How do you handle someone that brings all of their life problems or drama into the work place, as well as someone who is always complaining about their work? I hear her talk about it all day long and she constantly brings me into the conversation. I come home exhausted, not from the work day, but from all the drama of this person’s life. How do I nicely, but firmly, tell this person that I am not interested in all of this information and would just like to get my work done?
Dear Complaining Co-Worker,
How unfortunate that the Drama Queen has you so frustrated, but remember that you control your own thoughts. We need to figure out a way for you to own your power with this individual. Here’s what I suggest: The next time she begins a tirade of pessimistic problems, I would say, “At this point in my life I’m working very hard at feeling grateful and positive — after all, if we can get up in the morning, we’re doing pretty good! When I start seeing the frustrations in my life, I’ve been refocusing and instead saying, ‘I’m too blessed to be stressed.’ You might try it! In fact, I’m working extra hard at removing myself from conversations that aren’t focused on all we have to be thankful for, and I’d appreciate any support you can give me.”
If she starts up again with drama, I would simply smile and softly say, “Remember, I’m choosing to focus on the positive — thanks for understanding,” and then move away. Just become a broken record with that statement and she’ll slowly find someone else who will listen. If it’s any consolation, deep down this woman doesn’t accept herself — if she did, she wouldn’t have to control others through her drama to get attention. Please see her as the wounded child she really is, rather than the complainer she appears to be. Sometimes when we change the way we see others, others change.