Let’s face it, work comes with all kinds of unwanted stresses – most of which we can’t adjust. The hours, the pay and the tasks are all mostly determined by the boss. We are expected to interact with coworkers in a professional manner. Even though you can pick your friends, the same is not true of your family or coworkers. When it comes to those coworkers who are crabby of difficult to get along with, you must keep your cool.

In a work environment, there are tons of factors that contribute to a high level of stress and when working with someone you don’t get along with, the days can feel unbearable. I have a few tips to get you through.

Firstly, realize that you are not at work to make friends. While it might be nice for work to lead us to many close companions, the reality is that many work relationships never exist outside the work environment. It’s hard to spend every single day with people who bring negative energy around, but sometimes you no option but to press on.

Photo by: William Wrobel

Photo by: William Wrobel

So if you are dealing with the classic negative Nancy, I recommend that you start each day pumping yourself up with positive affirmations. Remind yourself on your way to work that today will be good regardless of what anyone else says. When you see a grumpy coworker, offer positive words of encouragement. You will be surprised how often a few kind words can alter the aura of a troubled soul. If your positivity is ignored, realize that it is still helping you to keep on the sunny side.

Bring bright-colored desk decorations or a favorite tea to work to enjoy during your break. Just because we are at work does not mean we have to be miserable. Sometimes a family photo to glance at or a favorite coffee mug are just the kind of pick-me-up that will get us through long meetings with those unfriendly coworkers.

If you find yourself being personally attacked by a coworker, this is nothing you should tolerate. Try to approach the worker and ask what you might have done or could do to change the course of your interactions. If they neglect to acknowledge their unfair treatment, approach your manager or higher up to deal with the issue.

Sometimes we are stuck working with people who do not care to consider our ideas. This is not fair either. If someone consistently puts down your suggestions and ignores your ideas while collaborating on projects, do not hesitate to approach a higher up about your ideas. Be prepared so that they are received well, but know that it is your right to share what you wish with your company.

If you feel that you have tried to fix your work relationships in a calm and friendly manner but have seen no results, then I do suggest you discuss the matters in a personal meeting with a boss.

Remember, positivity attracts positivity. Although sometimes you might struggle to find the bright side with a negative coworker, do not lose hope. Acting positively and thinking good thoughts will help your work experience, even if your coworkers refuse to budge. Good luck out there!

Arline Votruba can be contacted at avotruba@kscequinox.com

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