You want great relationships with your co-workers. After all, that makes for a better work environment, morale, and, honestly, makes it a lot easier getting up on Monday morning.
Most people don’t set out to create hurtful or damaging relationship. Nobody says, “Gee, I’d really like a co-worker or peer that sabotages me at every step” or “Boy, I’d like for this person to really take advantage of our relationship.”
But the fact of the matter is co-worker relationships can be damaging. And, as much as I hate to say it, we’re the ones who let it happen. Sure, the other person involved is messing up your life, and it’s up to you to get yourself out. And it’s just like putting out a fire.
S-D-R Model for Damaging Co-Worker Relationships
Stop. Confront the person who’s causing so much negativity in your life. Tell them that you want nothing more to do with the way that they have been treating you. Give them the opportunity to either become aware of their behavior. Let them know you won’t tolerate it any longer. You’re in control of your own life now and you won’t be bullied or manipulated into doing things that negatively affect you.
Drop. Now that you’ve said your piece, it’s time to follow through and drop that deadweight that’s been hurting you or keeping you down. This may mean you need to keep it business-only if you have to interface with this person. If worse comes to worse you can relay this dynamic to a superior. In any case, they are no longer welcome to your annual spring barbecue.
Roll. Look at that, you’re free! It’s time to roll out and keep on moving along. Keep your eye on the lookout for new potential healthy relationships and opportunities at work. Always keep your mind on the future and try not to dwell on past poisons.
I know this is a short version of detoxing a damaging relationship. But this is the place to start.
The reality is that there are really so many facets to every relationship and if you’re really finding it hard to separate yourself from someone you know is toxic, I encourage you to seek guidance from someone who can help you one-on-one. Life is entirely too short to stay engage with someone who continues bringing you down.
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