Are Negative Employees Taking Over Your Life?

Joe Weinlick
Posted by

Whether they supervise you, report to you or work with you, negative employees can zap your energy and destroy your motivation. Their toxic attitudes seep into the company culture and make the work environment unbearable. Find out if you're giving negative employees too much power, and discover how to deal with them in a constructive way.

Check Your Behavior

Are you adopting a negative employee's poor attitude? If being around the negativity has caused you to stoop to the same level and abandon your values, you're giving this person too much control. Fight the urge to cheat, lie or bully because other employees act this way.

Survey Your Emotions

Is this negative employee affecting your emotions? If you spend the afternoon feeling irritated after a lunchtime interaction with your co-worker or get sick at the thought of heading into a meeting with him, the balance of power has reached an unhealthy level.

Think About Your Thoughts

Do you spend a huge chunk of your day obsessing over the negative employee? If your mind is constantly fixated on that person's frustrating behavior or rude comments, you're allowing him too much control over your time and attitude.

Pay Attention to Your Words

Do you go home and vent to your spouse about a bad interaction with the employee or complain to your friends about his poor attitude? By doing this, you're wasting your time, giving the person more power over your life and feeding into the negativity.

Explore Your Limits

Does this negative employee cause you to set limits on your life? If you find yourself saying, "Every meeting he comes to is a waste of time" or "I'll hate my job as long as she's in charge," you're likely setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy. Pay attention to how these limits impact your attitude, your motivation and your success.

Try a Proactive Approach

When dealing with a negative employee, maintain a professional attitude. If you find yourself arguing with him, listen to his position and ask for input on how to reach a solution. Try to reach a compromise that's best for all parties involved.

Take a Stand

If the negative employee's behavior reaches the level of bullying, confront him. Rather than being combative, have a one-on-one conversation with the person and explain why his behavior is offensive and unacceptable. Putting an early end to the negativity stops the pattern of abuse.

Enlist Others

Talk to other employees affected by the behavior, and ask for their aid in resolving the conflict. If the negativity or bullying continues, report the behavior to a manager or human resources officer.

When you recognize that a negative employee is affecting your attitude, work and motivation, it's important that you take control of the situation. Avoid giving the person too much power, and find effective ways to deal with the damaging behavior.

Photo courtesy of pakorn at


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch