May 23, 2014

How To Cope With The Office Jerk

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Written by: Anna

As if your job isn’t hard enough already, but you have to deal with cranky co-workers whose paid positions seems to be making your day more miserable. Rude co-workers are bad news for everyone, as a new study published in the Journal of Organizational Behaviour found that people with annoying office peers often bring their frustration home and take it out on their partner and family, who in turn take that grumpy attitude into work and spread it to even more people. It’s practically an epidemic.

So how can you deal with the office douchebag without letting them poison your happy home life? Although it may be tempting to let your emotions run rampant at work to avoid bringing that baggage home with you, it’s actually healthier for you to remain calm and collected. Here are a few tips for dealing with the jerk in the cubicle next day.

1. Confront Them With The Truth

Often times, rudeness is a mask for insecurity, which means those office jerks may not be so tough once someone points out the flaw in their character. In an office setting, they may not even realize that they are not acting professional if the rude remarks are way for them to feel bold. Try speaking to them, in private, about the issue by gently pointing out that their words and actions are earning them an unfavourable reputation. In many scenarios, this simple interaction will be enough to flip on a light switch in their head and remind them that acting like a jerk won’t get them far at work.

2. Recruit The Masses

There is strength in numbers, and if you’re getting unfairly stressed out by the office jerk, chances are so are your coworkers. Recruit your peers to help alienate the rude sheep from the herd. Send him a silent but definite message by ignoring rude emails and avoid including him in new projects since you know he’ll poison the work environment. Sooner or later he’ll have to confront the group about it, and if he does so rudely, you and your coworkers can call him out for it and make him realize his negative tone and attitude are toxic to business relationships.

3. Focus On Your Work

If your bully cannot be eased into a tolerable coworker, you may have to learn to emotionally distance yourself from negative experiences at work. You can train yourself to be more hardened to that rude coworker’s remarks and learn to brush off their attitude without giving them a second thought. To help you not sweat the small stuff, focus on being productive at your job instead. Sometimes jerks feed off of the frustration they cause other people—don’t give your office jerk that satisfaction! Aim to be independent of petty office politics and that annoying coworker may get bored of bothering you.

4. Separate Work From Play

At the end of the day, your home life shouldn’t really be affected by whether or not Rudy McGee was docile or idiotic at the office today. The best way to achieve a marked separate between your workday and evening at home is to create some sort of barrier experience, whether that means going out for a run as soon as you’re done work or sipping on some red wine as soon as you reach your kitchen.