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<p><b>Toxic colleagues: instructions for interaction</b></p>
March 15, 2022#career

Toxic colleagues: instructions for interaction

Usually we have the right to choose our own environment, but colleagues still do not have to choose. It happens that at work an environment is formed in which people live according to the principle of “scandals, intrigues, investigations". Thus, your everyday life turns into an endless process of dealing with stress, which affects your productivity, mood, and generally your health.

We spend most of our lives at work, so when we get into a toxic team, it becomes very difficult to work. But it is not always possible to determine what is the matter and what difficulties arise in communication with colleagues. But since it is still necessary to communicate with colleagues, you need to find out what traits your toxic colleague has.

  1. Constantly tuned in to the negative - usually it manifests itself in the form of unconstructive criticism, gossip and whining about anything.

  2. Schemer, manipulator, very often uses his colleagues to solve their difficulties.

  3. For such a person, there are 2 types of opinion: his and the wrong one. Even if a person is not an expert in the field under discussion, he will still not listen to the criticism and opinions of other colleagues.

Of course, not all of these traits are necessarily present in a toxic colleague, but if a colleague combines all these characteristics, then you will have to work in particularly difficult conditions.

All of us are sometimes not in the mood and can behave incorrectly, but the behavior of a toxic colleague is different from a simple bad mood. The word “toxic“ came to us from the English language, which means "poisonous, capable of causing poisoning.” After communicating with such a colleague, you feel that you have received a small dose of poison, certainly not fatal, but unpleasant.

Signs of a toxic colleague:

  1. Perfectly avoids responsibility for his mistakes or shifts it to others;

  2. Evades work in any way;

  3. Constantly boasts, lies and exaggerates his achievements, knowledge, skills;

  4. Gossips about everyone and everything;

  5. Constantly interrupts;

  6. Manipulates well;

  7. Criticizes out of principle, not for good;

  8. Complains so much and so much that the world around ceases to please.

At the same time, the question arises - how do you still communicate with a toxic colleague?

Of course, it is recommended to avoid toxic people or completely refuse to communicate with them at all. But this advice is not very effective at work, because you are in a team and solving work tasks will not do without interaction with colleagues.

Depending on the tricks and manipulations of a toxic colleague, it is worth using different types of rebuff. For example, ask for explanations and facts when he exaggerates or lies, you can also ask to stop the conversation if your colleague starts discussing someone.

  • Remember that you always have a choice

You give up control of the situation when you describe it negatively for yourself. You have to cope with your emotions in order to decide for yourself what to feel and how to behave. It is better to accept the fact that you cannot take control of a toxic colleague, his behavior, actions, words and thoughts. But do not let such a person spoil your working day and your mood, take away from you the pleasure of working and communicating with nice people.

  • Take care of yourself

Interaction with toxic colleagues somehow deprives us of strength. Physical or emotional exhaustion can cause you to work worse, and relationships with colleagues and supervisors can also deteriorate. Therefore, it is important to take care of yourself and your health: observe work-life balance, stick to proper nutrition, be physically active, do things in your free time that bring you joy.

  • Don't look for support

Trying to assemble a team against a toxic colleague, you only worsen the tense atmosphere in the team. Don't do this, so you can become a toxic colleague yourself.

  • Are you kidding

Of course, humor is not appropriate in any case, but if you are not ready to come into open conflict with a toxic colleague, then humor can help.

  • Build and defend your personal boundaries

You don't have to be friends at work, it's enough just to show your professional side. Speak only to the point, you can also just be silent in the company of a toxic colleague, if you do not need to solve professional issues.

  • Don't put up with what causes you stress

No desire to hear about someone's personal life? Ask her not to talk about it. Don't want to listen to gossip? Interrupt and end the conversation if it comes down to discussing someone's actions and actions.

If your colleague has appropriated some of your ideas and achievements, try to talk to him or her direct supervisor.

  • Be on top

If you know that a toxic colleague loves intrigue, and only give him a reason to talk about someone's failures, then the way out of this situation is very simple - perform all your professional duties perfectly.

Interaction with a toxic colleague is certainly exhausting, but in such interaction you can identify some advantages. For example:

  • acquiring the skills of tough and diplomatic negotiations;

  • you always keep yourself in a professional tone;

  • you look more professional against the background of your toxic colleague, which increases your chances of promotion;

  • you learn to appreciate adequate colleagues even more;

  • you understand how not to behave professionally and in personal relationships.

Our company has a Book of fair rules, in which the basic principles and rules of the company are spelled out. We are for a respectful attitude, and we consider any disparaging or offensive forms of communication between employees unacceptable. The guys share these principles and follow them, so in our company there is peace, friendship, gum :)