The art of dealing with co-workers!

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Everyone probably has or had some issues with their co-workers at some point. This doesn’t mean you actually have to be in a fight with them, but quite often there’s just a clash of personalities that doesn’t feel right. If you’re seeking help to deal with these issues you may find some help in my story.

I too have dealt with masses of co-workers that just didn’t match my personality, at all! One could say that not being able to handle certain types of people is a problem of your own and you’ll have to change who you are in order to be more of a team player. I completely disagree! I do not think anyone should have to change him/herself in order to lead a fulfilling life. In fact, I think changing who you are is only presenting yourself differently to the outside world. Your inner thoughts probably remain the same; you just choose not to share them with the people around you. This becomes frustrating at some point, since all you’ll be able to do is lie about your personal opinions and feelings because your real ones aren’t accepted by the people around you. In my opinion, this is NUTS! The truth is that everyone should respect the feelings and opinions of others at all times, even if they don’t agree. Sadly most people haven’t heard about this concept yet, and probably never will.

The problem becomes bigger when you have issues with more than one person. This can be the result of you having an introvert personality. If you recognize yourself listening much while others talk, contemplating everything that’s being said in your head, than you’re probably one of these people. Although you’re probably thinking about problems and solutions faster than everyone else, you won’t have the opportunity to present them in an orderly fashion because of your co-workers ranting on about things you’ve already thought of in your head. Many people mistake this personality with ignorance and the unwillingness to participate actively, while in fact the opposite is mostly true.

So how do you deal with situations where others take advantage of your personality and criticize everything you say, making the problem even bigger? Unfortunately you usually don’t get to pick your colleagues (which really is too bad!) so you’ll have to deal with it eventually. The way I see it, there are 3 choices you can make:

  1. Quit your job: This is probably not the most sensible choice of all. I would only recommend this if you’re on the verge of a mental breakdown and have a good alternative to working your current job.
  2. Let your co-workers run you over: This choice is usually made by failing to make one of the other choices. By not choosing, you are actually automatically making the wrong decision. Again, this really isn’t our main goal here. Avoid this at all cost since it will burn you down!
  3. Confront the problem: Or in this case, the co-worker. In the end, this is the best choice you can make, but also by far the hardest. This choice leads to a process that you’ll have to undergo in order for your co-workers to change their behavior towards you.

Confronting a problem is very hard indeed! It goes completely against the regular human behavior of trying to avoid problems. There are many cases in which this strategy works out fine because the problem will disappear eventually. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case so the problem, like a rodent infestation, has to be dealt with.

You may think by yourself, it’s been going on for so long now, how to I deal with the problem all of a sudden without looking like some fool? If you do, this is the result of postponing the confrontation at an earlier stage. While this can be demotivating, it certainly isn’t a dealbreaker. I’ve seen people change radically, going from Mr. Manners to Mr. Awesome in a matter of days!

This is achievable for everyone! All that it requires is motivation and being determined! The really cool thing to do here is being able to achieve your goal, without changing yourself, but rather enhancing yourself! By this, I mean becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be instead of becoming someone others want you to be. Here are some specific steps how you can achieve this:

  • Enhance your appearance: A huge amount of your presence is determined by your looks. Look at some of your role models (you know, the person you’ve always wanted to be) and see what they’re wearing. Copy and if possible, improve that! Get a trendy haircut, clip your nails, get a nice perfume, shave or get a nice trimmed look. By looking good you’ll start feeling more secure which makes this step work in two ways.
  • Enhance your body: Although this is hard for many people, this step is crucial to enhance your appearance. If people see an athletic body, they’ll automatically start having more respect because of your devotion towards yourself! Try building your muscles and shape while maintaining a health weight. Again, this will stimulate your self-esteem and therefore works in two ways.
  • Enhance your mind: Have you always wanted to be able to respond faster and smarten? Then start practicing! Your response to everyday comments and questions is the business card for your mind. People around you get a taste of the way you think and feel by the very answers you provide them. There are several ways to improve this ability; however the best way to do this is in a safe environment with the persons you love. Try talking to your friends about several subjects, strongly advocating your thoughts and opinions with an enthusiastic tone of voice and determination with everything you say. This way you will practice your ability to react fast, so that your answer faster than other people. Also you will learn to speak with the convincing power. You wouldn’t believe how fast people tend to agree with people that seem to have a clue while they initially had another opinion themselves. By achieving this you will change other people’s reactions instead of them changing you!
  • Enhance your soul: This is pretty much in addition to enhancing your mind. Practice being determined and steadfast in your beliefs. Never EVER start to doubt yourself because of any influence but your own! There is a reason why you generate a belief or opinion which may be constructed differently than other people, but you’re equally smart like everyone is. The real difference is, you have to believe more in your opinions than the other person does in his/her opinion. This will most likely start some discussions at first. These are slippery ice and caution is needed to not look stupid in the end. At first, never go into discussion with more than one person at the same time until you feel very secure you can convince them. Most of the times you will not be able to convince multiple persons that share an opinion other than yours. This can be proactively countered by talking your opinion onto them before they can formulate their own. Again, be aware not to appear ignorant and stupid and avoid ranting on and on while distancing yourself from others by advocating your opinions too strongly. I would say that enhancing your soul is something more advanced than the former three tips.
  • Last but not least: Try not to care, at all! Although this may sound kind of strange, chances are you care too much about how others think about you. This will create a clumsy and over-sensitive personality that probably isn’t who you really are. Just don’t care about what they think of you. They’re not your life companions. Eventually they will disappear from your life and completely forget about your existence. As should you forget about them, the minute you go home, every day!

I hope my article has provided you with some help in having a more fulfilling day at work. Good luck and remember, you’re not alone out there!

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