How to Deal with a Toxic Co-worker

You come across different types of people throughout your career. You might connect to some individuals on a deep level, making them your work best friend. On the other hand, you might also meet some people that make your workplace a living hell. When you’re bothered about a co-worker that has a significant impact on your mental health, you might be dealing with someone toxic.

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Whether your co-worker is being toxic on purpose or unknowingly, it can alter how you feel at work. There are six types of toxic employees, including the slacker, gossip, lone wolf, emotional mess, and close-minded know-it-all. If you’re stress over any of these toxic colleagues, take the steps below to ease your mind.

Identify the Depth of the Situation

If your co-worker gossiped about the boss to you once, it doesn’t make them a toxic person. However, if you’re constantly dealing with situations that put you in a tough spot, you may have to take things further to put an end to it. The best way to resolve conflict in the workplace is by consulting a lawyer when you’re unsure about what approach to take.

When someone at work is bothering you, whether directly or through their indirect actions, you need to figure out what their intentions are. It can be challenging to tackle the issue if you’re unaware of the potential consequences. Consult an employment lawyer and discuss your concerns with them. Talking to an industry professional will allow you to identify if you need to file an official case or take steps to handle the situation without encountering problems.

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Have a Candid Conversation with Your Co-worker

Sometimes, the best way to solve a problem is through an open and candid conversation. Talking to your co-worker will enable you to understand if you both are on the same page. If you feel that your relationship with them is dysfunctional, it can be beneficial to share your feelings and listen to their side.

There are some chances that your co-worker isn’t aware of what they are doing to bother you. According to research, people lack self-awareness at work. If they aren’t mindful of their actions, an open conversation may change things. However, if you notice that their behaviour hasn’t changed since the conversation, you may need to take a different approach.

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Take a Strategic Approach to Escalation

If the conflict gets out of hand and becomes challenging for you to resolve yourself, it might be time to speak to higher authorities. However, you must plan out your steps instead of barging into your manager’s office. You may need to consult a lawyer to discuss the best way to move forward.

Even if you’re unsure about contacting a lawyer, don’t reach out to too many people at work. Getting too many people involved can make the case messy and cause problems on your end. It is best to avoid going to HR right away and start by speaking with a supervisor, which can vary depending on the severity of your case.

Dealing with a toxic co-worker can be challenging, especially because you could encounter so many forms of toxicity. When you’re having trouble at work, follow the steps above to ensure you take a systematic approach to avoid any negative backlash.


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