Toxic coworkers require a special approach to themselves and interfere with the entire team’s work. Boiling passions, constant quarrels and clarification of personal relationships are unacceptable behaviours in the workplace. But suppose toxic coworkers not only interfere with work but also negatively affect your emotional state. In that case, it is important to learn how to interact with them correctly, not to harm yourself. Below are some tips to help you with this.
8 tips on how to protect yourself from toxic coworkers
Learn to set personal boundaries
If a toxic coworker keeps interrupting you from work to talk about personal issues, work gossip, and other non-professional issues, you need to learn how to build personal boundaries.
Try talking directly to your colleague and pointing out that you don’t want to waste your work-time solving their problems, discussing gossip or getting into conflicts. Of course, being an insensitive person and completely ignoring colleagues is not an option. But it is not worth acting at the expense of one’s resources.
Do not encourage gossip and intrigue in the team
If toxic coworkers are always trying to drag you into conflicts and gossip, clearly tell them that you are not interested in such conversations. If the conflict directly affects your interests, try to be objective in your decisions and not let other people put emotional pressure on you.
Getting involved in disputes and unpleasant conversations will not solve the problem but only help strengthen the team’s toxic behaviour.
Try to minimize communication
One of the most effective ways to stay emotionally healthy when dealing with a toxic coworker is to minimize the points of contact with them. Try to make sure that your work tasks depend on each other as little as possible. If you and a coworker are working on the same project or doing interdependent tasks, try creating a communication schedule.
For example, in the first half of the day, you can interact and work independently in the second. This method will allow you to get at least half a day of work, not burdened by toxic communication.
Don’t give in to emotions
Toxic people often cause unpleasant emotions. Even the calmest person is sometimes ready to turn to raised tones and be rude to someone who causes unpleasant feelings in him. If you can’t minimize communication with a toxic colleague, try to learn how to interact with him, holding back negative emotions. However, try not to broadcast them to a colleague. Perhaps he is waiting for just this to find another reason for gossip and conflict.
Try to keep order
The rules of business ethics imply respectful relations in the team, which exclude incorrect statements about each other, humiliation of the dignity and personal qualities of employees.
Regardless of your position in the company, it is important to understand that all employees have equal rights and responsibilities. If a toxic colleague infringes on your rights, tries in every possible way to hurt your feelings and is looking for ways to piss you off, you have the right to resolve this issue by contacting your superiors.
Learn to separate work from personal life
To avoid other conflicts and conversations with colleagues, learn to draw clear boundaries between life and work. Lingering in the office until midnight, you doom yourself to burnout, emotional problems and, as a result, conflicts with colleagues.
Constantly communicating and coming into conflict with toxic colleagues in group chats, you risk getting tired and blurring the line between work and time for rest and family.
Don’t try to be too helpful
If you have to share work projects with a toxic colleague, define your positions clearly and not fall for his sharp remarks. Instead of trying to turn his inappropriate remarks into a joke, make it clear that this attitude to the workflow seems unprofessional to you. Fitting in with a toxic colleague gives them the feeling that their behaviour is normal.
Try to find the good in every situation
If you learn how to interact competently with toxic colleagues, you can even draw advantages from this. Communicating with unpleasant people will help you develop diplomatic skills and the art of communicating with people in a way that solves problems without disturbing inner harmony.
In addition, even a few hours in the company of toxic colleagues will give you an understanding of exactly how not to behave in a team.