Negativity in the workplace is often a difficult situation to contend with, especially if it is consistently occurring. After all, who wants to spend a significant percentage of their time in a pessimistic environment?
Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of having to work in an environment laden with pessimism can tell you the challenges and other domino effects that come with working in this type of situation. Coping in this type of workplace can be hard and, if circumstances escalate, this can cause significant problems, which can ultimately affect your personal life.
If you find yourself plagued with an abundance of negativity in the workplace, there are a few things you can do to try to survive the pessimism.
Take daily breaks and use your time off
Breaks are helpful to give yourself a breather, even if only for a short period of time. Just a quick five-minute rest can do wonders for the psyche. In an environment where negativity reigns, sometimes removing yourself from the situation, even briefly, is enough to give you the strength to cope with the rest of the day.
If vacation and/or other types of paid time off are part of your job's benefits, use it! Taking a longer stretch of time off gives the chance to recharge your mental batteries and can cleanse your mind.
Separate work and home life
It is tempting to bring home problems from work and vent these out to family and friends to blow off steam. However, this is not always the healthiest course of action to take, especially if you find this happening on a routine basis. One of the best actions to take to help survive your job's negativity is to check work out at the door at quitting time. Just leave it behind. Bringing home a negative attitude or sentiment can adversely impact your home life.
This does not mean you should completely avoid talking about work issues at home. Sometimes, a good vent is a stress reliever in itself, but the key is to not bring negativity home and give it a place to stay. What you want to do is be careful and not upset a healthy work-life balance.
Bring mementos from home
While you may not have control over the organizational culture where you work, you might have some control over the immediate space that surrounds you. If your employer allows, try bringing in some knick-knacks, photos, art or other small items that make you happy and place them in your workspace. This way, if you need a smile during the day, you can look to your mementos.
Strive to be positive
Change starts from within and projecting a good attitude can affect how others are acting. Even if other people carry a negative attitude, break the mold and try to be the positive example. Spreading good vibes through the workplace can potentially do wonders in the environment.
Additionally, as you strive to be optimistic, pay attention to the type of body language you display. Do you slouch over your keyboard? Walk around with your head hung down? Are you sighing throughout the work day? Try to make changes in your body language; you'd be surprised what kind of gloomy projection it gives off to others.
It is important to differentiate between what you can and cannot change and then make a concentrated effort to fix the things you do have control over. While your changes may not give the organizational culture at your workplace a complete overhaul, what they can do is make the situation a bit more bearable for you and, at the very least, hopefully prevent the pessimism from interfering with your personal life.