5 ways to deal with a toxic co-worker


If you have worked at any organisation, then it is largely inevitable not to have come across a notorious co-worker who can make your life miserable. You should be wary of such individuals because they can potentially ruin your work environment or even weigh down your entire career. It is easy to identify such people because they can be your associates who takes all the credit for the work performed by you or they may be your colleague drags who you down with their negativity. As the name “toxic” suggests, such co-workers can really proof fatal for your mental strength that is required to stay at your best if you let them get under your skin. So what can be the possible reasons for this toxicity?



Just give yourself a minute, close your eyes and try to remember that one person at workplace who makes you feel mentally drained – do you feel like punching. Well if that is the case, then don’t you worry because in this blog we are going to discuss few ways that will help you to deal with such person in a more reasonable manner. Here are the five tactics that can help you to stay strong while you are dealing with one of the most toxic people at your workplace.


When you deal with a toxic co-worker, it is quite normal to be tempted to bad mouthing about them to others. Usually people discuss about such co-workers with other colleagues in the office to vent out their rage, either directly over lunch conversation or through emails and chat box discussions. Few others who don’t trust other colleagues, go home and complain to their partners. But it is not the right thing to do because complaining basically keeps you stuck in a negative state of mind. By focussing your precious time and valuable energy towards such obnoxious characters by complaining about them, you are just allowing them to take away a big chunk of your life doing something that is totally useless. The best way to deal is by pledging to fill your life with positive people and the beautiful experiences you share with them, and in this way you will be staying away from these toxic people.


There are a lot of days when you might have felt that one of your co-workers or your boss might have told you something that seems to have ruined your day. If this is how you feel, then you should realise that you are conceding that you are not in control of your own. In such a scenario you should try to calm your mind and gather your mental composure so that you can eventually appreciate that how you control the way you think, feel and behave and discard any idea that makes you feel that someone else’s bad behaviour, poor attitude or toxic choices can drag you down.


Well as human beings we find it easier to wish that if others could change so that we don’t need to change ourselves. The same thing occurs when we aspire that it would have been much better if our co-workers would change and become a better team player or hope that one day our boss will have an epiphany and things will change. But such ambitious thoughts are mere waste of time and energy. It is not in our capacity to control our co-workers, but we can surely control how we react to their activities. Therefore, it will be wise if you can focus your energy into something positive which may include minding your own business rather than to confront your co-worker. Therefore, while you may not be able to control other people, you can always control how you react to them.


If in case it becomes intolerable to deal with a toxic person, then you should not stay passive anymore. Rather, you should try and establish certain boundaries that helps in making your expectations clear. Although you can’t change the personality of the other person, but you can definitely point it out to them loud that they should avoid some of their behaviours in front of you and that may end up into an unpleasant confrontation. But then it will mean that you are taking a stand and not bending down in front of them or succumb to their demeaning behaviour. Further, it also helps in putting toxic people into place because they otherwise are not quite used to having boundaries set to them and as such they often get disappointed when anybody draws a line in the sand. Nevertheless, such direct conversation and firm boundary setting can protect you from feeling more trauma in the future. But please keep in mind that you have to be mentally prepared to respond positively if in case the problem continues to happen.

Healthy coping skills may help

It is true that it can be really taxing to deal with an obnoxious co-worker and so it is very important to hone skills of healthy coping to enable you to stay strong in the middle of a demanding situation. Such coping skills basically take care of your body and mind. And it can only be achieved if we can get back to the basics – eat a healthy diet and have adequate sleep, otherwise it is practically impossible to stay mentally strong. So, try to visit the gym regularly and get plenty of workout which will assist you in combating the harmful effects of stress. You can try a variety of coping skills, which may include meditation and gratitude. Try and join variety of leisure and social activities so that your world doesn’t end up revolving around the toxic co-worker.


So, it can be concluded that most of the time, the power to handle a toxic co-worker lies within you and that just needs to be nurtured well so that you can focus where it is beneficial for you. But there can be times when it may get out of your control such that the stress levels start to impair your capacity to perform well or you start to feel anxious or depressed, then hurry up because it is time to get seek some professional assistance. Go speak to your doctor about what you experience so that they can refer you to a therapist if in case it is necessary.