Is there someone at work that you avoid talking to or feel drained after talking to them? Or maybe someone at work criticizes you or makes passive aggressive comments. It's unpleasant, especially if we have to see them every day at work.
Here are some ways to deal with those difficult work situations:
Someone who criticizes you or is passive aggressive...
It's not okay when someone treats us with disrespect. Even at work. Yes, we have to get paid. But is there a way to make it more manageable? Yes.
The critical person:
Here it's really important that you stand up for yourself, rather than let this person run over you. Here it might be helpful to plan because it might be nerve-wracking to talk to this person if you haven't stood up to this colleague before. You might want to say something about trying your best and being open to constructive feedback as opposed to overly critical feedback.
Let's say that you've confronted this difficult person and he/she/they don't change. See if you can focus on the content.
Instead of focusing on how the information is communicated, discern what the underlying message is. It doesn’t mean that it’s okay for the person to be critical, but sometimes critical people lack awareness; they might not know that their word usage or tone of voice comes across in a critical way. Perhaps this person did not intend to be critical, but rather tends to be upfront and open with his/her/their feelings.
Here's an example of passive aggression:
"That report was pretty good even though there were some errors." It's the underhanded compliment. Or maybe you've heard something with some kind of agreement, but with undertones of anger, "I guess I can wait until tomorrow, but I did tell you about it last week."
So how do you deal with this person?
For the latter example, you might say something like, "I get that this is an inconvenience. " Here you'd be taking responsibility, while pointing out the other person's underlying message. The key is that you acknowledge that the person is saying something aggressive, and you don't need to apologize unless you actually are at fault. By catching them in the act, you're empowering yourself.