Heated Confrontations

Yesterday I went to my neighborhood Walmart to pick up a few items. Walmart isn’t one of my favorite stores because it seems like there is always some type of drama on the whole exhibit. Their prices are competitive most of the time, but that doesn’t mean that the shopping experiences are always pleasant. I went to the Self Check-Out thinking that it would be easy to get in and out and as I was ringing up my items, one of the workers started yelling at another co-worker. Professionally speaking, it wasn’t professional at all. It’s becoming the norm to experience drama at some of these types of stores. 

The actions of these two employees made me think about how others could handle hostile employees. I honestly thought they would get into a fight. Had there not been numerous customers in the store, I’m not sure they wouldn’t have. If you work with someone who constantly starts drama, the following tips might help you. After I left the store, I went online to see what steps could be taken to become proactive in scenarios like what I encountered. Here are some helpful tips.  

If you find it challenging to deal with hostile co-workers, try the following strategies to improve your relationships without affecting your standard of work.

  1. Be introspective. What actions have you done that might cause them to be a ticking time bomb? If you haven’t done anything, it might not be you that they are angry with, but you may be the first person to take out their aggression.  
  2. Remain polite but firm. If you get riled up, both parties will be unreasonable and hot-headed. If you keep your cool, you may find staying calm will help you remain polite. You don’t have to be a doormat. You do have to be willing to listen and keep control over your actions.  
  3. Don’t take it personally. The chances are that person is pissed over something that has nothing to do with you, and if it does, they aren’t always willing to offer what’s wrong until their bubble has popped. We all have moments in time that aren’t our most fabulous friends. The key is remembering those moments don’t usually last long. I don’t know of a single person on earth that’s never gotten pissed. We all do things we regret, don’t judge that person. Be the stronger individual by exhibiting calm, non-threatening behavior. The exception to this is if they are trying to cause harm to you or others physically. Stay calm and try to avoid violence if possible. It’s not always possible to do this action, but please make that your last resort.  
  4. Bring a “peace offering .” Don’t try to buy your way into friendships or relationships. Still, a simple gesture like a card or something that means something to that other person can do wonders for helping bridge a better relationship. Sometimes the acts we do for others go a long way into helping their frame of mind and ours. When we look for better ways to work with each other, we often find common ground. This action doesn’t always work, and some folks are asinine. There’s no nice way around that fact. But you don’t have to stoop to their level.  
  5. Seek guidance. I don’t know about all of you, but some of the smartest moves I’ve ever made have sought advice when handling difficult co-workers. When my buttons hit the highest emotional level, and my anxiety is through the roof, I have no problem asking for a bit of help. I can attest that seeking assistance has prevented me from getting into trouble at my job. Many friends of mine let their temple get the best of them and cost them dearly. It’s easy to lose your temper, but you might lose your job if you aren’t careful.  
  6. Turning hostile co-workers into friendly colleagues. This action is a best-case scenario, and I’ve had it work for me quite a bit over the years. I’ve learned from some of the most challenging teachers who were my employers. There were a few that I still loathe to this day. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t willing to be nice. Nor did it mean I had to be bosom buddies with the person. Learning how to turn hostile situations and co-workers into an asset is tricky, but you might find they teach you things you’d never know anywhere else once you do it.  

I hope this Wednesday allows you a chance to look around you and see if any of this information applies to you. If it does, I hope it helps because had I been astute enough when I was younger to have taken some of this advice, I might be in better shape today. What matters is we don’t beat ourselves up over the choices we make in life. If you are dealing with a hostile situation at your job, do some research and ask questions. No one likes a snitch, but there are discreet things you can do to minimize the drama you expose yourself to in the long run. This last year and a half have challenged every single one of us. Tempers are short, and patience is thin. Somehow we will all get through this nightmare. Since we are all fighting this together, let’s try not to take out all our aggression on each other. Have a great day, everyone.  

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