Signs of Toxic Workplace - Handle Difficult People at Work

No job is perfect, and we all have bad days. You quarreled with your coworker, made a mistake in a report, and your boss told you off. But if every single day of your life is marked with constant stress and you feel like you are driven to the verge because of poor working conditions, then you are suffering because of an unhealthy work environment.

Workplace toxicity is not something you should put up with. If you are stuck in a bad working environment with your difficult coworker or boss who uses unhealthy management practices, it's time for action. You will get the hang of what makes the toxic workplace, how to best work with the difficult person, and work in an unhealthy workplace without going nuts.

Signs of Toxic Work Environment

There are many indicators of a toxic environment. We will name five characteristics of an office that drains all of your life forces.

1. Narcissistic and tyrannical boss

Do your boss and other higher-ups never pay attention to ideas and thoughts of the other person and the team? This type of bosses demands you and your employees to always agree with them, even when it is evident there are mistakes in the plan, decisions, etc. They never care about your core values and expect you to come to work even if you were on your deathbed. They will never give you credit when the job is done well but will punish for a bad job without explanations of how to do it correctly. Watch out for such leaders as they might pose surprising reasons for stress.

2. Poor communication

Do you think there is a lack of the information required to do your job? No info characterizes most of the toxic workplaces. If you do not receive explanations, get little or no feedback about your performance, and if you do get it - mostly the response submitted by the boss is negative, it's time to question if this is the kind of work you would like to spend your energy and time on. Or sometimes, bosses or hiring managers even say you have to be glad to have a job at all. If you hear stuff like that, it is a red flag warning that you are caught in a toxic workplace with elements of bullying.

3. Drama in the office

Do your coworkers remind you of a nest of vipers? The office has no genuine friendships, and all people love to do is to spread rumors and gossip. You might be affected by toxic workers as you become anxious when your colleagues are talking trash behind your back. They make what should be a friendly workplace, an unbearable and hostile environment. That is why you are always on your own and have no one to watch your back.

4. Lack of transparency

Have you noticed that decisions are made suddenly? No one has been invited for discussion, or was it carried out by a selected group of people? You can never be good enough for everyone, but some things require general consideration. If your employer surprises you with decisions all the time, it's a clear sign there is no transparency in the work culture.

5. Chaos in organization

Do you feel like the company has lost a clear vision, and tasks are done aimlessly? Are meetings unproductive and just seem like a waste of time, and not a single goal has been accomplished? The lack of workplace technology and critical reasoning skills of the leaders are pushing the company down into the abyss of uncertainty. No lighthouse will help you stay on course. The workplace is full of confusion, vague deadlines, a decline in customer experience, constantly changing, and newly added policies or regulations. And the customer is angry. No one is around to help you tackle the problems you are facing, and you are left on your own. These are the signs the company suffers from dysfunction, which makes the workplace toxic.

How to Deal with Difficult People at Work and Handle a Toxic Work Environment

No one wants to work in a toxic atmosphere. If you are content with your role and satisfied with the compensation, but the unhealthy environment sucks all of your lifeblood, here are some things you can do to save your days.

1. Let them know

Unless you are not the boss, realize a bad work environment is not your fault. But you can try to change the situation by airing your concerns to your manager. If you are the leader of the team, you can do your best to create a friendly and pleasant atmosphere within your group.

2. Tune out

Instead of becoming an expandable balloon of anger, sometimes the best strategy is to build barriers and stay away from things that distract and disappoint you. Concentrate on your tasks and goals. You can use headphones and listen to music while working. According to the study, it indicates an increase in productivity and quality of the performed work.

3. Get rid of the stress after work

Find a hobby or activity that will help you relax. When you sign up for yoga, go to the gym, acquire new skills, you can significantly relieve yourself from stress. The key here is to have something that makes your life meaningful when you leave the office. Sometimes previous stress experience can lead to increased enjoyment of some other pleasant activity.

4. Find a friend

Someone else can feel the same way as you. No man is an island, so it's always a good idea to have someone who will watch your back, hear your concerns, or share the news with you.

5. Create a to-do list

Create lists of things you need to do to keep yourself busy. This will help you concentrate on the tasks instead of focusing on the toxic atmosphere. With the list of assignments, you will always have reasons to move forward every day.

6. Avoid negative people

If you do not get along well a difficult person, stop attempting to establish a good rapport. Talking to people who annoy you is like saying to the broken TV to fix itself. Maybe this person is not your type, and if you avoid communication with them, you will find out your workplace is not as toxic as it was before.

7. Regain your identity

Most employees lose their self-esteem in a toxic work atmosphere. So do your best to become an assertive person and gain confidence at work and outside of it. Don't forget to track the mistreatment of your human rights. Think of what makes you a valuable worker and define your proud achievements.

8. Document everything

Save customer emails, tickets, write down comments from meetings, phone calls, and record everything you may need to protect yourself in case of abuse. Especially make notes of decisions you do not agree with but were forced to implement so that you will have evidence to support your point fo view.

9. Prepare a back-up plan

Things might improve at work, so it makes sense to stay and wait for some time. However, start searching for a new job while you are waiting for positive changes. Regardless of what the outcome was like, you won't end up unemployed.

No one deserves to work in a toxic workplace. But if you don't have a choice, these are the tips to help you overcome stress and avoid getting lost in an unhealthy work environment.

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