It’s never easy to deal with co-workers ruining your workplace experience. Maybe it’s a supervisor or company culture that brings you down. However, leaving your job for greener pastures isn’t always the best option or even feasible.
When you feel the negativity is getting too overwhelming, you may forget how to deal with it effectively. Here are a few tips to remember when the atmosphere grows a bit too stressful.
1. Keep Affirmations Handy
Sometimes, you can defeat negativity with the power of positivity. Make sure you have plenty of affirmations handy to help you remember who you are and why you’re working so hard. Words are powerful, and repeating affirmations to yourself can realign your goals and remind you that you’re continuously growing. Even accepting your mistakes might just lead to more success in the long run.
When you stay positive, not much will be able to keep you down. It might be challenging to remain optimistic in the face of adversity, but reminding yourself what you’re capable of might turn any kind of situation around. When you’re feeling despair, reach for an affirmation, tell yourself you deserve to be there, and take up space.
Here are some great affirmations to try:
- 61 Positive Affirmations To Affirm Your Self-Worth & Increase Self-Esteem
- 50 Powerful Daily Affirmations For Confidence And Self-Esteem
2. Avoid Being Sucked Into Negativity
Negativity is powerful because it can pull you in without much force. You might get sucked into workplace gossip before you know it, or you may find yourself the target of some mean words. When you feel tempted to give in to negativity and hopelessness, turn the other way. Physically walk away from the conversation or turn notifications off in your Slack channel if that makes it easier for you.
Reflect on why you feel your work environment is a negative place. You’ll learn whether you need to start looking for another job or just shift your mindset. In some cases, the job itself might not be bad — it could just be how you look at it or the people you socialize with.
3. Remember That Everyone Makes Mistakes
It can be easy for negativity to get you down if you heavily emphasize your performance at work. Perfectionism can weigh you down and give you unrealistic expectations of what you can accomplish. Sometimes, getting something done is better than getting it perfect — which can then turn into a lesson for the next time you tackle a similar task.
When you break goals down into actionable pieces, you’ll be more likely to defeat perfectionism and find something small to celebrate after each step. Celebrating what you can do along the way rather than the final product alone may lift your spirits. Mistakes are an average part of the human experience — and you’ll continue making mistakes for as long as you continue working. You must learn to be okay with them and understand your missteps. It’ll help you in the future.
4. Confront Someone About the Comments
If you notice one person making negative comments, either about you or your work, you might want to approach them with the intent of having an open, honest conversation. Ask them questions — especially if you want to know why you’re singled out in particular. Don’t be aggressive when you approach them. Instead, start a dialogue so you can better understand where they’re coming from. You might just solve a dispute, whether it’s legitimate or just bullying.
Having good verbal communication skills can help you confront someone who may be bullying you in the workplace. You can practice honing your communication skills by speaking up in meetings or attending video conferences if you’re a remote worker. It might also empower you to feel confident enough to address your problems with the person directly involved in the future.
5. Talk to a Supervisor
You shouldn’t have to feel like you need to deal with every situation alone. If nothing changes, whether the situation is brought on by a co-worker or a crushing workload, you should take it to your supervisor. A negative environment can inhibit your ability to work effectively. Some people may sense something is amiss but could hold back from helping you out of respect for your privacy, so it’s important to reach out when you need help.
The truth is that most people do want to help. Your supervisor will want to help you feel safe and comfortable while doing your work. Just let them know how they can work with you to provide a safer environment, and they likely will. They might remind you that certain behaviors aren’t tolerated in the workplace or adjust your workload to encourage you to feel more hopeful or motivated at your desk.
6. Don’t Diminish Your Feelings
When you experience negativity, you may be tempted to grit your teeth and say, “It’s not that bad.” Regardless of the situation, you need to be honest with yourself. Recognize when something hurts you so you can work toward making a change — whether that’s leaving the job or dealing with the situation is up to you. However, you shouldn’t lie to yourself. If something makes you feel bad, you need to recognize the behaviors or patterns. That way, you can better protect yourself and plan how to deal with it.
7. Influence Interactions However You Can
People should feel safe to complain in many environments, but when you notice a space starting to become an echo chamber, it can bog you down with negative feelings. Work to change what you can — which might be lifting others up instead of feeding into the negativity.
Compliment people when they’ve done well at a certain job. If you want to take it a step further, you can say the compliment in a meeting or put it in a Slack channel for all to see. Your positive interactions may just transform the workplace from the inside out.
Let Positivity Guide Your Day
Negativity is everywhere, and it can even pop up in your workplace. Nobody likes to feel pressured or unappreciated at work. You can come out triumphant when you know how to fight the depressing atmosphere. Different situations may call for unique methods of dealing with the issue.
The best you can do for yourself is to remain positive, no matter how you go about it. Remind yourself how great you are and how wonderfully you do your work, and keep affirmations at your desk to rely on when you don’t feel your best. Over time, you may minimize the negativity and even cultivate a positive workplace culture.
About the Author
This article was written by Cora Gold. Cora Gold is a freelance writer who covers career advice for women. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. Connect with Cora on LinkedIn and Twitter.