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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Savvy Singles > Tough Time at Office

Savvy Singles
by dating expert Tonja Evetts Weimer

Does Office Sound More Like Awful?

Is it getting harder and harder to get up and go to the office?  Does that attitude of dread permeate your whole week, or year, or life?  It’s hard to feel scintillating and attract a lover when you are a hater of your office (awful) life.

A common issue I often hear from clients is how their work environments have people with negative energy.  Because it is their job, they often feel they have to put up with it.  They feel there is nothing they can do about the inappropriate, or destructive, or grating behavior of others.  Though being in a toxic place can test your ability to stay positive, I disagree that there is nothing you can do.  You have at least three choices:

1. Remove yourself from the situation.  You don’t have to stay there.  Ask to get promoted or transferred, or strategize a plan to leave. 

2. Get a mentor or coach.  They can help you learn and implement people-management skills.  They can also help you develop your tactics to create boundaries and protect your energy.

3. Put your focus somewhere else.  You can do the following: plan and allow for a two-minute meditation break every hour; develop your creative visualization skills; explore other positive stimuli to offset some degree of unhealthy elements where you are.

If you are suffering in an office or work atmosphere where you feel depleted, here are some other ideas to think about:

Are you dealing with a bully?
Schoolyard bullies grow up and become office bullies.  You can deal with it now.  If you are having a bad situation with someone and are feeling mistreated, look for your part in creating the friction.  Until you are able to do that, you will not find a solution or be free of this sort of thing happening again.  Difficult people come into our lives and upset us until we learn to deal with them.  If you mind your boundaries, set limits, do not participate in gossip, and focus on doing a good job, these incidents will occur less often.

Do you understand your impact on others?
Some of the biggest problems people have at the office are created from their own lack of awareness.  Most people have little or no concept of how they impact others with their words, behavior, or attitudes.  Often, they are oblivious to their talents, their own attractiveness, or how they intimidated people.  They were shocked to learn that what they said carried power and affected others in immeasurable ways.  In their own insecurity, they delivered judgments or participated in conversations where their remarks stung their co-workers, once it traveled back to them.  And it always does.

Try the three A’s: agree, apologize, and act
Plan a meeting with the person you can’t get along with.  Tell them you notice that they seem unhappy with you.  If they complain, don’t explain.  Listen.  Agree with what they are saying, (“Yes, I can see why that would make you feel bad.”)  Apologize, (“I’m sorry for having done that,” or “I’m sorry that made you feel bad.”)  And then act: ask what you can do to make them feel better.

Don’t defend or deny
If you are accused of something you didn’t do, you don’t need to defend or deny it.  Instead, with a calm, concerned voice, ask, “What do you mean?”  Asking the person to explain herself will cause her to reveal the real issue, and you can address that instead of reacting to the attack.  Sometimes, asking them to write it out defuses the situation, as they put it in chronological order.

BUT is a bad word
Never use the word “but” when talking to an agitated person.  (“I understand you are unhappy, BUT…”)  The word “but” negates all the words said before, and inflames people when they hear it.

Your REAL job in life is to preserve and protect your energy, enthusiasm, and mental attitude.  Those are the elements of being and staying scintillating.  And that’s when you become attractive and fun to date. 

Office does not have to be synonymous with awful.  Office can be off-the-wall with success, camaraderie, and accomplishment. 

Tonja Evetts Weimer, M.A., is an award-winning author and Master Certified Single’s Coach and Personal Life Coach. Her Savvy Singles column appears every Friday in Online Dating Magazine. You can email Tonja at, visit her website a or, or call 864-294-9494.

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