Q: I have this co-worker who is a total bitch and likes to start drama at work. What can I do to avoid it?
A: You should slap her. Just kidding. As much as we would all LOVE to do that, unfortunately that’s not an option. Everyone has that one person, or sometimes more than one, who loves to be the center of attention all the time. Or they get bored and find some way to stir things up for their pleasure. Personally, I’ve never thought those types of people were worth having in my life.
I’m not going to lie: There are several of those types at my work. On top of that, there are also those people who constantly talk shit about them behind their back but are their “right-hand” minion in all the drama (which I’m sure they probably are at your work as well). Those are the people I try to stay away from. And I do so by not acknowledging their pettiness.
Sure you can be nice to them; that’s just common courtesy and compassion that clearly needs to be spread, but don’t go above and beyond that. Don’t make plans outside of work to do “friend” things. Basically, avoid their bullshit. I know this sounds a bit overused, but you’re not at work to make friends or relationships, of course that’s always an added bonus. You are there to make a living and get your job done.
People get so caught up in other things that they forget the workplace isn’t high school. Work should be a a place where we need to be professional and maintain professional relationships. Somehow that’s become a lost asset. People constantly need to turn everything into a contest of who’s on top. And it’s so petty.
I know I have wishful thinking, but I’m not sorry for it. Why can’t we all get along without the need to be up in everyone’s business or knowing their whole life story? It doesn’t affect our life or help us get our job done, so why do we need drama? I’ll never understand it.
No matter what you do there’s always going to be drama whether you like it or not. The best advice I can give you, as an individual, is to try not to get caught up in it. I know it may be hard at times but don’t feel obligated to befriend the drama just because everyone else at your work is. Yes, we all want to have friends in the workplace or know what’s happening, but in the end it’s not benefiting you or your career.
Don’t get sucked in or acknowledge it and you’ll be fine. At the end of the day you know who you are and you don’t need other people dragging you down with them. Find other people at your work who are dedicated to their job, not the drama, and are genuine people. Those are the people you should surround yourself with and they’ll be the ones who will benefit you.