Let’s face it – there are some people who love to have a good old moan. And the last thing they need – or want – is someone trying to stop them raining on their own parade.
Say you have a colleague who is really upset about an argument with another colleague, their spouse, or their mortgage falling through.
You have listened, empathised given your pearly words of wisdom, but they still insist on being miserable. Then you say the famous “cheer up” or “don’t worry” and out from nowhere you get your head bitten off…some people are so ungrateful!
According to a Canadian study on providing social support for individuals with low self esteem, “well-meaning support that do not match the recipients’ particular preferences may be detrimental to both members of the dyad.” In other words, you hold avoid at all costs telling someone who is really upset about something to cheer up – if they wanted to cheer up, you wouldn’t be consoling them!
How can you deal with it?
You can listen – leaned your ear, show some empathy by saying why you understand they feel that way (if you genuinely do).
Offer advice when asked – sometimes, people just want to vent, they aren’t looking for a solution…honestly! If you start trying to solve the problem, you might end up becoming a problem for them yourself!
Be careful what advice you give – it’s interesting how quickly tables can turn when you give advice to colleagues. So, be careful the advice you give. Try to stay neutral and positive at all costs.
Know when to step away – if you feel like you ca’t handle the complaints and upset anymore, don’t get involved. If it’s the office hypochondriac who is always blows everything out of proportion, know when to step away.