Ugh. Do you know that one coworker that never just tells you the answer and always has an ulterior motive? They can be a pain to deal with in a lot of situations, but you have to put up with them most of the time. If I could choose an ~inanimate being~ they could replace, it would be:
But unfortunately, this causes wrinkles on your lips. To help you with these issues – here are 8 tips when dealing with passive-aggressive people at work.
If you want to know what any individual thinks or feels about a particular project, be clear on what you need which has to do with the business. Leave all emotions out of the exchange. And since tone can often get misconstrued over email, try your best to make things as clear as possible.
[Related: 5 Ways to Be Your Most Assertive Self in Meetings]
Don’t Take It Personally.
If this person seems like they’re saving their passive aggressiveness just for you, it probably is true. You shouldn’t let that affect you. You should stay calm and just do your job as normal.
Keep Your Distance.
You might be the magnet for this person’s negativity because you’re the first person they see in their day. If so, your dealings with them should be kept to a bare minimum because it can be exhausting and aggravating for you.
Don’t Sink to This Level.
If you’re forced to work closely with this person – whether that’s because you’re on the same team, share office space, or sit right next to each other – it’s natural that you might occasionally fantasize about a witty comeback of your own. However, try not to act on this impulse because it will simply end up hurting your career.
Try to Empathize.
Alright, I understand where this person is coming from but I’d like to ask them to stop hurting me. You don’t need to worry about what they might be going through–just know that they are hurting you.
Keep a Record.
If the problem persists, begin filing paperwork. Keep track of important emails and follow up with a polite email stating what you agreed on and when. If you eventually decide to go to HR or your manager, these docs will provide valuable evidence of your claim.
Ask Questions, Calmly.
Sometimes instead of asking ‘what is frustrating you?’ try asking questions that will lower their levels of frustration. For example, if someone seems frustrated about a topic, ask if there’s anything I could help them with to make their experience better.