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Is it them or is it you?





Today’s post picks up where we left off last week concerning difficult people in the workplace. In today’s job market, negativity among employees is common and can often be found in difficult employees. It’s understandable: Employees are asked to do more with less, many haven't had raises and often don’t get positive feedback. I have seen the inability to control negativity impact promising and skilled professionals.


To assess the situation, you may want to first examine the environment: Is it the environment, the person, or you?

Are you overreacting?

Examine yourself: try to logically assess if what you are feeling or if what you believe is accurate. If you need help, talk to someone you trust and someone that can be objective. Don’t go to the friend that always takes your side in all situations. Go to the person that will be tactful but will tell you when you have crossed the line or when you are overreacting.

Be open. Analyze the situation. Is there a logical reason the person is behaving that way? Think for a minute. Try to recall: Did you do something or say something that might have offended them? Try to put yourself in their shoes.


We all have pet peeves. My pet peeve is when someone reads over my shoulder. I don’t know why but it drives me bonkers. Do you have a pet peeve? When you think about your pet peeve ask yourself “Am I overreacting?”

Let go of your need to be right.

Accept your limitations. Know what you can control and what you can’t.

Explore how you feel with someone you trust

Be honest when relaying your position

Brainstorm ways to address the issue

Role play what you plan to do or say


Don’t embellish. If for example you are telling your trusted friend that your sister is impossible, treats you like a child and is always telling you what to do, don’t forget to add that you constantly seek her advice and recently had to borrow some money from her to pay your bills because you spent too much shopping or on an unplanned trip to Vegas. If you genuinely want an objective ear, then tell the truth so that the person has a clear picture of the situation. If you know you really can’t be honest with your confidant about your part in the problem, then don’t involve them.

Come up with a plan

Organize your plan

Identify the problem

Be specific about the desired outcome or change

Make a decision: Either I will ignore it or I will address it

When (don’t address when there has been a recent occurrence. Don’t address if you are angry.)

Where (location: privately or with someone else in attendance. If someone else is included be sure to select an objective person. If it’s your confidant then the person will feel set up, less willing to work toward resolution.)


The goal is to not win at all costs; the goal is to resolve the issue so that all participants can move forward in a way that promotes productivity and growth.


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