At work, we’re constantly using our energy to achieve our professional goals. We tend to burn ourselves out sometimes too. We become emotionally reactive individuals as a result of how we perceive our social interactions at work.

It is clear that the workplace is an environment in which we are way more suggestible to emotional outbursts. In such a sensitive space, the chances for friction run quite high.

We can’t get along with everyone! There’s going to be someone at work that finds you positively annoying, and you might feel the same about someone too!

Workplace rivalries should be healthy, but toxic relationships and fights definitely need to be avoided. If we get into a tussle with a co-worker, our brain gives us room to think about what to say.

The line between using this room and lashing out is quite thin and hard to maintain! If we think about a situation, and understand why it pans out a certain way, it helps quite a bit. Here’s some mental notes you should make to ensure that you be cordial with your co-workers despite the existence of hostility:

1.Figure Out Why People Behave a Certain Way

If you’re working with someone new, or someone you know, you are bound to find out some things about their life. These often tell a lot about the type of person they might be emotionally.

If someone with a troubled personal life is being hostile to you, try to understand what may be leading them to behave in a certain way. Don’t simply discount any hostility as pure hatred.

 

When you understand your colleagues at a deeper emotional level, even some of their unacceptable behaviours become clearer to you! Image Courtesy: Sean MacEntee on Flickr

When you understand your colleagues at a deeper emotional level, even some of their unacceptable behaviours become clearer to you!
Image Courtesy: Sean MacEntee on Flickr

2. Give your Peers Credit When It’s Due

Even though you may not like a person, make sure you appreciate how they contribute to your workplace. The reason you’re at work is not only to socialise and gauge your personal interactions. Professional success achieved by even your nemesis deserves credit. It makes interactions more diplomatic and professional.

Don’t be stingy with praise! When it is due, give it to the person who deserves it! Image Courtesy: Free Compliments on Flickr

Don’t be stingy with praise! When it is due, give it to the person who deserves it!
Image Courtesy: Free Compliments on Flickr

 3. Keep it Civil

When someone at work is hostile to you, there’s a high chance that you might flashback, especially if you’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Rather than having an immediate, angry response, make sure you think about what you should say to peacefully end the hostility.

Learning how to say no can help you out sometimes. Image Courtesy: cheerfulmonk on Flickr

Learning how to say no can help you out sometimes.
Image Courtesy: cheerfulmonk on Flickr

Use active voice in your sentences. If you want to tell someone that there’s been a misunderstanding, say ‘ I think we got off on the wrong foot’ rather than ‘you have misunderstood the situation’. Personal pronouns in an active tone help convey your thoughts about an issue. They also help avoid making it seem like you are playing a blame game. This often helps bring clarity to misunderstandings.

 

When you take responsibility for your actions, and try to be an equanimous voice in all arguments, people will begin to appreciate your neutrality. If you can be diplomatic but not in a superficial way, it can do wonders for the relationships you form at work.

An undergraduate in Psychology, Shantanu is an aspiring Educational Psychologist who will be pursuing his Master’s in 2018 at the Ohio State University. He is adept with psychometric and statistical research, and has honed his grasp over psychology through a 4 year undergraduate course in Liberal Education at FLAME University, Pune.