Are moody co-workers driving you crazy?

LogoDear Ms. Corporate Manners,
Have you ever heard of the term “gaslighting”? Well, I work at a very small company with a staff of three people. One particular person is extremely immature, even though she is kind of old, and will sulk and give us the silent treatment for weeks if she feels that someone has stepped on her toes (which is apparently all the time). It makes it so uncomfortable for the rest of us, and we take a huge sigh of relief when she leaves the office. What can we do to change this unpleasant stressful working environment without making things worse? 

Thanks,
Walking On Eggshells

Dear Eggshells,
I don’t know if you have been “gaslighted,” which comes from the 1944 film Gaslight where a husband tries to trick his wife into thinking she’s crazy and needs to be institutionalized. It may not be intentional, but your coworker seems to be driving you crazy. Unconsciously, you could be transferring her bad mood to yourself. If you set an intentional goal to have a more positive mood, your coworker won’t have so much power over your workplace experience. Try it, and write back with your results.
Sincerely,
Ms. Corporate Manners

© Penny Aviotti and Ms.Corporate Manners 2003 – 2013.

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