How do you deal with miserable people at the office?
People who are never happy and are always complaining? Any suggestions?
Keep being yourself and don't worry about them. Be nice to everyone and whoever wants to gravitate toward that will. There's nothing you can do. Some people just can't help it.
When they talk to you, make your eyes get real big and drop your jaw as if you're totally zoning out. Soon they'll be afraid to get near you.
Blow sunshine in their face.
Good advice r1. Don't let them change you into a bitter and miserable person.
Always plan a quick escape route in case you hear gun shots one morning.
Lead through example. Direct negative conversations back to positive thinking. Affirm, affirm, affirm.
Remember no one was born a negative cunt, we learn these things over the span of our lifetimes. It will take time and effort to correct it.
Don't TELL this person that you wish to correct their behavior because that's condescending and annoying, but like I said, lead throw example. You can really only control your own actions and reactions to things.
Exactly what R1 said!
Be pleasant, do your job, but do not get sucked into their misery!
They will drag you down with them. You do not have to be friends with everyone at work, but you should be courteous and work well with them. Steer clear of the negativity.
I have to manage a very negative, lifeless young woman at my job. It is actually very hard to get fired from the company I work for so she would have to do something really bad for us to get rid of her. All we can do is keep documentation on the little things she does and hope that it adds up to enough where HR will let us terminate her. Everyone else at the job is actually pretty cheerful and hardworking.
Strychnine in the coffee pot.
R9 you should be careful. Sounds like you and others spend a whole lot of time documenting the little things she does. Careful because before you know it, your productivity goes down and SHE will be running that department and firing YOU.
I'm not sure, because that's me, the miserable one.
I remember that I used to be one of them and have some empathy.
Three words, OP:
"Be nice to everyone..."
"Lead through example."
I sit next to a crazy woman, who screams at her computer screen whenever she gets an email she doesn't like, which happens a couple times an hour.
It's incredibly annoying. I can't believe it's tolerated by everyone else, but apparently, she's been doing this for years.
The sad part is she's only 28, and incredibly bitter. I can't imagine her in 20 years, and pray to god that I won't know her then.
R16 Key word: crazy. Pick and choose your battles. Would you rather have a crazy lady who yells two times every hour or would you rather have an a** hole who smells like ass sitting next to you? She's been doing it for years sounds like she was there first. Get used to it and be glad you have a job to go to. Crazy lady and all.
we are workin on that on this thread op....some good stuff here:
Actually, R17, if he were quiet, I'd probably prefer him.
It's stressful sitting next to a screamer.
The screaming goes away quickly. The stank lingers on and on and on and on and on...and on and on and on...and on and on and on and on..
would you prefer to sit next to someone with ASSburger syndrome????
Thanks for starting this thread, OP. I'll be reading it closely for tips.
I work with an awful woman, but I can't ignore her like I'd like, as we often have to collaborate on projects together.
a suppressing fire followed by short specific attacks.
Be Stupid and Cheerful.
Dr Joy Browne
I'm one of those miserable people and I just keep to myself, do my job and count the minutes until its time to go home.
R1 is right. Don't get involved in their misery. At my office, the negativity is contagious and a whole lot of them end up commiserating and wasting time dwelling on negativity. If you stay positive, maybe it will catch on.
The government and union jobs are full of those people. They don't quit, and they can't be fired.
Ignore them. They can't be fixed and you'll ultimately hate them for wasting so much energy on them in the first place.
I'm one of those people. In my case I'm miserable at work because I have to pick up the slack for my lazy co-workers. My boss pretends like this doesn't happen even though I've mentioned it to him and it can be proven.
People used to have offices where they could close their doors and stew. Now, anything less than a beaming smile brings in others who demand to know what is wrong. When they are told, these intruders burst with indignation about negativity in the office.
When there is unsolicited negativity, it is usually because of team work forcing interactions that would not have existed before 1995 when everyone did their own work.
What I've realized is that the people who complain all the time actually enjoy it. They thrive on it. It's one of their pleasures in life. So now I just let them have their fun and don't pay any attention to them.
If they're not actively making trouble for you, relax, count your blessings and try your best to ignore them.
I go to monster.com; careerbuilder.com; craigslist.com/jobs, indeed.com everyday.
