Negativity can bring you down in general, but when it’s right next to you every day at work it can cause a whole range of complications. Here are my top tips on how to deal with your colleague without going out of your mind.
Don’t Vent Around Them
If you don’t want somebody to offload their negative attitude around you, then you need to provide positivity and optimism. If you’re having a bad day and decide to use them as a sounding board, they will feel they can do that to you.
An odd bad day is perfectly natural. If you’re having one. think carefully about who you vent to at work (if anybody). If you come in the next day feeling a lot happier about the situation, but you’ve told everybody in the office, they’ll be more likely to drag on your situation.
Offer Them A Solution Rather Than A Bitching Session
So, your friend comes to you and says ‘Ergh, John is at it again. He blocked all of my ideas in the meeting. I hate that man…’
If you don’t personally like John, it’s very easy for you to join in. Don’t. If you join in, John becomes a ‘thing’. He takes up space in your brain and in your conversations. If you don’t like him, don’t waste precious time talking about him with your friend.
Instead, offer a solution: ‘why don’t you speak to him?’ ‘Maybe you could start encouraging John’s ideas to make him feel less threatened by you…’ etc.
We spend a lot of time at work, making enemies and feeding on resentment is exhausting.
Despite All Your Best Efforts, They’re Still Being Negative…
You’ve tried really hard and haven’t succumbed to their negativity once, but they’re still at it. It’s time to ask the question:
‘Wow, that sounds awful. What are you going to do about it?’
People who are used to continuously venting are not expecting a resolution. You’ll probably catch them off guard. Always ask them what actionable steps they’re taking to sort their problem out.
The next time they come to you to vent, ask them how they’re getting on with the resolution you talked about. They’ll soon resolve their issue or find somebody else to vent to.
Go Out Of Your Way To Avoid Them
The people who you surround yourself with reflect on you. If somebody is perpetually negative and despite everything, you can’t get them to stop, then you need to avoid them.
If you have to work with them, don’t ever provide a sympathetic ear to their whining. Say things like ‘try to look at it more positively’ and if it continues, speak to your boss or HR about it. Your manager may have tips to help you or perhaps they could move you to a different team or desk.
Dealing With It
Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s possible to avoid negativity altogether. If it’s not coming from work you might have friends and family members who are dragging you down. You don’t have to succumb to it, regardless of who they are.
By writing this, I’m not immune from being this person. There was a time ages ago when I was coming home from work moaning about it every single night. In the end, both my family and Jim were like — you need to sort yourself out!
If you’re close enough to a person, you should be able to get away with that reaction. If you’re the moaner (and we can all be moany at times), then think about what it is you’d like to change in your life. Nobody is stuck in their situation. Nowadays, it would take a lot for me to ever consider moaning about my job because I love it. So, let that negative attitude be your first indication that something isn’t quite right & take the steps to make it better.