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How do you deal with negative colleagues?

Negativity in the workplace is never a recipe for success. It can seriously affect your mood, perspective and productivity. And unfortunately, at some point in your career, you are likely to encounter a negative co-worker. Here are six tips to help you deal with a negative co-worker:

1. Be nice

It's not easy to treat someone with respect and kindness when they don't show you the same courtesy. However, we think that kindness is the best response you can have, especially in the workplace. Remember that you are responsible for your own actions. Once you take revenge, you enter an even more difficult terrain. Do not do that. Be nice.

2. Be empathetic

Stopping for a moment to put yourself in your co-worker's shoes will help you understand what's causing the co-worker's attitude. Perhaps the coworker is dealing with personal issues or has hired more at work. They may be in the company longer than you, but you'll move up faster. Or maybe you're both reaching for the same promotion. Take a moment to understand what stressors may be triggering your coworker's negativity. This will help you respond appropriately to their behavior and encourage you not to take their actions personally.

3. Be supportive

Once you understand what is fueling your coworker's negativity, you can determine how to support them. Whether it's work or personal stressors, sometimes they just need to vent. Being supportive and being a listening ear can be so helpful to someone who needs to voice their feelings or thoughts. You never know what kind of support and motivation people will receive outside of work, so be as supportive as you can.

4. Don't bow to their level

It's tempting to want to show your coworker's true colors, but it probably won't help the situation. Don't let your behavior sink to the level of the colleague. Focus on the good, be positive and put everything away from you. You're working hard on your career and you certainly don't want to jeopardize what you've built so far.

5. Keep your chin up

It is essential that you do your best not to let drama in the workplace affect your overall mood or productivity. Treat everyone equally and separate yourself from negativity. If you stay focused on the tasks ahead, negativity just sounds like white noise.

6. Speak when negativity affects your productivity

Hopefully, your coworker's negativity has abated because of your support and empathy. But if it's starting to affect the quality of your work, it might be time to speak up. You can have a friendly, private discussion with the coworker about how you feel their extra stress and how it affects the office environment. If you're not comfortable going straight to the source, you can warn a supervisor instead that the environment is turning negative, reducing productivity.