How to Deal With the Office Debbie Downer

The everyday process of going to work is hard enough. Getting up early. Fighting traffic or the crowds on public transportation. Standing in line for your morning coffee.

Everything gets worse if you’ve got a Debbie Downer waiting for you once you get to work.

The drudgery of a commute is quickly quashed if your workplace buzzes with positive energy and an upbeat vibe. The trip into work may be a nightmare, but once you’re at your desk, coffee in hand, you can get down to business with verve, enthusiasm and maybe even a little delight.

That is, unless you sit within earshot of the office killjoy.

A constant complainer can turn the atmosphere of the whole office toxic. The unrelenting negativity poses a distraction. And it can sap productivity.

There are some steps you can take to counteract the impact of a negative co-worker. Here are three maneuvers you can try to restore some joy to the work environment:

Talk to Them

Some people bond through complaining. It’s a way to build up friendships, an easy topic of conversation. Obviously, it’s not a particularly positive way to reach out to people (and it can get aggressively annoying if used too much), but we all do it from time to time.

Often, people don’t know when they’ve gone too far. You can go a long way to fixing the problem simply by letting people know the negative impact they are having.

Try talking to the negative employee. Take a tactful approach and present your case in a constructive way. Come on too strong, and the Debbie Downer is liable to get defensive.

But an encouraging, honest approach might solve the issue in one conversation.

Keep Your Distance

You had a heart-to-heart with Debbie Downer. No change. It’s time to start looking out for yourself.

Don’t let the office Eeyore sour your attitude. Bad vibes can become infectious and listening to constant complaining can sap your positive outlook. Pretty soon, you’re saying to yourself, “You know, they coffee here really IS terrible. Maybe management doesn’t really care about us?”

Physically distancing yourself from a defeatist co-worker represents the easiest way to avoid a cynical-attitude contagion.

Start by moving your workstation (as subtly as possible – you don’t want to hurt feelings unnecessarily). If this isn’t possible, you may want to consider more drastic steps, like switching to a different team.

Concentrate on the Positive

Maybe you aren’t able to distance yourself from the office’s Black Hole of Doom. Maybe you made a move and it didn’t help – somehow, you’re still receiving the bad vibes from across the office.

Don’t let it bring you down. Counteract the impact of their bad attitude by focusing on the positive aspects of your workplace.

If need be, make a list of the things you like about your job and review it when things get gloomy. Or fight back with a little positive chatter of your own. Try to spread a little good cheer to counteract the impact of negative vibes coming from Debbie Downer.

Working in a supportive, inviting atmosphere turns a job into a vocation. Loving what you do allows you to maximize your career prospects.

Finding those opportunities gets easier when you work with a top-flight recruiter. SmartTalent can help you discover the perfect fit for your skills and personality. Contact them today to find out more.

Share Article

Similar Posts