How to Deal with Negative Coworkers
It’s a beautiful day, you like your job, you’ve got a good boss, and the universe is unfolding as it should. The next thing you know, you have to deal with negative coworkers who walk in to your space with that black clouds over their heads, and suck the life right out of you. They are the poster children for bad attitude. Their jobs suck, their bosses are morons, they don’t get paid enough, and they’ve got problems at home. “I’m not a negative person,” they’ll tell you, “I’m just being honest.”
Negative coworkers confuse 'honesty' with 'opinionated'
They like to use the word ‘honest,’ to give them an excuse for being opinionated, or to trash people’s ideas. They appear completely insensitive and uncaring to the impact they have on those around them. Short of taking drastic measures, like crazy-gluing their lips shut, there are few effective options for dealing with these people. Here are a couple of strategies, however, that you may find useful:
Here are two things you can try
1. Avoid them
First and foremost, avoid them as much as you possibly can. Negative people are internal customer service killers that can dramatically impact your happiness and job satisfaction.
2. Discourage them
Let them know that you aren’t interested in rehashing negative things. You can do this in one of two ways:
A.) The hardest, but most effective, is to be direct (but kind). For example: “I get that this bothers you, John, but I just don’t enjoy talking about things like this.”
B.) If nothing seems to dissuade their rants, try some lighthearted remarks when they get started, like:
a. “Slow day in the positive attitude department today?”
b. “Thank you for putting that cloud in our silver lining.”
c. “Have you ever thought of a career as a de-motivational speaker?”
Make sure you say them with a smile on your face, and go about your business. This approach won’t change their overall negative attitudes, but after a few repetitions, you’ll find that they are a little less expressive with their negativity when you’re around.
One thing is for certain – you need to deal with negative coworkers. Otherwise they are guaranteed to drag you down.