The boss isn’t being fair. Co-workers are being being difficult, putting us in tough situations.
It’s hard to focus on the work because of so much drama other people are creating for no good reason.
It becomes particularly frustrating because we can’t fight back against toxic co-workers or the boss no matter how unfair it might seem for the fear of being seen as a whiner or a ‘difficult person’.
With so much uncertainty and chaos at work these days, it’s easy to get consumed and hard to get anything done.
Whether you’re facing difficult co-workers or an unfair manager or an uncertain and complicated situations, here are a few tips that might help you figure out how to deal with difficult work situations so that you create a little peace in your life.
My Key Lesson: The reason we get stressed and anxious in trying to deal with difficult work situations is because we have lost control. Things are so complex and uncertain and it feels as though everyone’s out to get us and we can’t do anything about it.
By bringing back control to ourselves and creating certainty, we can begin to deal with difficult work situations. Yes, even in uncertainty, we can create certainty of something very powerful: Ourself…and the actions we take.
3 Tips on how to deal with difficult work situations:
1. Exercise the frustrations before you get to work
Having to deal with difficult colleagues or complex work environment can be frustrating even though we’re on the side of good. By bottling up the frustrations and releasing it at home, we cause our families more stress than they deserve.
One daily routine I have started doing over the last couple of years is to start my day with exercise. I’ve heard this over the years from doctors and friends but never believed in it until I tried it myself.
Going for a morning walk or a run outside or on the treadmill in the gym right before going into work can clear the mind and give us the natural energy to take on the day. This is because all of the anxiety and tension that is bottled up is released by stressing the body for 30 minutes.
For many years I avoided morning exercise because I thought I wouldn’t have enough time but slowly I realized that I was lying to myself. I was just being a little lazy. Today, I get up an hour earlier than I used to so that I could fit in exercise. It becomes a must that helps me deal with the difficult work situations because a clear mind is less irrational and is able to deal calmly with any situation that arises.
2. Get an outside perspective
Often we get trapped in our overthinking when we’re forced to deal with difficult work situations because it feels as though our entire life rests in our workplace. We get overwhelmed by these situations because we have no other point of view except our own mind in a negative spiral.
Our workplace should be great but if it isn’t, we should know that it is not our universe and doesn’t necessarily represent the real world. It can be a bubble which obscures the truth.
Go for a walk. Go and meet a customer. Call a friend. Meet someone who doesn’t work with you for lunch or a drink after work. Talking about your difficult work situation with a friend can be helpful because it allows you to say exactly how you feel without getting the possible fallout. A friend might also have some useful advice to give that can help you deal with it.
Learning to break the pattern of constantly thinking about the difficult work situation by breathing in fresh air can reduce stress and create balance.
3. Stop analyzing and start doing
The root of so much of our stress and anxiety of not being able to deal with difficult work situations is this frustrating feeling that no matter what we do, it won’t matter.
Our mind destroys us from the inside out.
We get caught up in overthinking, over analyzing our work situations and trying to predict which coworker is aligning with who, who the boss is favoring and why we find ourselves in difficult situations. But what I have realized in facing those situations is that so much of my worry was in my head. It was my overthinking mind that led me to feel that way. It wasn’t reality.
What I learned to do is to bring back control to myself by stopping my spiral of negative thoughts and turning them into action focused on my work.
Find a project, focus on a task and by throwing our full self into making a contribution to the place we work, we can get back control and some relief from all the noise we might be hearing. Even if it is a project at home or with our kids, giving the mind something useful to work on can bring freedom from the difficult work situations.
Ultimately, I believe that much of our effort to control the difficult work situations is often wasted and all we get is stress.
By getting the body in motion, through exercise, an outside perspective and diving into a project, despite the chaos surrounding us, we can begin to worry less and live more!
How to deal with difficult work situations | Embrace the Chaos | Bob Miglani, Author