Grumpy. Edgy. Angry. Or just plain ornery.
Sometimes you come across a person who just rubs you the wrong way. It happens to all of us in business (or education or healthcare or not-for-profit foundation work). That’s because those people are everywhere. Hopefully you aren’t one of them! =)
Recently, a few teammates at B2C Enterprises met with someone who came off as bristled before they could even mutter a “Hello” to that person. When they got back to the office they asked me what could make a person act that way.
Surprisingly, I actually had an answer.
Hurt people hurt people.
Sometimes they are protecting their newly-acquired territory or their lower-than-it-should-be esteem. Often, they are themselves the target of some disdain, drama, or workplace anxiety. No matter the cause of their consternation, they are undoubtedly hurtful when they react to your questions, needs, or even your very presence with vitriol.
So, what do you do? Whether you want to or not, you sometimes have to work with these people regardless of the circumstances. You may as well have a plan – some steps to help you down the treacherous path.
It’s tempting to try to brighten their day. Sometimes you can and, if you can, you should. Don’t be surprised if you can’t build a bridge with some of these people, though, and don’t feel defeated if you can’t.
After all, if there’s a bridge, then there’s a way for that negativity to come across to you.