How to Avoid Workplace Negativity

When it comes being a working professional, workplace negativity is not something that should be a factor. However, that’s not always the case. It can be tough to work productively when there’s a huge elephant in the room. Work place drama makes the environment tense for you and everyone around that can sense it.

If everyone could just be nice to each other the world would be a nicer place, but of course we can’t get everything we wish for! It’s tough to be nice when you work in a competitive environment. Regardless of your work environment, staying away from negativity is a key factor in allowing you to feel positive and motivated about going to work. The CGS Team is sharing a few tips to avoid workplace negativity and keep your eyes on the prize.

Stay Away from Gossip

Gossiping in the workplace is a major no-no, however so many employees do it anyways. Whether the chitchat comes from the break room, across the cubicle, or a different department, don’t entertain it or spread what you hear! It’s not only unprofessional, but it’s distracting from you getting your work done.

If a co-worker tries to include you in office hearsay, it’s best you turn the other cheek and stay out of it. Ignoring gossip is the best way to go. Not only can entertaining gossip make you look immature, you never know which higher ups are taking notice. If you want to learn the proper protocol for socializing with your work peers, read The Dos and Don’ts of Socializing With Colleagues.

Dealing with False Accusations

If a coworker accuses you of being lazy, unprofessional, or tardy for deadlines, it’s best to keep your composure and take a second to breathe. Evaluate what your coworker is saying before you respond and avoid letting your emotions get the best of you. A great rule of thumb is to always respond to a co-worker as if you were responding to your manger.

Failing to keep a calm demeanor could prevent you from listening and actually hearing what the individual is saying. Allow the person accusing you to vent, so when it is your turn to respond you have the floor and their undivided attention. If you find that your coworker is accusing you behind your back, letting it go is best. The person may be jealous of your success with the company and needs a target. If the accusations get out of hand, bring the issue to your manager’s attention.

Dealing with True Accusations

If your flaws with work have been brought to your attention, there are ways to handle it. Instead of getting offended and angry, try taking an open minded approach. Is it possible that what you are hearing is true? Are there certain areas that you do need help with? If the message was delivered in a constructive way, thank the person for sharing.

Ask them what they would do differently or if they can give you any additional feedback. Don’t take it the wrong way; it’s almost impossible that every single person in the company is conspiring against little old you. Self-reflection is prevailing and sometimes taking a look in the mirror goes a long way. Take responsibility and own your part in trying to better your attitude and areas of weakness.

Mixing Business with Pleasure

As awesome as your coworkers may be, opening the door for personal interaction can have negative results. Letting peers into your home, relationship, personal problems or any other non-work related aspect can backfire. You never know a person’s true motives, and you never know who they may be talking to.

We aren’t suggesting you not be friendly, only that you be mindful of how friendly you actually are. Team dinners or activities are perfectly fine, however happy hour socials and club or bar outings where alcohol is involved should be headed with caution.


At times working in negative environment isn’t always easy. Before you start to point the blame or lose your spirit, ask yourself, “Is there something I can do to better the situation?” Most of the time simply starting with you and your actions can reduce the workplace negativity that surrounds you. Have you ever experienced workplace negativity? What did you do to get out of it? Was there a situation you regretted? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

-The CGS Team



2 thoughts on “How to Avoid Workplace Negativity”

  1. I totally agree with this article. At work the approach I try to take is to think before I speak even if I hear something that’s disturbing. Reacting to quickly could make the situation much worse.

  2. I’ve definitely been in a negative work environment and it’s not fun. I would say not getting to close with your coworkers is very important. The more they know about you, the more chance for rumors and bad talk to take place.

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