Anyone who has been working for at least a few months can safely say that they’ve met people from all walks of life. By “people”, we mean colleagues and by “all walks of life”, we mean all types of characters. There are the super helpful colleagues who try to lend a hand no matter how busy they are. And then, there are the people who put the “cray” in “crazy” and “cranky”.
Before you hit a hole in your office wall or go bald from pulling out your hair, here are a few ways to deal with those cranky characters.
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This is easier said than done. When you have a specimen beside you who is happy like a kid who was given candy one moment, and angry like she missed a sale the next, life is not easy. She changes quicker than The Hulk. Maybe her secret is because she’s “always angry”. Which is why, you can’t do anything but try to ignore her.
Fight anger with patience
If ignoring doesn’t work, don’t flare up. Every time she screams, answer her politely and patiently. Instead of fighting fire with fire, be the water that puts out the fire. When she realises that she’s the only one screaming her head off (and hence appears slightly deranged), she’ll take it a notch down.
Don’t just back out of the situation, but back away too. By that, we mean leave the office when she’s on a rampage. Go to the loo, have a coffee break. Just GET OUT.
Don’t egg her on
Some people just want their points to be validated. And they will then pass it on to their superior. “But [insert your name here] also agrees that I shouldn’t be the one doing this.” Yes, she will quote you and make you look bad. So, the best way is to ignore her or just hum non-committedly.
Don’t be prejudiced
OK, so we did tell you to ignore her. But you don’t have to ignore her every time she tries to make a point. Because, harsh as she may be, she might have a valid point. Don’t assume that everything she says is bullsh*t.
Don’t take things personally
No matter how badly someone is treating you, don’t let it spoil your day. No one likes to be yelled at or snapped at but if you are going to spend the rest of the day thinking about it, you will be wasting precious time that could have be spent doing more productive things. Remember that the problem doesn’t lie with you—she could be having a bad day or having difficulty dealing with a stressful situation and took it out on you. Either way, don’t waste your energy on being angry and upset.
Offer them some control
It is best to avoid a grumpy colleague and give her space when she seems to be in a bad mood but there are times when you still need to work with her in order to get things done. Most of the time, her moodiness probably stems from feeling overwhelmed at work so give her some control by offering to let her meet with you at a time that is convenient for her and work around her schedule so that she feels less hassled.
Images: Pixabay, Unsplash
Additional text: Valerie Toh