In a working environment, you may come across the classic toxic colleague. Often critical and prone to gossip and criticism of others, these folks are hard to be around, especially every day. INC have some good tips for dealing with such colleagues;
1. Stop giving toxic people your head space. Don’t base your actions on what he or she might do next. You overthink your decisions and consider their feedback more than you should. Take the emotion out of your reaction to toxic people.
2. Try putting physical distance between you and your toxic colleague. Watch for desk space openings elsewhere, or work in another area. If you can’t, distance yourself mentally and emotionally. Wear headphones at your desk to cut off their instant access to you. Try to find some space from this person during your breaks also, walk outside if you can.
3. Know your boundaries, and make sure they’re clear to those around you. If the toxic person passes the line or their behavior becomes abusive or inappropriate, make a complaint. There will be backlash. Be ready for it, and don’t take it to heart. You might find that others start putting their foot down as well.
4. Let him or her speak, share his or her ideas, or give input. Give these people the opportunity to have their say. Others in the workplace may see how toxic they are. You can also avoid being accused of being the one who is difficult. Give him or her the respect they deserve in their professional position, so you’re poised to ask for the same.
5. The absolute best way to counter negative people is to surround yourself with positive, energy-giving ones. Make a conscious decision to spend more time with the more constructive people in your workplace. Check yourself and note when you’re thinking negative things.
It will take time and energy, but once you have laid the foundations, living with a toxic colleague should become easier. Putting some energy into these actions now will save you much more wasted energy in the long run.