How to Deal with Mean Coworkers

Do your coworkers make work feel like a prison? Do you dread going to the office every day? Unfortunately, many adults are forced to deal with mean or unpleasant coworkers on a day-to-day basis. In the guide below, you’ll learn some tips and tricks to handle the hate and improve your quality of life at work.

Assess Why Your Coworkers Are Being Mean

What is the root cause of their actions? Most anger and resentment comes from a specific source. People aren’t naturally mean. There is something that triggers that reaction inside of them.

In a work environment, the meanness may stem from jealousy or intimidation. Your coworkers may feel threatened by your success or talents, and they feel the need to stick up to you as a result. This is not to say that you should stifle your talents. Rather, try to understand their perspective so you can look at their actions in a different light.

Evaluate Your Own Behavior

You may not be doing anything wrong, but it doesn’t hurt just take a step back for a moment. Assess what you do on a daily basis and see if anything would trigger their anger. Do you come to the office in a bad mood every day? Do you suffer from headaches or chronic pain that makes it difficult to interact with people? That may be beyond your control, but you could see why people are not receptive to your actions.  If that is the case, you may want to explain to your coworkers why you feel, act, or come across in a certain way. If they have a better understanding of the situation, they should be more forgiving about it.

Stand up for Yourself

If the mean comments and hurtful actions go beyond passive teasing, say something about it.  Tell the other worker that you do not appreciate that kind of commentary or that you feel it is unprofessional. If the coworker continues with the behavior, you could consider taking the matter to your human resources representative, your supervisor, or another party who can assist you. Explain what has been happening, why it upsets you, and discuss ways to resolve the matter.

Request a Change

If you cannot work with this other person, you could also request being put on a different shift or moving to another department entirely. If that is not possible comment you could look for another place of employment or continue pursuing matters with the human resources department. The actions you take will be based on your specific situation.

Talk to a Counselor about Your Stress

Being in an unpleasant work environment can damage your mental health. You may not even realize how much damage it has done until you start talking about it with a professional counselor. If you already have a therapist, talk to him or her about the issues you are facing at work. If you do not have a therapist, we would be happy to match you with the best counselor for your specific needs. This gives you an unbiased and support of person to talk to you in any difficulties you may face in life, and you can learn personalized solutions to overcome your obstacles.

To schedule an appointment for adult counseling, contact Oakland Psychological Clinic. We have eight counseling centers in Michigan, and we will gladly match you with a therapist near you.

Bloomfield Hills, MI: (248) 322-0001
Flint, MI: (810) 732-0560
Fraser, MI: (586) 294-3030
Grand Blanc, MI: (810) 695-0055
Lake Orion, MI: (248) 393-5555
Livonia, MI: (734) 522-0280
Milford, MI: (248) 684-6400
Southfield, MI: (248) 559-5558

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