Tips for Dealing with a Negative Coworker

There are all kinds of nicknames for those people in the office who drag everyone down. Sometimes avoiding the Grumpy Gus on your team is next to impossible. They don’t like their jobs, don’t like the company, and are generally unpleasant to deal with. To be successful at work, you need to learn constructive ways to deal with these permanent pessimists. Here are some ways to handle your least favorite people at work.


Listen without Offering Solutions

It can be frustrating to listen to someone constantly complain but not take the positive advice given. We’ve learned that most of the time, people don’t want solutions; they want to vent. While their negativity can become frustrating, remove yourself from the narrative by avoiding giving them advice.

Set Boundaries

It’s okay to ask your negative coworker to respect your boundaries. It can feel impossible, but sometimes you must stand up for yourself. Next time they begin to go down a negative path, try saying something like, “That sounds bad; I’m sorry it’s happening to you. Can we change the subject because I need to stay in a positive headspace?”

Use Positive Responses

Another way to respond to your negative coworker is in positive language. This doesn’t mean relying on toxic positivity, where you tell people that bad things happen for a reason, but instead, you can change the subject to something less harmful. For example, “I’m sorry that’s happened to you. I’d love to hear something positive that’s happened today. Can you share that with me?”

Talk to Management

If your coworkers’ negativity is affecting production or morale in the workplace, it’s time to take it to another level. Talk to your manager about the attitude and how it’s making the workplace difficult. Always stress that you have tried many avenues on your own, but you’re struggling with your coworkers’ continued behavior.

Do you want a positive work environment? The team at Hutco can help; call us today.