Follow These 6 Ways on How to Deal with Toxic Co-workers and Stay Mentally Strong

Last updated on June 11, 2024 by Michelle Devani

Your workplace is the representation of how society is; diverse. If you're lucky, you'll live in a diverse workplace that lets you grow and enrich your experience day by day. But not everyone is lucky enough to live in the dreamed work environment.

Since it's diverse, you'll eventually meet the types of co-workers who are hard to deal with no matter where you work or how hard you've tried the tips to get along with your co-workers. These co-workers are the ones that drag your mental down and ruin your work days.

Their common traits include backstabbing, critizing, and blaming you so that they look better and get more recognition from your boss. They also like to gossip around and spread rumors, creating an undesireable workplace where you really wish for them to just disappear.

Unfortunately, they can't be easily removed from your workplace as they're parts of it. Therefore, to help you, here's some ways of how to deal with toxic co-workers and stay mentally strong in your workplace.


1. Hold the urge to complain

It's understandable if you have an extreme urge to shout at your toxic co-workers or talk hours with your closed friends complaining about how irritating your co-workers are. But complaining over and over is not mentally healthy.

Complaining will only keep you stuck in a negative state. The more time and energy you spend on complaining, the less productive you'll become. You'll also eventually let their toxic thoughts to enter your mind and control you.

The only way of how to deal with backstabbers in the workplace is to prove them they're nothing and you're ressistable from all of their toxicity.

2. Focus on yourself and not others

Focus on yourself and not others

As the situation becomes worse, it leads you to have the thought of wishing the toxic co-workers to suddenly change or move to other departments or just simply resign. But it's only wishful thinking since unfortunately life rarely goes as what we wish it to be.

You might not notice that you actually waste the time and energy you spend focusing on them. The wishful thinking only leads you to be unproductive and weak. You can't easily control them but you can control your state of mind and how you respond to them.

3. Uphold your personal values

The amount of toxicity you unwillingly consume everytime you meet them will drag your mental down and make you lose your personal values as you also become full of negativity. Complaining and focusing on them will only prove that you have no control over yourself.

Therefore, mo matter how irritating and difficult your co-workers are, try to uphold your personal values by managing your emotions and behaviors. Change the complains of how difficult they are and how helpless you are to empowered words that make you feel stronger and in control of yourself.

4. Set a clear, healthy boundaries

It's important to set boundaries in a challenging professional relationship since you'll have more control of yourself as to not become too frustrated or hopeless.

You can set the boundaries by cutting short the conversations with the toxic co-workers and responding in unenthusiastically short and firm answer. When you hear gossip that makes you uncomfortable, you can just simply say "It's just gossip, I don't want to hear it anymore."

The co-workers might be a bit upset when you do this since they aren't used to have boundaries set with them. However, the boundaries will save you in the future as you already tell them to not messing up with you.

5. Have a personal conversation with them

Well, the first three tips tend to be passive as you're suggested to focus more on yourself. However, if you feel like you can't stand them anymore and you really need to stand for yourself, then you can have a personal conversation with them.

Setting boundaries is a thing. But having a personal conversation with those who feel like they've bullied you needs another level of courage. But having a conversation will show them that you're uncomfortable and you ask for change which will save you from further frustration.

In your conversation, try to uphold your personal values once again by speaking directly and respectfully. It's said that when you address the issues on how their behaviors affect your work, they'll eventually hold a step back and realize their behaviors rather than become defensive.

6. Try to practice healthy coping skills

Try to practice healthy coping skills

Since it's uncertain that people can change when they are asked to, your way to deal with the toxic co-workers may remain long. Therefore, it's vital to practice healthy coping skills where you can deal with the toxic situation and stay mentally strong.

The healthy coping skills start by taking care of yourself. Give your body and mind enough nutrients and peace they need. Have enough sleep and go exercising whenever you have the time.

You can also try practicing relaxation activities which help you more in dealing with the toxic co-workers, which can be meditation or yoga. Also, put some time to have fun and make yourself happy.

When you feel like the situation escalated too quick that you can't somehow deal with it anymore, your last solution will be to speak with your boss and tell them what's going on so that they can take the best decision for the good of the company.

The toxic co-workers that ruin your work days might lead you to fear of what to do when your boss is not happy with you. But, you don't need to worry as you can learn on ways to get along with your boss so at least your workplace doesn't fee; so terrible.

Anyhow, the unpredictedted workplace environment might be the reason why you should never date someone you work with.

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Michelle Devani
My name is Michelle Devani, and I've been helping people with their relationships since 2003. In 2017 I decided it was about time I started a blog on the topic, and since then more than 2 million people worldwide have read my relationship advice. Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think.
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