My #1 Tip to Prevent Negative, Smack-Talking Coworkers from Stealing Your Vibe

coworkers smack talking

At some point in our lives, we’ve all had those coworkers who just zap us mentally. Their negative vibes and trash-talking others wears on us. Or maybe you’ve been fortunate enough to never have had to deal with this.

I regularly keep tabs on and guard my positive energy. I know what can throw me off. When you experience mental wellness and become in tune with it, you begin to recognize and dislike things that take mental hits on you. You could say I have a low tolerance for certain things.

One of the things that can really throw off my vibe is a coworker who is disruptive. One who can’t seem to say anything nice about anyone else. It’s especially problematic when they’re tearing down another coworker, someone you may very much like. Difficult coworkers like this do not tend to deal with direct opposition well. They’re often living with their own issues that are either known or unknown to them.

Others will say that these toxic coworkers need to be put in their place, and I am not against that. However, during your shift is not the time. In addition, because they typically are going through something themselves, I prefer a different approach. Oftentimes, people who inflict mental UNwellness on us, either knowingly or unknowingly, are mentally unwell themselves. We need to keep this in mind (as frustrating as it is) when we find ourselves in an undesirable situation with them.

To preserve my mental wellness and minimize the chance for having to go home and re-think or dwell on unpleasant interactions later, I have a strategy that I employ when separation is not possible.

Here it is! My #1 Tip to Prevent Negative, Smack-Talking Coworkers from Stealing Your Vibe

Do not engage them.

When they start in with negative talking, facial expressions/body language, or even sounds, all you need to do is be an observer. If possible, it’s even better to just try to focus on what you’re doing without giving the negativity any attention. You could comment with “ok,” “ahh,” or “hmm,” helping to send the message that you’re trying to get work done. If they ask you a direct question though, you may need to respond with a neutral response such as, “Hmm, that’s an interesting question.” If you ask questions back or try to relate to any part of the rant, the negativity will keep on flowing. The less you say, the better. If they don’t pick up on your subtleties of not wanting to engage, you may have to politely ask them to stop. Offer something like, “Gosh, I can’t really think right now. My head is kind of in work mode.” Gradually, these coworkers may start to put you on their mental list of people who don’t indulge their negativity. Oftentimes, this means that they don’t “share” it with you. I’ve even encountered it where your positivity starts to rub off on that person when they spend time around you.

It may take some practice to become good at this. While working on not engaging the toxic coworker, try to keep in mind that nothing is being done about the situation if you sit and dwell on your interactions with them. Focus instead on protecting your vibe!

Thanks for reading.

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Yoga instructor and mental wellness coach Charlotte Wrzesinski

Hi, I'm Charlotte!

I wear many hats and understand everyday, real-life stress.

I am a mom, wife, pharmacist, yoga and meditation instructor, and mental wellness coach. I started focusing on wellness after having my second child as a means to manage stress, improve my own overall state of wellbeing, and become more balanced.

My transformation was so powerful that I made it my mission to help others achieve and maintain wellness in their lives.

Learn More About Me +

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