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3 Ways to Handle a Co-Worker Who Loves Conflict

3 Ways to Handle a Co-Worker Who Loves Conflict

When it comes to dealing with difficult personalities, you have two options. You can either accommodate the difficult person’s need for conflict, or you can let them know that their behavior isn’t acceptable and will no longer be tolerated. Here are three ways to handle your co-worker who loves conflict so that you can both get back to doing what really matters.


1) Why does it happen?

People who thrive on conflict and turmoil know what they’re doing. It’s their way of gaining power, control, and attention. In reality, it doesn’t matter why someone does what they do—it only matters how you handle it. The first step is recognizing that there are two types of people in your life: those who want to build you up and those who want to tear you down. You can choose which category anyone falls into by paying attention to their actions and reactions over time. When you encounter a co-worker who thrives on discord, remind yourself that he or she will be moving on soon enough. That should help alleviate any anxiety about being in close quarters with them for an extended period of time. Once you realize these kinds of situations aren’t personal attacks, it becomes easier to focus on resolving them effectively.


2) How does it affect your life at work

If you find yourself frequently on edge around another employee, then chances are it’s making it harder for you to do your job. Maybe you’re less productive because you can’t focus—you keep thinking about that uncomfortable conversation from earlier in the day. Or maybe it makes meetings feel like walking on eggshells—you always need to be prepared for anything and everything. Either way, conflict at work isn’t just an annoyance; it can also negatively impact your performance and productivity.


3) What can you do about it?

First, you have to figure out why your co-worker is so fond of conflict. It could be that she’s just naturally more argumentative than others. Alternatively, it could stem from deeper psychological issues such as insecurity or mistrust. And it doesn’t help that people who are argumentative often get off on creating tension in a situation, which can make things more difficult for everyone involved. If you think there might be something deeper going on with your co-worker, bring up your concerns with her and see if she’ll open up about what’s bothering her. If not, you may need to consider whether working together is worth it at all. If you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked, then it might be time to find another job. After all, it’s hard enough to work with someone when they’re behaving normally; when they’re constantly seeking conflict, then no amount of talking will resolve anything.


See what Bustle has to say about Conflicts with Co-Workers here.

If you think you might be the problem, check out this article on How to Stop being Offended

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