Question: Dear Luise: The people in my office drive me nuts. They are disruptive and disrespectful. They make inane comments and ask stupid questions. I try to mind my own business but they won’t leave me alone and they don’t do enough work to bother coming in. I can’t afford to quit and I find working here getting more difficult every day. Any suggestions? Les
Answer: Dear Les: This isn’t the kind of thing I can help with to any serious degree. You sound very angry and you also sound like you aren’t acting in a way that is supportive to the peace you say you want. I don’t know what you are doing, but I get the sense that you are bringing some of this on yourself, and that your contempt for your co-workers is no secret to them.
Some of this may be the result of very poorly supervised working conditions, and some of it may be an attitude that you need to address. To sort it out, you need a third party that is in your corner. Go to a therapist about this. See what you may be doing to antagonize the others and what you can do about it. If my gut-instincts are right, you have some work to do to modify and redefine your social skills.
When one person stands alone and a group stands against him, there are usually some serious dynamics at play. When it looks like it is totally their fault and you are just fine, beware. It’s never that simple. You have every right to have a pleasant working environment but until you address the underlying cause of this situation, you will probably take the problem with you wherever you go. Blessings, Luise