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Conflict Insults Condescending Treatment

I have a co-worker who has a chronically negative attitude. She takes little digs at me and treats me like a fool. She's fond of "beating a dead horse" by dwelling continuously on the negative aspect of things. Her attitude bothers me, but so far I've managed to keep a lid on my temper. I'm afraid one day I'm going to let her have it. I nearly emailed my manager, the CEO, but I'm not sure if I should.

First and foremost, if you lose your temper, you are probably going to lose your job and more. So, put that option aside. If you are a person who is prone to outbursts, you should consider getting some professional guidance.

For the short term, when you sense this co-worker is pushing you toward the breaking point, take a break. Give her some distance and try to put her behavior into perspective. She apparently has a boatload of baggage, and you have to commit to yourself that you will not let her sink you.

Before you approach your manager, you should meet with this co-worker and see if the two of you can develop some strategies to work more effectively together. There are no guarantees, but with increased communication, there can be increased understanding and cooperation.

If you get nowhere with her, you should approach your manager, but not by email. This type of situation calls for a face-to-face meeting. Tell your manager that you need his or her advice, and then describe your co-worker's problematic behaviors. Your manager's actions will help you determine your next actions.

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