways you can avoid falling into the trap of being affected by destructive and toxic behaviors.

It’s important to remember you cannot control another person. Especially in the workplace, the first step is coming to terms with how little control you have over another person’s behavior. However, you do have control over your own behavior, and you may start by resisting office politics. There’s a certain set of negative people who spend the day gossiping every chance they get. It’s important to remember if someone is gossiping, they likely gossip about you behind your back as well. Try saying, “I’m sorry, I try not to get involved in these discussions.” This lets the other person know you don’t have any interest in participating.

Analyze your situation and recognize the signs of negative behavior in your co-worker. It may be challenging to see the relationship dynamics going on in the office and understand how they may be related to the behaviors of one or two co-workers. By planning ahead, you may be able to engage in strategies that help you and others deal with a negative coworker. Some people enjoy spreading bad news or gossip, while others enjoy the spotlight and drain their co-workers time and energy with their need for attention.

Just as negativity spreads, so does positivity. Try spending time with another co-worker who’s positive and focus your attention on more constructive topics. It’s also helpful to find someone outside of work with whom you can commiserate, and recognize you are definitely not alone. Being negative is a choice and when you reinforce someone else’s behavior, you reinforce the negativity. Avoid spending extended time with a negative coworker. If a negative person is essential to getting your job done, set limits on the amount of time you spend and how much you allow yourself to be drawn into discussions.

Some individuals create unnecessary drama or distraction, wasting precious time, while others undermine the values of the leader, the company and the team culture. One way to deal with these individuals in the workplace is to raise the level of your own game and keep your ego in check. In other words, don’t stoop to their level by reacting to, or engaging in, their behaviors. The more you maintain your own focus, the less likely you’ll be blindsided by an individual whose sole goal appears to be to drive you off track.

It’s important to take care of yourself, both on and off the job. This type of negative behavior can damage your emotional and physical health when you allow it to get under your skin and influence your behavior. Take care to find activities that help reduce your stress level, eat a well-balanced diet and get at least eight hours of quality sleep every night.

At Stellar Staffing Solutions, we help our employees manage their work environments and support their efforts to make a positive impact at work. Contact us today – let’s get started finding your next great job.

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