The workplace can be a competitive and stressful environment. We are all human, and can sometimes let our passion and over responsibility overcome us.

There seems to be a new type of employee in the workplace. They are the boisterously flagrant narcissists, who come to think the earth revolves around them. Unthoughtful and energy depleting, the coworker seems to have a poor sense of self and places blame on others for their emotional instability.

Nicknamed the term emotional vampires, these characters rape and pillage to get what they want and lead others to believe that they are passionate when in fact they are self destructive. This sets an unhealthy tone for the remainder of the company.

It is hard not to play into these emotionally triggering responses. We understand you may be dealing with someone in denial of their own reality, so we wanted to share 11 ways to respond versus react emotionally unstable characters at work.

Here we go!

1. Do not react to high emotional belligerence. Saying things like, oh, okay, understood, and other neutralizing statements can help deflect the situation to get you out of it.

2. Remain calm and understand they have a different daily reality than yourself.  You never know what issues are going on outside of work, not is it any of your business.

3. Don’t argue with them.  Arguing their points will just give them power of you. Keep calm, and follow up later when you are neutralized.

4. Do not defend any bad behaviors, whether they be yours, there’s or Joe’s. We have the tendency to sugar coat things when it is bad, but blowing off conflicts entirely is not a solution either. Talk with mentors to understand a safe, and healthy way to respond with cara terms and grace. Setting boundaries will only help others respect t you more.

5. There is no need to justify the perpetrator. We all need help. Sometimes perpetrators need to fall to understand their side of the street. Try not to fall into a codependent situation of trying to play their higher power. Give them the dignity of their program.

6. Do not overthink it. Don’t take it personally. Mental illness and stress can be linked through environment and genetics, something that you cannot control for anyone but yourself.

7. Understand that all have the right to free will and expression. Although unproductive for others, all have the right to their personal experiences. If it is getting in the way of your daily productivity, set boundaries and time slots to connect so the time limit gives them the respect of their experience while keeping it professional.

8. Know that there may be extenuating circumstances going on in their lives that you know nothing about. Life is hard and complicated. We have no idea what is going on behind the scenes and frankly, it is none of our business.

9. Let them have the dignity of their feelings. Feeling others anguish will make you sick. Separate your emotions others by realizing they are only hurting humans that are dignified in their thoughts and experiences.

10. Pause and reflect before answering. If you are not sure of the immediate answer, saying I will get back to you on that is completely fine. Saying I don’t know when you don’t is honesty too. Let me think about it is also appropriate. Give yourself time to respond with grace.

11. Ask yourself, is it important?

Before engaging with others at work, it is important to ask yourself if you are being kind, thoughtful, and honest. If not, it is best to take time and respond. Respecting yourself and respecting others in a work environment is the ultimate goal to safety and productivity.

When pointing the finger at someone else, it is important to redirect it back to you. This audits our own character defects and brings us a deeper sense of awareness that we may not have had before. Remember that the goals we should strive for include living a happier, healthier life.

When other leaders are truly inclusive they will seek to work well with others.

How do you deal with challenging characters at work?

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