Do you dread heading to work each morning, knowing that you’ll be faced with drama, gossip, arguments, and tears?
Dealing with a toxic work environment can be extremely draining, but there are strategies you can employ to make the situation easier on yourself.
By setting clear boundaries, refusing to take part in gossip, and making an effort to treat all co-workers with respect, you can start to make a positive change to a hostile environment.
Ready to leave the drama behind?
Let’s do this.
1. Set Clear Boundaries
For example, if a coworker seems to be trying to pick an argument with you, calmly excuse yourself from the situation.
If the girl who sits next to you keeps trying to draw you into criticizing the boss, make it clear that you’re not up for that kind of discussion.
When you set firm boundaries, people will learn very quickly that you’re not the kind of person who can be sucked into drama, and your working life will suddenly feel a lot easier.
2. Excuse Yourself from Gossip
Sitting in the break room for a nice cup of tea and suddenly overhearing all sorts of stories about Karen from HR?
Instead of allowing yourself to be sucked in, politely excuse yourself and take your break elsewhere – even if this means sitting in your car or eating lunch at your desk.
The less you’re present during workplace gossip, the less likely you’ll be to get involved in any drama. While it might be tempting to bond with coworkers during a little moaning session, this will only create issues further down the line.
Have a list of reasons to excuse yourself prepared, and don’t be afraid to use them.
3. Be an Example of Good Behavior
Setting a good example is the best way to drive positive change in your workplace, and it doesn’t have to take much effort.
Next time you hear a coworker putting someone else down, try putting in a good word for them or emphasizing their strengths.
If you hear someone complaining about the toxic environment, try to empathize in an understanding way, then make a few suggestions for improving things.
If a problem is more serious, try and signpost workmates in the right direction. For example, you could point them towards this lawyer for sexual harassment issues.
Something as simple as saying a few kind words to each of your coworkers each day could make a huge difference.
How to Deal with a Toxic Work Environment
A toxic work environment doesn’t have to destroy you.
Keep yourself sane by setting clear boundaries with coworkers, avoiding gossip, and setting a good example by being kind and respectful towards others.
Never get sucked into drama – this will only make things worse, and could even cause you to lose your job.
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