• 22/07/2024 07:13

Energy vampire at work: how to communicate with a difficult colleague?

When we spend such a significant portion of our lives at work (over 90,000 hours to be exact), it's no surprise that our co-workers can often become some of our closest friends. But, unfortunately, not everyone is lucky. There are people who feed on our emotions and attention even in a work environment. We are here to tell you who an energy vampire is, and also share tips on how to communicate with him.

Content< /span>Who is an energy vampire at work: signs How to work with an energy vampire?

You might encounter a vampire outside of work: you can find a lot of advice on the Internet on how to protect yourself from him. But WomanEL wants to talk about communicating with such a person at work, because this is something that is talked about less often (but in vain).

Who is an energy vampire at work: signs

If you are not already familiar with this term, you probably know such a person. An energy vampire requires attention, and not always good. Perhaps your coworker constantly needs reassurance, lacks personal boundaries, or has an unreasonably inflated ego. Whatever her specific behavior, she is almost always responsible for changing the atmosphere in the office and draining the energy of the team, usually without even realizing it.

“We all know that person who takes up 90% of our time at work and takes in far more than they give,” career coach Jessica Brewer tells Stylist. Whether they're trying to grab power, complaining about others, or getting too involved in office politics, working alongside vampires in the workplace can be especially frustrating.

Of course, it's important to remember that there's probably a reason why someone behaves this way. They may be dealing with impostor syndrome and overcompensating for it, or they may actually have trouble reading social cues and not understanding how harmful their actions are.

How to work with an energy vampire?

Who to communicate with an energy vampire, Source: freepik.com

First, if you can't change someone's behavior at work, you can always take steps to change your own habits and mood, says leadership expert Rebecca Ann. Whether it's a short walk, making a cup of tea, or a song to listen to after a particularly painful interaction, your own daily routine can be an antidote to any bad vibes the workplace vampire might have sent your way.

Secondly, when attacked by a vampire, don't underestimate the importance of changing your reaction. “While you shouldn't feed them, you can offer a quick acknowledgment like, 'Wow, that doesn't sound fun, I'm sorry,' before changing the subject.” Anne also recommends asking light-hearted questions or engaging others in conversation to balance giving them some of the attention they want.

What if it doesn't work? Don't be afraid to set boundaries. “Be firm but fair and communicate that if they continue to be assertive or negative, you will end the conversation as you are not open to that type of communication or behavior,” she adds.

One last thing. If you really need to vent your frustrations on that disappointing co-worker, do it with a friend who doesn't work at your company. “There’s no getting around it, energy vampires are some of the most frustrating people in the workplace and sometimes we all want to let out the negativity. But be careful. Don't become an energy vampire yourself,” adds Brewer.

What if you realize that you yourself can become a vampire in the workplace? Brewer suggests asking yourself the following questions: Do you often complain to people at work? Have you noticed that your colleagues avoid talking to you or interrupt the conversation?

If the answer is yes, then the responsibility for positive changes lies with you. After all, being a good coworker is like being a good friend: sometimes it takes work and extra effort.

There are other types of difficult coworkers. And each has its own characteristics. Here are tips on how to work with them.

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