We millennial are very different from the Gen X. We don’t stay put in situations that are clearly toxic,
From personal relationships to office spaces, we try to maintain a semblance of tolerance and liberal perspective in every aspect of our life.
Our generation spends a very good amount of our life in our workplaces. Our workplaces are a lot like our homes now.
Another thing we’re good at is teamwork. And sometimes, in this set-up we might have to deal with a few “bad oranges”
We function with a group of people including a random toxic coworker who work towards the same goal and support each other in that.
An Ideal Situation of a Toxic Coworker
The other day I was thinking how crucial our co-workers are, in shaping our days.
Our frequent interaction with them forms a major part of our daily lives.
This makes it even more important to have the right equations with them. But it doesn’t always happen so in an ideal scenario, does it?
The Reality About a Toxic Coworker
There will always be some co-worker who leaves your mind strained or bullies you.
You might have been wondering what makes your equation sour with that person in particular. These co-workers are called toxic co-workers; they are by nature irritating to everyone.
These interactions do not just limit your productivity but also your morale in the long run. In life and in work, we can’t shape the negativity that is thrown at us.
You can’t quit life because life wasn’t fair or because a co-worker always steals your idea.
The wise thing to do in these situations is, to deal with it gracefully.
How do you know if your co-worker is toxic or just plain stupid?
- He/she is a backstabber and gossip monger.
- He/she undermines everyone else around.
- He doesn’t listen to anyone’s idea or inputs or steals ideas
- He/she is a hypocrite.
- He/she puts himself before anyone else and the company.
- He/she is negative in nature and makes fun of people in an insulting way.
There have been surveys and studies on employee management that show how important team dynamics is in organizations.
High potential employees who work in teams are obvious to do great unless they have a toxic co-worker who pulls the whole team down.
This is why businesses should be careful not to commit rookie mistakes, that will cost them in the long run.
How to survive workplace toxicity?
Most small-scale businesses and growing startups have small teams comprising of 5-10 members. And with the pandemic, almost everyone on your team would be functioning from a remote space.
In this situation, it might be difficult to establish healthy relationships with your colleagues. Not getting to meet your team, hang out with them or simply take a coffee break hampers your mood more than you think.
Therefore, it is important that you stay connected. Make the best use of technology. There are so many tools that can help start-ups stay connected and boost productivity of the employees.
Sometimes, people get toxic or negative under extreme work pressure, any insecurity or other mental health issues.
Cultivate a sense of empathy, and try to understand the other person before you pass any judgement.
However, in case, your colleague still continues with his/her toxicity, here is how you deal with it.
4 ways to deal with your toxic-coworker
Have an honest discussion with the co-worker, include others if they share the same concern
You are severely wrong if you are waiting for the person to realize his/her mistake and amend his/her ways all by himself.
We humans usually don’t access ourselves while being busy in assessing others.
It is important for the person to know how he/she makes people around him/her feel. Until he/she is very sadistic in nature, he/she would try to make amends.
Effective communication is the way to go in these cases. Try to put forth your issues in a gentle but firm way. You just want to have a conversation, not start a fight with them,
Toxic nature is born due to disturbances in childhood or mistakes people do in college or university.
By not telling the person you are risking your sanity.
Ask the other person if you or someone else’s behavior is bothering them. It usually works out well when you discuss with the person in a candid tone.
Don’t go down to the toxic co-worker’s level
By doing that you are basically straining yourself. This is because it is not your innate nature to be mean or selfish.
You will practically have to strain and work harder to be someone you are not.
Be it harsh sentences or mean acts, it will be painful for you to do them to someone.
You need to understand that, it is not your problem but someone else’s. You aren’t at fault.
By being instigated you are actually encouraging the toxic co-worker to be better at his/her lame game. Some people just like negativity to flow, it gives them the rush.
Focus on yourself and your targets
The sole intention of toxic co-workers is to impact people in a bad/toxic way.
By ignoring him/her, you are actually telling them that their tricks aren’t working. This will discourage them to spend time on you.
Always remember that it is you who decides what happens in your life and not someone else.
You have your own goals and targets to achieve, work hard for them.
Toxic co-workers are like bad days, temporary and pass away with time. Nothing upsets toxic people, more than your success.
Talk to your boss or the office management
There can be situations where toxic co-workers start harassing you on extreme levels.
This will make you feel guilty and suffocated. In situations like these, take help from others. Ask your boss or manager to take care of things for you.
Tell them what the toxic co-worker is doing to you and how he/she is doing it.
It is best you have evidence (calls, text or emails) and witnesses who can support your claim.
Explain it to your boss how it is affecting your productivity and will affect the team’s productivity at large.
Dealing with a toxic co-worker is certainly not an easy task, it drains you out of your energy and sanity.
But it is very important to pick the right battles to fight. Be very selective and maintain your worth!