02/10/2015 04:51 pm ET Updated Apr 12, 2015

The People I Work With Are Driving Me Nuts!

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I've had 14 different jobs in my working career, and I've had several co-workers that have almost driven me to the edge.

For a year or so, I worked for Quad-Graphics, the world's largest printing company. The shifts were 12 hours long, which were unbearable at times. It also meant you had to deal with a variety of personalities during those 12 hours.

There were a few times when tempers flared, and I was tempted to take the argument to the "next level" (I was a young hot head). I remember one time when I was placed in charge of one of the machines for a shift, which was a huge honor to an 18-year-old kid. Many of my older co-workers weren't happy.

It seemed they did everything they could to create problems on the machine and make me quit. They got close. I made it through that day, and learned some valuable lessons that I still use today.

Moving on from that job, and working at many other jobs, has helped me realize that there is never going to be a shortage of co-workers who will drive you nuts. So how do you deal with them?

Take a deep breath and walk away.

There are some work situations that cause your blood to boil. Sometimes, all you can do is close your eyes and breath in and out deeply. This will calm you down. There are times, however, when your anger will go beyond the breathing. The best thing you can do is walk away and take a short break. You don't want to stand there and get angry to the point of things getting physical. It's not worth it.


Nothing elaborate, just close your eyes and take yourself somewhere else in your mind. This will calm you down and help you focus on what's more important. Don't ruin your reputation with a dumb decision that meditation could help you avoid.

Avoid negative people.

If you work in an office or small work environment, you might not be able to completely avoid certain people, but you can do your best to avoid being in their presence. If you don't have to talk or interact with them, take advantage of the situation. Keep your interaction to a minimum. A negative person or attitude is very contagious, so keep your self surrounded with positivity when possible.

Talk to them.

If there's a continual problem with someone specifically, try to pull that person aside and see if you can reason with them. You'd be surprised by how many situations can be resolved by simply talking it out. It may not work, but try it anyways to exhaust all your options.

If all else fails, talk to someone in authority.

Some people go beyond anything that you can work out on your own; if it's a real problem, talk to your boss. You shouldn't have to go to work and dread it because certain people make you miserable. You have a right to be happy at work. Do what you can to work it out on your own, if that fails, tell that person you have to talk to someone above them.

However you approach the situation, remember to stay calm. The situation will only get worse if you lose your temper. Your goal is to resolve the strife in a way that makes a better environment for everyone.

Realize that, no matter what, there will always be people you just don't see eye to eye with. We're all made differently, but that's what makes us special. You can get through it. I did!

How do you deal with stressful co-workers?

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