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How to Deal with a Negative Coworker

03/24/2021 06:00AM | 1719 views



An office is a place of culmination of different kinds of people. When working in a workplace, it is essential to remain professional and positive always. However, this can be a challenging situation if you have to regularly deal with co-workers who have negative attitudes.


Since the co-worker will be in office daily, it is best to handle them professionally and maturely. Follow the crucial tips to effectively deal with the negative co-worker in workplace.

Identify the Positive note within the Negative 

If a co-worker regularly passes negative comments, look for the positives in that situation. Transmit yourself to a positive mental zone and divert from the negativity. This will help you find a positive mental space to be during the tough time with the co-worker. 

Reach out to HR or Manager 

If the co-worker is continuously passing negative comments and creating a negative situation that’s beyond the tolerable stage, speak with a HR professional or your manger about it. They may transfer you to an area away from that negative co-worker or speak with the co-worker themselves to offer them assistance or a warning. Note that before reaching out to the HR professional, politely interact with the co-worker to let them know that their behavior is challenging for you to handle and you are going to the manager for assistance. If the negativity of the co-worker makes it tough for you to focus at work, consult the human resource department or your manager for a solution.

Excuse from the Conversation 

If a coworker regularly engages in casual conversation and turns it into negative situations, avoid the conversation completely. Tell them that you would like to get back to work instantly. This will help you to get away from the negative environment and stop you from engaging in any uncomfortable workplace situations. Always be polite while excusing from the conversation.  

Keep away from Negative Situations

If you are in a workplace where you regularly have to be near the negative co-worker, try to distance yourself from situations of interactions with that person. Divert away instantly when you know they would turn negative. If they share the seat near you, get permission from the supervisor to either listen to music during work to keep the co-worker from distracting you. Use the breaks at work to get away from the situation and walk outside.  

Refer them to Useful Resources

Sometimes the situation may be that the employee is facing a tough time which leads to being negative always. If that is the time and the employee indeed is facing a challenging situation and making negative comments, suggest to them to consult a professionally sound helpful resource that can help them with the situation.  

Try to Collaborate on Group Projects

If you and the negative co-worker are collaborating together in a project or tasks, try to compromise with the person to maintain productivity. If they are unsatisfied with the tasks assigned, offer to help and assist them with the tasks. Remain positive throughout the collaboration, and express the importance of collaborating together in work as a team. This will make it easier to work together and will also improve the team-building and problem-solving skills of both.

Indulge yourself with Positive Coworkers

It is easier to deal with negative co-workers when you are with positive minded people. Find co-workers in office who possess a positive mindset. Spend time with the co-workers after spending time with the negative employee to surround in a positive environment again. Being in a positive environment will encourage you to see the brighter side of situations and people and also to stay motivated.

Have a Positive Mindset

After working with the negative coworker, always try to think positive thoughts and keep yourself happy and motivated. Take a break, interact with a positive friendly coworker or watch inspirational videos to stay positive. Distract yourself from the negative environment to be happier and more enthusiastic about your work. You can also opt for meditation to clear your mind and remove the negativity.

Set clear Boundaries

If a coworker consistently spreads negativity at work, you should set your limits with the co-worker at work. This will help you to stay away from them and remain productive, focused and positive. Be professional and explain to them that you look forward to a positive environment to work in and would prefer only to discuss work matters with that co-worker.  

Always remain professional at work with the negative co-worker and politely decline from conversing anything outside work with the person. This will also help you to be professional, remain focused and positive to everyone at the workplace.

Diana Coker

Diana Coker is a staff writer at The HR Digest, based in New York. She also reports for brands like Technowize. Diana covers HR news, corporate culture, employee benefits, compensation, and leadership. She loves writing HR success stories of individuals who inspire the world. She’s keen on political science and entertains her readers by covering usual workplace tactics.


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