For those of you who have a job or have previously had one you’ll know what a ‘work bugaboo’ is. Unfortunately, everyone has one and as much as you wish looks could kill, they don’t.
So how do we deal with them? Well punching them won’t do you any favours, so the better option is to deal with them in sophisticated but tactical grace.
Talk to your line manager
In the world of work there is no such things as a ‘snitch’. If someone is behaving in appropriately towards you, which can include anything from rude remarks, passive aggression, gossiping about you to other colleagues and just generally making you feel uncomfortable don’t just stand there and take it. Going to your boss show’s a sign of maturity and that you are willing to allow someone else to intervene professionally on your behalf. Your line manager should be able to offer you a sensible solution, even if it means giving that bugaboo a warning. Remember whatever the boss deems fit as a disciplinary action is not your fault, so even if that irritant is told to kick rocks, SERVE THEM RIGHT!
Nothing beats honesty, at times you just have to be upfront with that bugaboo and ask them ‘Excuse me Joe Bloggs, do we have a problem?’ If they answer yes then you have an opportunity to hear them out and address it. However, if they answer no then you tell them the truth starting with ‘When you are….This is how you are making me feel.’ Some people are not even aware how their actions affect you, so when you point it out, if they respect you enough as a professional work colleague they should stop.
Pretend they don’t exist
Even I have to admit this isn’t the best solution but it has worked for me. There are some people I literally have to tune out. I mean totally (in my mind)annihilate their existence, this means when they are in my atmosphere I do not hear, see or acknowledge their presence, I’m just not here for them, like AT ALL. There may be times when you have to interact / communicate with them but this is always strictly profesh, there is no small talk, no pretending I like you, don’t ask me about my life, I would rather us just remain in silence unless it concerns the task at hand.
Set the boundary
This is probably the most important point in this article. If you do not set your own boundaries, people will set them for you. If that bugaboo knows where they stand from the get go, they won’t dare cross the line in the first place. Yes, it’s just as irritating to watch them flit around like a blue ass fly and destroy everyone else’s work life but if you have told them what is what they certainly won’t bother you…Well at least not directly. Setting boundaries means principles you live by when you say what you will or won’t do or allow. This means if someone is doing or saying something to you that you don’t like you let them know, not diplomatically but 100% truthfully.