How to deal with the office curmudgeon
Sometimes in life you have to deal with a grouchy old coworker who oozes negativity. We’ve all been around someone like that and often we don’t have a great relationship with that person. Here are few ways to deal with the office curmudgeon (we’ll refer to them as the OC).
Don’t set them off
If you have to approach the OC, tread lightly. It’s usually easier to ignore the negativity or avoid it all together. But sometimes the interaction isn’t avoidable. When approached, take a deep breath and don’t let their aggression rub off on you. Hopefully this will keep them at bay, at least while you’re having to deal with them. A lot of times, the OC is already fired up when they come to you. If this is the case, just try not to pour gas on the fire. Keep a clear head and remain cool, calm, and collected.
Try and create a (small) bond
The OC may not completely let anyone in, but you can at least try and get them on your side. An OC loves being heard, so make sure they know you’re listening. They usually love an audience, so be a good one. This could earn you some points with them. Another trick is to try and find something you both agree on. Even though you may have already felt the way you do, an OC will be satisfied that they’ve argued their point and someone agrees with them.
Sometimes the best plan is to treat the OC like they’re anything but. Joke with them, complement them, and let them know they’re appreciated. An OC usually has a lot of experience, so pick their brain and use them as a great source of advice. It’s hard to be grumpy when you’re feeling loved.