Feeding Off of a Coworker’s Negative Attitude is the Kiss of Death for Yours

A common complaint I hear is a coworker’s negative attitude, or their work habits, leads to not liking the job (or that coworker or the boss, who seems to continue allowing this to happen). Working with others is not always easy, as banal as that sounds; we all have our differing ideas and expectations – the differences -which get in the way to being satisfied in our work.

A negative coworkers’ words or behaviors can be the kiss of death for your career, which will show up as:  frustration that the coworker gets away performing poorly, which, eventually, creeps over to the boss/organization, for not addressing the issue; anxiety that you can’t control the situation; anger in taking on extra work that is not getting done ; apathy and disengagement, i.e. a ‘whatever’ attitude; thoughts of leaving or transferring out.

Negativity can be like a virus, which can spread rapidly. The more you hear negative comments, the more likely you are to start agreeing and then seeing your situations in a negative way; the more you keep thinking about them, the deeper the negativity lies. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The fact is, it is up to you for how you choose to respond. You can’t control the coworker or your boss in how they handle the situation. Some things you can do that may help to stop negativity from affecting you:

  • model positive behaviors to your coworker
  • answer questions they may have, but ask question back to them so they can seek out their own solutions
  • redirect negative comments to something positive (doesn’t have to be work-related)
  • refer them to the boss for guidance
  • use empathy to try to see and understand their behaviors; often, anxiety could be the root-cause for their procrastination or disinterest and not because they don’t care, are lazy, etc.
  • establish boundaries to not over-help or take on more than is yours; this also includes not taking on their emotions, as well
  • focusing in on your own tasks, and the skills/expertise you possess, and using them to their highest to be more empowered and job-involved

Taking stock of your response to your feelings will lead to a deeper understanding of the situation and your reactions; only then will you be able to take appropriate actions to make corrections. The choice is yours, so do so wisely; your job satisfaction depends on it.

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! https://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com





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