5 Tips For Dealing With Negative
Co-workers

In the workplace, you’re going to come across all kinds of people as co-workers. Most you’ll be able to get along with just fine, but there will always be some negative co-workers who feel unpleasant to work with.
Negative Co-workers
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It’s stressful to deal with such attitudes, but there are ways in which you can handle them and still have a productive time at work. Here are some tips to help you handle negative co-workers.
1. Make Them Feel Heard
When a co-worker is complaining, it’s very easy to try and ignore them so you can focus on your own tasks. However, that actually won’t have the effect you want. "If a co-worker is complaining, they want to be heard" says Amber Jones, a business blogger from Research Papers UK and Writinity. "It's discouraging when they feel they have a genuine issue that no one’s listening to."

Take the time to pay attention to what they’re saying. You may see it’s a genuine issue that needs to be addressed. In this case, you can work on a solution together.
2. Direct Them To The Right Resources
One of the frustrating things about negative co-workers is that they seem to be complaining to you, when there’s not much you can do about the issues they’re having. If that sounds familiar to you, then you can try directing them to the right resources.

For example, depending on the problem, you can let them know that their manager or HR can help them with the issue they’re facing. If they’re talking about more personal problems, then you can let them know a close friend would be the right person to talk to.
Co-workers using laptop
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3. Look For The Positive
It’s draining to have to listen to negative comments regularly. If you have a co-worker who’s very often negative, it’s going to have an impact on you. If you want to turn it around, try looking for the positives in their comments.

For example, if they’re complaining about the amount of work they have to do, and there isn’t a serious issue with the amount they have, then you can spin that into a positive. Saying something like "It's always better to be busy than to be sat with nothing to do!" will make it a positive statement, and protect your mental health too.
4. Excuse Yourself When You Can
There are lots of ways that you can try to redirect a negative co-worker and get them to see the positive side of things, but sometimes you’re just not going to get the results you want. Some people are often naturally quite negative, and it’s hard to help them see that things aren’t as bad as they think they are. It becomes draining on you when you’re trying to work, so if this is the case you can simply excuse yourself when you can.

When you do this, ensure that you’re polite when you disengage. Simply saying something like "Oh, I’m sorry, I need to get this project finished by the end of the day" will help you get away from the negative talk.
5. Get Distance From Negativity
It’s not always going to be possible to avoid negative talk in the workplace, but there are things you can do to get yourself some distance from it. For example, if you can get permission from your manager, you can wear headphones while you’re working so you won’t overhear it. You can also use your breaks to get out of the building and take a walk. That gives you break from the behavior, so you can go back in refreshed.
Businessman and his collegues
Image source: Pexels
Getting this distance will help a lot in the long term. "You're often not going to be able to change people’s behavior, so you’ll have to learn how to handle it" says Daniel Nielson, a marketing writer with Draft Beyond. "As such, knowing how to get away from it while at work will protect your mental health in the long term."
These are some tips that will help you deal with negative co-workers in the long term. Whether you can redirect them, or you need to get some distance from them, there are strategies that will help you cope.
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