That's how I deal with miserable people at work. Then I say, "I'm putting in my two-weeks."
A slap and a Seconal.
There have always been grumps in the office but before, others weren't expected to care. Even the most embittered and angry people understood work wasn't for personal shit and if they went on and on, people would either walk away or tell them to shut up.
Now, if you tell the miserable people to can it and go away, there exists a place called HR where they may turn to rat you out for not acting like a member of their family. HR takes such complaints very seriously.
It's pretty much accepted by everybody that the workplace is becoming increasingly feminized and that the skills you need to have in business are the more feminine skills of listening, caring, compassion, empathy and great all round communication. This will come as a bitter blow to all those women who have been carving their way to the top of organizations through sheer ability and determination.
- Office Politics, UK.
I made a cake from rainbows and smiles today and brought it into the office.
When you walk by them, put on your best blank stare and don't make eye contact. You'll make their day.
OP, are you in a position to be honest with them? Tell them the truth, their negativity is contagious and you are trying to keep a good attitude.
Find out why they are miserable. They may be right and it's the happy people that suck.
Have some compassion. In a tiny company of about 35 employees, I'm one of two males, the only gay person, the only non-Christian, and one of about six or seven Democrats, only four or five of who are actually liberals, and even those "liberals" have more in common with the Republicans than they do with me.
I'm not grumpy and I try to be polite and friendly in every encounter, but I do get pointed out openly and told to my face I'm not a team player because I don't participate in company social events and I don't join in when there's a gossip session or a potluck or a political conversation about how important it is to vote for the personhood amendment.
And when someone told a joke about the watermelon patch on the Whitehouse lawn, I said aloud it was offensive and I left the room. (The only non-whites at the company are three Asian women, who are all straight married upper-middle-class Christians.)
And please don't tell me to get another job. I've been looking for years, and the best I've been able to come up with was a job that paid $7.42 per hour for 28 hours a week with no benefits.
So for now I'm stuck here, and I work really hard not to be grumpy, but to be professional and do my job and not interact with my co-workers.
But I'm sure they think I have a really bad attitude.
Miserable as in - jerks?
I work with a guy who disagrees with everything I say. Everything. He corrects me when I use incorrect terms such as "Global Warming" as it was "Climate Change". He always has to point out that I'm wrong on every topic we talk about. He even disagreed with me about Don't Ask Don't Tell and said it was "needed" at the time - and I told him basically something like that is never needed and to shut the f-ck up. He's the typical Devil's Advocate who disagrees with everything you say regardless of what it is - but he picks those he deems intellectually inferior - me.
Today he made comment on how he hates Eor from Winnie the Pooh, and I told him how could he hate Eor? He sounds like Eore. Everybody laughed. Was that rude? I felt good saying it. I felt like - "F-you!" I stooped to his level, I know, but still, it felt good.
I avoid the negative people and seek out the positive. Studies have shown that negative thinking is "contagious", and that venting is not cathartic - it leads to more venting. In other words, these people are perpetual complainers stuck in a dysfunctional behaviour pattern.
When I do have to interact with the surly ones I redirect the conversation in positive ways (as a previous poster mentioned) and exit the conversation when it turns overly cynical or bitter.
I spend my lunch hours and breaks as I please. I used to feel pressured to eat with the other staff and listen to their complaining and gossip. Now, I eat outside whenever the weather is mild enough. I also go for walks and listen to music. If I'm stuck at work, I bring a book or magazine and read in my work space. I don't want to hear the passive aggression, rumors, or complaints anymore. Life is too short.
Miserable people in the office?
How would you like us to deal with YOU?
Thank you r43 for your post. I don't think I could stand one more day of constant gossiping and bitching about what is wrong with everyone else. I do not have a private space but I do have head phones and I will not feel bad anymore to use them during lunch.
