Nearly all of us know how difficult people can affect us. Difficult bosses and colleagues can make our lives feel like living hell. Unreasonable demands, total lack of appreciation, emotional drama, arguments, disagreements…and the list can go on. This can trigger us and completely drain us our energy. Yet we have to wear a mask of cordial politeness, pretend everything is fine and just learn to ‘get along’. How exhausting is that!

One of the reasons why people seem difficult is when they engage in excessive emotional drama. The simple definition of emotional drama is when people tend to express their emotions in an exaggerated, demanding, reactive, and toxic way. There is absolutely no consideration towards other needs or feelings. We often see signs of emotional drama, not just in our personal lives, but at our workplace too.

If you are tired of the emotional drama and the way it affects your productivity, here are a few quick and effective strategies for handling emotional drama at your workplace.

1. Learn to spot drama

We may come across bosses/colleagues who are self-absorbed who believe that everything always revolves around their needs. They may be defensive and never accept constructive criticism. No matter how you deliver it, they will always be right. They could also be complainers and have a problem with everything! Or they could be blamers who never take responsibility for mistakes and shift the blame onto others. Learn to spot these people. Just the awareness of these challenging traits can give you a sense of relief!

2. Don’t take it personally

Once you have an idea of what type of person you are dealing with, know that your boss/colleague has been this type of a person, long before you accepted the job, and will continue to be even after you’ve moved on. He/she isn’t going to change, no matter what you do. Your job is NOT to change/fix/correct or reform him/her. That's a sheer waste of energy. Instead, focus on how you can survive this with your mental balance intact.

3. Don’t feed it

Emotions at work get escalated because of your reaction to other people’s actions. The more you engage in the emotional drama of others, the more it sucks you of your mental balance and energy. Don’t feed it. Don’t participate in the drama. Just stay out of it, and focus on doing your job in the best way possible.

4. Let go

Let go of things you cannot change about people or situations. Don’t let them rob you of joy. Find happiness in small things. Focus on what you can control, rather than what you can’t. Dwelling on situations and people cannot change them and will not improve any situation. Instead, focus on the things at work that you DO enjoy, things that motivate you to come to work every day.

5. Choose

Surround yourself with healthy drama-free people at your workplace. While there are some relationships which exist by default (bosses, team-mates), we can choose to attract people who are positive, have good energy and don’t promote emotional drama. Interaction with them will give you something to look forward to, increase positivity, and move your focus away from toxic people.

Dealing with difficult people is a skill that we all need to develop in order to thrive in our personal and professional life. We are 100% responsible for our own happiness, so choose to make your workplace a healthy, happy environment. It’s time to get your power back!