We’ve all been there. Our coworker says something you don’t agree with, you feel like you’re the only one actually working, or maybe your personalities don’t match up. There will be moments, especially around times of high tension such as election years, that you don’t like your coworkers. However, keeping your work environment civil is important. Here are some ways to keep yourself grounded:
1. Be Mindful
It’s important to try to be respectful of your coworkers’ personal space. Even the closest of coworkers can need a break from each other. “If you sense that your co-worker is not having a great day, don’t take it personally and resolve to give them time to work things out themselves and offer your support where it’s needed!” says VocaLady’s editor-in-chief Chelsea Cirruzzo. Offering support to your coworkers can also help keep your workplace healthy. Especially in retail jobs, where solidarity is key in taking care of situations, it’s important that you don’t shut your coworker down. Instead, offer them the support they need. They may just return that support when you need it.
As stated previously, being mindful of your coworkers’ space is a good way to keep from hostility. However, distance can also be helpful if there is a coworker that you simply do not get along with. If you’re up in arms every time you and this coworker are near each other, sometimes the best thing to do is put as much distance between the two of you as possible. That’s not to say you can’t be civil. You can still ask them how they are. Still, if you don’t push them, they may grow to like you.
3. Be Nice!
No matter how much you may be tempted to do the exact opposite, being nice to all of your coworkers can really help you while in the workplace. Don’t take anything personally – you don’t know what kind of day they’re having. Greet your coworkers when you arrive. It’s tempting to fight fire with fire if a coworker tries to start an argument with you, but the best thing to do is to either return the subject to work or, if you are arguing over a work-related topic, perhaps find a manager to sort it out. There is always a solution.
While I am very lucky to have a supportive and wonderful team of coworkers, I know that sometimes, it doesn’t work out that way. The workplace can be full of tension sometimes – and it’s easy to let it get to you. However, it is possible to diffuse some of that tension. Often, if you are civil to others, they will be civil to you. If there is a person that you work with that refuses to be civil to you, don’t take it personally and fuel the fire.
We at VocaLady are young, and still floating between jobs as the years progress. We have and will encounter some of this tension, and I’m sure the same goes for some of our readers. Nevertheless, in the end, we’re all there to work, and it’s possible to maintain civility while doing so.