5 Tips For Handling Toxic Co-Workers In The Workplace

Kristen Walters

A man and woman speaking to each other.Ketut Subiyanto/Pexels

We all have to work with people that we don't like. However, there is a difference between working with someone you don't get along with and someone who does something toxic. Toxic co-workers are the ones that usually make your life harder than it has to be and affect your overall mood at work.

There are many different types of people in the workplace. Some are great, and some are not so great. The worst kind of toxic co-worker is one that you can't avoid, like a boss or someone else with power over your job. These people can be bullies, liars, thieves, whatever they want to do.

It's important to know how to deal with them because they have been known for ruining careers and sometimes even lives. Toxic co-workers can be really hard to deal with on a day-to-day basis, but it's important not to let them affect your mood or wellbeing too much.

1. Stay away from them as much as possible

One of the most important factors in determining your long-term success and satisfaction at work is who you surround yourself with. We spend more than a third of our lives at work, so it's crucial to have an environment that fosters growth and creativity while providing support for your own personal and professional goals. But, unfortunately, many people are stuck in situations where they can't escape their toxic co-workers or bosses. 

What are the best ways to stay sane when you spend a lot of time around toxic co-workers? The answer is to limit your exposure and keep as much distance between yourself and these people. This can be done by avoiding them at all costs, staying away from gossip, and not engaging in their negativity.

Don't engage in conversation with them, even if they try to start one with you. It will only end up prolonging the agony and making it harder on yourself. Instead, keep a healthy distance from them by sitting as far away from them as possible or avoiding eye contact altogether. If they're nearby, find something else to focus on. 

2. Get another co-worker to back you up

We all know the feeling of dread that comes when we are about to go to work and have a conversation with someone toxic. It's not just the co-worker who is being difficult, but it's also the stress of figuring out how to deal with them politely. Dealing with a toxic co-worker can be very difficult. You’ve probably found yourself on the receiving end of their anger, insults, and negativity at one time or another.

It’s hard to know what to do when faced with acting in such a way. The best thing you can do is get another co-worker to back you up when dealing with this person so that they don’t continue making your life miserable.  They must know what is going on and how it affects your day-to-day work, so they understand the situation and feel comfortable backing you up.

When asking for their support, it's important to consider the type of person they are and not come across as demanding or needy. Instead, try to find common ground where possible. This will help them understand why this issue matters to you and motivate them to help out whenever they're around your toxic coworker.

3. Try not to take anything they say personally

It's common knowledge that co-workers can have a major impact on the quality of your day. One in three people says they've been bullied at work, and one in five people feel their job performance has suffered as a result. Unfortunately, if you're dealing with someone toxic, it can be hard to know how to protect yourself. 

The best thing to do is try not to take anything they say personally and do your work well. If you're having a hard time dealing with them, talk to someone in management or HR for help. They may be able to give you some advice on how to handle the situation or maybe even reassign that person, so they don't have any involvement with you at all.

Toxic people will often use their words as weapons against you to get what they want and have been known to make personal attacks on your character or intelligence. It can be not easy at times, but the best thing you can do is maintain your composure and keep things professional.

4. Keep your cool, and don't let them get the best of you 

Working in an office with other people can be really challenging. It's often difficult to balance being polite and professional while also remaining true to yourself. This is especially true when you're working with a toxic co-worker who always seems to get under your skin or make inappropriate jokes at work.

Many people are faced with the challenge of being around someone who is toxic and has a negative impact on their mental health. If you think that your co-worker is too much to handle, you may need to take action before it's too late.

The key here is always remembering that it's important not just for your own sanity but also because they only have power if we permit them to. So by refusing to engage with them, giving them no reaction whatsoever, we show them that there will never be any reward for this type of behavior.

5. Speak up if something is bothering you, but do so without attacking the person

In today's workplace, it is increasingly common to have difficult conversations with people you work closely with. But what do you do when the person you need to talk to is unapproachable? Whether it's a boss who doesn't listen or a co-worker who bullies others, toxic behavior can create an uncomfortable and unhealthy working environment.

As a business owner, you will often be forced to deal with difficult people. This can include co-workers who are not pulling their weight and are just taking up space in your office. These toxic people may seem harmless at first glance, but they can cause serious problems for your company's productivity if left unchecked.

If you notice that one of these individuals is making life difficult for your team members, it's important to speak up right away before things get out of hand. It's also important to recognize the difference between simply having a bad day versus someone who is an actual problem in the office. Don't attack them and make things worse. Remember, no matter what type of person you're dealing with, there's always room for improvement.

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