The Best Ways to Block Out Office Negativity

Set a positive tone for your workday.

How often have you had your good mood spoiled by someone or something at work? Whether it’s a toxic coworker, bully boss or workload that won’t quit, it’s demoralizing to deal with negativity in the office, and it can also affect your ability to get your job done. Studies have shown that bullying at work can affect your well-being as well as your productivity, and even more minor forms of irritation and annoyance can distract you enough to make you lose focus on your tasks.

Here are a few tips on how to redirect your attention away from sources of office negativity and focus instead on what makes you happy.

Consider the source. Your critical colleague or cranky manager drives you crazy – but have you stopped to think about why this person gets under your skin? If you’re dealing with someone who is clearly dysfunctional and unhappy, recognizing that fact can go a long way toward helping you care less about their comments and actions. Consider the origin of the negativity, and if it’s coming from a less-than-reliable source, factor that in before you get sucked into that person’s perspective. Instead, remind yourself of people you work with who make your life easier and brighten your day.

Stop the snowball. Sometimes, the way a day begins becomes how it ends. One upsetting encounter in the morning might highjack your mood for the rest of your working hours, and maybe even after you’ve headed home for the evening. You can put an end to this snowball effect of letting a single incident color your entire workday by recognizing that you’ve been triggered into a bad mood, and then consciously working to let it go. Step outside for a walk, take a coffee break with a positive pal in the office or put on your headphones and listen to uplifting music to help you shake it off and move on.

Recognize reality. Bad days don’t always start by what someone else says or does, but with your own unrealistic expectations. Let’s take workload, for example. A Deloitte study found that as many as 75 percent of employees feel overwhelmed and stressed out. That means it’s common in today’s workplace to have too much on your plate, since only one-quarter of workers don’t experience this trend. With this in mind, don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel like you can’t catch up with your to-do list each day. Remind yourself that this is the “new normal,” let go of self-critical thoughts about your personal ability to get it all done and talk to your supervisor about delegating some of your duties to help you manage it all.Read MOre

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