We’ve all been there. In an office setting, there is always that one person who seems to be mad at the world and everyone in it each and every day. They never have anything positive to say or anything positive to contribute communication wise to the team or organization. Simply put, they are David and Debbie Downer, lashing out to any and everyone who comes in their path. How does one cope with working with an individual such as this?
Working in an office with multiple people can be a conundrum. You must be able to deal with different personalities, work habits, egos, and such, and at times, it can be a headache. I’ve worked in an office setting for the better portion of my life and it is always a tightrope act trying not to step on anyone’s toes for the betterment of the company. But with that being said, working with a difficult and angry person is most challenging. Keeping your cool and not letting this employee get to you is an art.
Why Are You So Angry?
There are some people in the world that just lash out by nature, and there is nothing that we can do about it. The best thing to do in this situation is not lash back, keep your composure, and remain calm. If the co-worker becomes belligerent and rude, you can simply let them know that you will not be able to complete said project or duty until they calm down. If that doesn’t work, you can always go to management and formally discuss your grievance.
Picking Up the Pieces
There is always an underlying reason why people are angry. Most of the time, these reasons are left unsaid. Your co-worker could be having problems at home or could be not feeling well. Maybe they didn’t get the raise they hoped for. Keep that in mind while dealing with a difficult person. Most of the time, their behavior has nothing to do with you, so don’t take it personally and allow it to upset you.
What If the Difficult/Angry Person Is Your Boss?
I have also been in this pickle myself. An employer that I worked for in 2006 was a spiteful and vindictive boss who would tear through the office screaming and yelling at the top of her lungs, or have meetings in which people were literally chopped down to size in order to make her feel better. I was terminated from that employ for performance reasons, but I was happy when I got the boot. Working in a negative atmosphere on a daily basis where the person in charge is exhibiting poor behavior is not healthy. Of course we all need jobs so jumping ship may not be an option, but start looking for other opportunities because it will only get worse.
Be the Voice of Reason
IF you feel comfortable and you think it will make a positive impact on the office, invite your co-worker out to lunch and explain to them their behavior. Sometimes people do not truly understand how they are coming across until it is told to them and they are given examples of the way they act. Just taking them aside and speaking with them on a one-to-one basis may make the situation better, but if you aren’t sure about it, my opinion is don’t take it upon yourself to go there. Again, leave it to management.
Those are just a few coping mechanisms that you can utilize while dealing with an angry/difficult co-worker and/or boss. Do you have any horror stories to share? How did you handle a similar situation. Comment below and let me know what you think!