Work is usually challenging enough without having to deal with a bad atmosphere in the office. If you have somehow managed to get on the wrong side of your work colleagues, it can make things difficult for you, but there is usually going to be a way to improve the situation. The key is to understand the underlying issue that is responsible for the bad feelings.
It may not be completely your fault that the relationship with your work colleagues is so poor. The reality is that the office can sometimes be like a school playground with in-groups and pacts between people. If you are the new person in the office, you may be treated like an outsider because you just don’t share the same bonds with these people. There can also be a lot of office politics that you are not aware of getting in the way of your acceptance into the group.
Even if the bad atmosphere in the office is mostly the fault of your work colleagues, you need to either find a way to fit in or you might be off looking for employment elsewhere. If these people are working against you, it can lead to a great deal of stress, and it could even jeopardize your future career. It might not seem fair, but going to war against these individuals is only going to make things worse.
It is important to at least consider the possibility that it is your fault that your relationships at work are so poor. If you find it hard to get along with just one person, it’s easy to explain this away as a personality clash, but if you are having problems with a group of people, it’s more likely to be something you are doing. Here are some of the most common reasons for bad relationships with work colleagues.
You Get Involved In Office Politics
Office politics can be incredibly messy, and if you get involved, you shouldn’t be surprised if things turn nasty for you. The danger with joining in this struggle for power and influence in the office is it is going to mean you make enemies. These ongoing-battles in the workplace are usually over trivial stuff, but they can lead to a bad atmosphere that can last years.
If you want to improve your relationship with work colleagues, you need to avoid getting involved in office politics. These people are going to try to get you to join one side or the other, but you need to be able to rise above it. It just isn’t worth causing bad feelings unless the issue is really important to you. The most popular person in the office is usually the one that always manages to stay out of the gossiping and bickering.
It’s All About Me, Me, Me
If you develop a reputation for being a bit of a narcissist, it is going to be much harder for people to like you. It means that you are going to be perceived as a selfish person who would happily stab colleagues in the back to get what you want. If you only seem to be interested in what you can get from other people, or how you can use them to further your own goals, it is going to be impossible to win the trust of work colleagues.
One of the most effective things you can do to achieve your ambitions is to help other people achieve their goals. Every person believes that they are the center of the universe, and you need to treat them special if you want them to return to favor. Just showing an interest in other people’s lives can make a huge difference to the way they treat you.
You Are Not A Team Player
If you don’t make an effort to fit in with the team, you may be viewed as a threat to it. Other people are going to become resentful if they feel they need to work harder to make up for your deficiencies.
It is also going to cause annoyance if you try to grab the glory for something that was a team effort. Some of us do work better alone, but if your job requires you to be involved in teamwork, you need to do what is expected to fit in.
You Don’t Know How To Communicate Effectively
Poor communication leads to misunderstandings and it is probably one of the most common causes of strife in the workplace. The ability to communicate effectively is a skill, and if you haven’t yet mastered it, you may be unknowingly causing upset.
For example, you may make a harmless joke without realizing that the person you are speaking to is offended by it. The important thing when communicating in an office environment is to be clear and precise (especially if it is related to the work at hand).
You Don’t Make An Effort To Socialize
It is understandable that many of us like to keep our social life and our work life separate. The problem is that if you don’t make an effort to socialize with work colleagues, it is going to be harder to form close bonds with them – you may also develop a reputation for being a bit stuck-up.
You don’t have to go out with people at the office all the time but even doing it a couple of times a year can improve your relationships with these people.
You Created A Bad First Impression
Once work colleagues decide they don’t like you, it can take a lot to get these people to change their mind. This negative assessment may have been made on your first day, but it is continuing to impact interactions in the office.
One thing you could try to do to recover from a bad first impression is to joke about how nervous you were during your first days as a new employee. A bit of self-deprecating humor can be an effective way to explain your side of things without appearing overly-offensive. The fact that you are having this conversation in a lighthearted way also means your colleagues may feel more comfortable about admitting to any harsh judgments they have made about you.
You Are The Victim Of Malicious Gossip
Rumors spread around offices like a virus, and they can be started because of a misunderstanding, or even just because somebody just wants to make life difficult for you. This can be one of the hardest barriers to healthy office relationships because you may be completely unaware of the content of the gossip.
If you work in an environment where there is excessive gossip, you might want to avoid sharing personal information. If there is one person who is responsible for the gossip, you may need to confront them about if – in the worst case scenario, you may have no choice but to complain to your superiors.
You Complain Too Much
The problem with being overly-negative is that it is an unattractive personality trait. This can be a hard habit to overcome because most of us don’t even realize when we are doing it.
A good idea is to try to be deliberately more positive about things. This means focusing on the good things at work rather than always complaining about the bad things.