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There is always one toxic coworker that makes you crazy. It doesn’t seem to matter where you work. It could be that guy who always takes credit for other peoples’ work or goes behind your back and is passive-aggressive. Or how about the woman who looks you in the eye, smiles and then bad mouths you to the boss?

So how do you handle a toxic coworker? First, acknowledge that you can’t control the person. If you try to give feedback to correct a situation, it usually doesn’t work. In fact, toxic coworkers are good at manipulating your good intentions and using them against you. They probably aren’t going to change just because you call them out.

All you can do it control your reaction to them. So think about it. How much energy do you want to spend on the toxic coworker? If you spend a lot, you are given them power. Refuse to give them anymore power than they try to garnish. Don’t ruin your evening by talking about them. If you do, you have now allowed them into your personal time and life.

This next one is hard to do but important–resist the constant urge to complain about that person. Why? Complaining focuses you on them and ruins your day! Look, we often complain because it gives us a false sense of control over a person we can’t control. But complaining makes us toxic! Instead, work on a solution for the problem. Keep your reaction positive and move forward.

Finally, listen to your self-talk. Are you blaming others for making your work more difficult? Toxic coworkers can have that affect. They are easy scapegoats. Empower yourself to say,”I am not going to allow this person any more space, time or discouragement at my workplace. God, you deal with them. Let me continue to work on my response and stay focused.”

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