I’d rather walk on broken glass with bare feet than work with him. You couldn’t get me to say more than two words to him. He’s impossible.
A short blog won’t cure pain. An invitation to a paradigm shift, however, might advance a more productive approach.
If I think the loser or bad guy on the team is the cause of all the crud in my day (he’s a real “low road” specialist), and I’m not careful when I’m in his presence, my behavior is likely to – you guessed it – mirror his.
I rationalize, “Why would I give him my best effort if he’s not giving me his?”
This is when toxicity accelerates: My behavior then only confirms for him what he’s been thinking: I’m the one who’s pathetic – not him. This evidence allows him to justify his poor behavior towards me.
This, in turn, validates my belief system about him. And the cycle of co-career crudiness continues.
Of course, there may be only one person in this scenario who’s even aware we’re on the ”low road.” (Which begs a lesson in logic: Why am I attempting to teach him a lesson by modeling what I don’t want him to do to me?)
Suffering a poor relationship with a colleague is a choice. Accountability isn’t easy, but it’s an important step in taking the responsibility we know we must model.
What’s your next move?