I was in a situation where my cubie neighbor was out for a couple of months and a "floater" came to sit for her. This woman was a Julliard graduate, makes a separate income from her music, owns her own place, and is completely and utterly batshit crazy. It started immediately. At first I thought it was just low self-esteem "I know everyone hates me here." And then it was paranoia. "I can't beLIEVE you sent that email to the office. They've read it by now, but I deleted it and then went in and deleted my cache. (I was telling her I thought she had a lot on the ball, was trying to build her up at that point.) She seemed to be off her meds or something because, finally, I had enough. I'm one of those people who won't let people "use" me as a sounding board for everything negative...at least not for prolonged periods of time. Finally, I said, "You know, I don't understand you. And you're freaking me out a little here. You wanna know the truth? I think you're doing this for attention." The next day, she came in and was either back on her meds or just much much better. Before she left on vacation, I asked her what happened. She said, "I just stopped it."
If someone starts to complain, just go back at them with something totally off the wall. "I know just how you feel. I lost my nail clippers and had to use pinking shears to cut my toenails."
Shut up, OP.
I run the courier department at our company, and all but a couple of the couriers are 65+ years old. Without exception, everyone is friendly & personable—to a fault. They think work is a country club, where it's appropriate to hang out and shoot the shit about their grand-kids & vacations & the weather. They think nothing of interrupting a phone call so they can say "Have a nice weekend!". Nice. They're all nice. But they annoy the FUCK out of me! Most of them have never used a computer in their lives, but they must use the company hand-held device to document their work. OMG—imagine trying to explain Windows to your great-great grandmother.
Somehow (I don't know how) I take a deep breath and deal with these people with a smile on my face. It must be working because this past year I was awarded the office MVP award for being "so helpful" & "positive". Oh, the irony. If these people only knew what was going on inside my head.
I'm in the military so when one of my troops is being negative, I pull them aside and call them out on it. When a superior is overly negative, I tend to avoid them as much as possible. If a co-worker is negative, I'm prone to using the "devil's advocate" method as an attempt to rationally outline alternative views.
I was promoted to a position where I had to transfer to a unit that is very isolated. It is like the Island of Misfit Toys as everyone is a genius at what they do but they all hate the company. It is a very weird, toxic environment.
I naturally follow the be nice, be supportive, do your job philosophy but I am waiting for he first train out of there.
Don't be drawn into others' misery. There's no reward in it for you.
If there's someone who is unrelentingly miserable and bent of pulling others into their sticky trap, reply in cheery, confounding non sequiturs:
"I'm so glad she's doing better in school!"
"Thanks! Sounds like a great book to add to my reading list."
"That's some schnitzel you've got sizzling in your pot! Glad to hear it."
They'll soon toddle onto another potential victim and leave you a wide berth.
Hey, Connie... are things going any better today? Oh, I'm sorry. What are they dumping on you today? Oh, no! They expect you to do ALL THAT? That's crazy. Plus you've got that project due, right? Geez. I really don't know how you do it, handling all this at work and taking care of your family. I hope they appreciate everything you do.
Listen, sweetie, I sure hate to pile anything else on you, but I really need these reqs to go through today. I know the SLA is 48 hours, but I'm going to need this for a presentation on Monday and it has to go through today to make turnaround. Of course, I just found out about it THIS MORNING! Can you believe it? I thought, "damn, nobody's going to understand how screwed up this is, except for Connie, of course." If you can't do it, I totally understand -- I'll just have to tell them it's not going to happen. I'm used to being yelled at by now, anyway.
Oh, do you think you could? Oh, that is so AWESOME! You just made my life SO much easier, you don't understand. Thanks, sweetie! Hey, call me when they come in, please? You're the BEST, Connie! See ya!
I've worked for five years down the hall from a woman who is the most negative person in the world. She hates everyone we work with and complains about them constantly. I allowed it at first because work often frustrates me too, an the things she complains about are reasonable things to complain about--but she obsesses about them. And things just got worse and worse--she started being extremely obnoxious to our colleagues and obstreperous and unwilling to participate in tasks, and because she and I became friends her attitudes became associated with me even though I do not share them. (Both of us are tenured professors and so we cannot be fired.) So now my colleagues are very suspicious of me too.
Finally this year she's moving to have offices in a different building. She actually wants to be in the same building as the colleagues she hates so she can get in their faces even more. This is such a relief for me, and I'm hoping people will cease to associate me with her as much. It will probably take years for me to regain their trust.
The lesson my example proves you shouldn't let people like this vent so much to you, even if it's fun at first. Some of them (like this woman I work with) are unstable, and they can drag you down with them.