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Toxic people at work: how do you handle them?

What do you do when you work with people who are somewhat like the "bad apple" and spread negativity to everyone else? I am just curious as to how others handle it; I have my methods, but always like to see other people's tips. We just had such a person at work, who was trying to instigate trouble from her first day at work. Fortunately, that person has found a different job and has left after leaving a really bad taste on the management's mouth. But it would have been an uphill battle had she not quit. So, how do you deal with people like that?

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Asked by PrincesaBoricua at 8:20 PM on Sep. 19, 2009 in Money & Work

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Answers (8)
  • I work in the morgue. It's the best place ever to work if you don't like your co-workers!

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:55 PM on Sep. 19, 2009

  • I guess Anonymous is right...for antisocials. I am speaking about 1 co-worker who was spreading negativity and bringing the company's morale down. Yeah, I suppose the morgue or the cemeterly would be perfect places for those who lack skills, or don't want to seek help, in dealing with other people.

    Answer by PrincesaBoricua at 9:03 PM on Sep. 19, 2009

  • I work in a very poisoned work place and it is will probably never change. I try not to let myself get caught up in the bull of it all. I do a lot of that nodding of my head and saying *uh uh* and keep smiling. Be polite with coworkers smile and say hi, and no more. You are there to work, keep your work life and home/social life separate the 2 DO NOT mix. Good luck.

    Answer by QandA at 10:12 PM on Sep. 19, 2009

  • wow, insulting some one's skills cause of their chosen job and you're worried about SOME ONE ELSE'S negativity? way to go.

    Answer by MHaney1980 at 10:35 PM on Sep. 19, 2009

  • I used to have a job like sister stole it from me! Now she has to deal with that garbage. HaHA! Anyway, now I have another job and there is this one asshole who works there, and from the beginning I went to work, did my job, quite well, and went home. Even now, I'm friendly to my coworkers and I stay out of their gossip and drama. I almost thought the asshole was going to ruin my job for me, and I was ready to quit, because he was directing his negativity towards me. I showed him up somehow, and one of the other girls quit making my position a little more secure as there is no one else, and now I dont think I have anything to worry about.
    Do your job, be polite, and wait until you get home to complain.

    Answer by mumma28 at 12:41 AM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • If can't be avoided, give an alternative

    ""I want to give you everything you want in the future. At the same time, I find it difficult to do that when I am constantly criticized. It makes it harder for me to do my best. Where could we go from here?"

    How to defang a Toxic

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:53 AM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • To Mhaney: I think you misunderstood my answer...please read it again. I was sarcastically responding to Anonimous, talking about those who lack SOCIAL skills to deal with other people, not skills to do any certain job.

    Answer by PrincesaBoricua at 8:30 PM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • I let everyone know that if there is a problem please come to me with it or shoot me an email and I will get to the bottom of it. Never take it upon yourself to solve the problem. Keep your cool and don't let your temper get the best of you. I've sat down with employees with to discuss the problem after complaints and the employee usually quits because they know they are wrong and mad. If they don't quit then they usually slip up later on or step on the wrong toes. I had people complain about someone being racist, sat down with the person and they denied everything. Later that month they were fired for sending racist emails through their work email. Our tech dept monitors all emails that come and go, it's hard to deny things when we have concrete evidence.

    Answer by momtotrips at 1:33 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

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