Everyone has annoying coworkers to deal with, but how you deal with them and adapt will define whether you have a good day at work or a bad one. A new study says that if you can, the best way to deal with your coworkers’ nonsense is to just ignore it — and take pleasure in ignoring it.
Photo by Chris Hunkeler.
The Science Of Us explains in detail, but here’s the bottom line from the study (albeit small and self-reported in nature):
In a new study in the journal Health Care Management Review written up by Stat’s Casey Ross, 596 Canadian nurses completed two mail surveys over the course of a year. It revealed, in Ross’s estimation, a “self-fulfilling prophecy”: The nurses who thought they could ignore “workplace incivility” (read: their co-workers’ bullshit) were less bothered by it and reported lower rates of burnout. If you think that your colleagues’ rudeness won’t get under your skin, it’s less likely to.
This is a survey-based, self-reported study, so it would be great to see an experimental follow-up to get better understanding of how these dynamics work. At the same time, there’s reason to believe that nurses are an especially good population for understanding the interpersonal dynamics of burnout, since their work is so social and medical culture is still so unfortunately harsh.
This is easier said than done, to be sure. You can’t just believe that your annoying coworker won’t annoy you to make their behaviour stop or go away, but the more you’re able to convince yourself that they won’t get to you, no matter what they do, the more you’ll believe it over time. It’s a growing process, but on the bright side, there are signs that it gets better with time.
A Good Way to Avoid Burnout [The Science of Us]