Just started at department at my work. I’ve been getting to know everyone. I’ve been trying to feel every one out. This one person I’m starting to have a problem with. He seems to be the drama stater of the group. He has been testing how far he can push me. I’m all about joking but he seems to keep going all day. Taking little shots at me trying to get me to get angry but I just say stuff back and act like I don’t care. I’m starting to get a head ache from dealing with this guy. Im so annoyed with him. If I lash out I think it will make things worse. I don’t wanna snitch because that will also make things worse. What can I do in this situation. It’s getting to the point where I’m not enjoying this job anymore because I have to here this guy comment every 2 seconds. I’m in a hard spot because if I start trouble with him he knows everyone so he will definitely start drama with me and tell everyone I’m an asshole and stuff like that. No I don’t wanna quit my job. I’m at a place I plan on retiring from.
Unfortunately, there’s always a “drama colleague” at workplace. The ones who love gossips, who likes to use a fake authority, to make fun of you or to show that he knows better than you. This situation can be tricky, especially if they have some seniority.
So… I know this will sound a bit old school, but really, nothing is better than talking honestly with this person. When I encountered this kind of situation at work, I tried to use collaborative communication. The main objective is to prepare what you’d say through 4 different steps:
- Observation: you try to explain the situation with simple words, so it’s understandable for everyone
- Feelings: you explain how this makes you feel
- Needs: you express your needs
- Request: you ask the other person to do something precise and doable. It can be negotiable, but it has to be clear for the other person.
So for example, it’s like “You’re often making jokes about… but it makes me feel… and for the moment, at work, I need… so I’d like to ask you to stop doing it when…”.
That’s just an example of what you can do to set the conditions for a good dialogue. It’s not about causing trouble at all. Just to set boundaries, because we’re all different and, sometimes, people don’t understand that.
Unfortunately, it never guarantees the person’s reaction, which will also depend on his mood, personality… But this reaction will not belong to you. Sometimes it’s better to talk about these things privately, sometimes it’s more strategic to be in the presence of other people. It really depends on the atmosphere and the relationships at your work right now, so only you can judge that.
Do you think other colleagues have this concern with this person or have noticed that it bothered you? Because talking with others can be a way to have support and limit the possible gossips afterwards. I’m not talking about making clans and starting a drama-war, of course, but only to keep creating positive relationships outside that person and outside that situation.
I hope for you that it will be better soon.