How to Deal with Toxic Coworkers When You Just Don’t Feel Like It

Adriana Girdler

Having trouble with your coworkers? Here are some simple strategies to help! Nobody likes dealing with toxic coworkers, but unfortunately everyone finds themselves in a …

Having trouble with your coworkers? Here are some simple strategies to help!

Nobody likes dealing with toxic coworkers, but unfortunately everyone finds themselves in a difficult situation at some point in their careers.

If you want to know how to deal with toxic coworkers without losing your mind, there are some simple strategies you can implement that will keep your workday from being miserable and help you thrive in your career no matter who you work with.

  1. The Art of Avoidance

You can set boundaries with toxic coworkers so that you don’t need to listen to everything they say; especially if it’s a waste of your time and energy.

When you set those boundaries, it tells the toxic coworker in a subtle way that you’re not a place where they can just go and dump whatever gossip, office politics, or negativity they want to unload.

How do you set these boundaries?

A really simple one is to close the door to your office, or if they stop you on your way to a meeting just simply tell them that you would love to talk but that you’re running late for a meeting and can’t stop to talk to them right now.

If you don’t have an easy way out of a conversation like a meeting you’re headed to or somewhere you need to go, just simply let them know that you have a lot of work to do and you really need to get back to your desk and will talk to them later.

You can say each of these things in a subtle way that will really help set some boundaries between you and your coworker without making them feel like you hate them.

  1. Be aware when sharing

Don’t share personal information with just anyone. Sharing personal information with a toxic coworker is like offering them a grenade.

You don’t have to ignore them when they ask you how you’re doing, but you can simply keep it short and surface-level so that they don’t have anything to go and gossip about or use against you in some way.

It all comes down to just being aware of what personal information you’re giving to whom. It would be nice if everyone in the business world was going to be there for you, but unfortunately that’s not the reality. It’s great to have friends at work, but make sure they truly are just that – your friends.

Other easy ways to deal with toxic coworkers

I have a couple more go-to strategies for dealing with difficult coworkers. If you’ve ever been in a difficult situation at work, or if you’re going through one right now, make sure you meet me over on YouTube and we’ll keep chatting about what you can do!

I really hope that you found this helpful – and if you did, it would mean so much to me if you would share it on your social media.

Meanwhile, if you really are committed to mastering your next project, do consider taking my SLAY Project Management online course where I show you step-by-step how to successfully manage a project, plus you get access to every template you will need, along with detailed video instructions on how to fill them out.


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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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