Use this three-step strategy to tackle negativity at work

Posted by
Anna Brech
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites

Is workplace negativity grinding you down? Try this three-step coping mechanism to keep feelings of self-doubt at bay

Workplace negativity - whether from your boss or other colleagues - delivers a triple-whammy punch. 

Not only does it shadow your own view on the world, it’s also a trigger for emotional fatigue, causing chronic stress that can be as bad for you as second-hand smoke

But, because the steady stream of implicit resentment, sarcasm or hostility comes from an outside source, it can be difficult to control.

How to put a lid on such behaviour and stop it from affecting you - short of physically removing yourself from the situation?

Christine Hansen, nutritional therapist and founder of wellbeing website has a three-point strategy that might help.

Workplace negativity can have a dramatic impact on wellbeing

Hansen, who regularly coaches clients in stress-relieving techniques, uses a very specific approach to deal with people who cause anxiety or upset at work.

First, Hansen says, ask yourself “is this about me or about the other person being miserable and projecting onto me?” 

“If the answer is the latter, then give yourself permission to just leave it and move on with your day,” Hansen tells Business Insider, in a new piece about life advice from prominent women. 

Secondly, Hansen says, ask yourself “am I in control and can I actually change something? Again, if you actually can’t change anything, then give yourself permission not to worry.”

Wellbeing expert Christine Hansen

The final step in Hansen’s coping mechanism for negativity recognises the fact that a lot of criticism we face comes from within.

“When you catch yourself criticizing yourself, ask yourself whether you would talk to other people that way,” she says. “We tend to be much stricter with ourselves. So again, if you wouldn’t be talking to someone else (especially your children, for example) that way, then you deserve to be kinder to yourself as well.”

Try this three-prong approach the next time feelings of self-doubt start to creep in at work. 

It’s a practical tool that could be subtly effective in keeping the fallout from negativity at bay.

Photos: Getty, Rex Features and


Share this article


Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.