In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I would write about our Creepy Coworkers and how some of them can haunt us at work and in our dreams. They're creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky but if you know these creatures and their habits, you can work with them.
Vampires: They will suck the life (and happiness) out of you if you get too close. They can find the negative in anything. Their complaining brings everyone down and stirs up problems. The vampires gossip and cause negativity throughout the organization. To combat this, counter their negative arguments with positives and help them to take action against the negatives in the environment. The vampires won't stay around long---they don't like a "sunny" disposition.
Witches: They can disguise themselves as a "good witch" but they are only after something for themselves. They don't care who they hurt and they won't hesitate to cast a spell on you in order to get what they want. Don't think you will be indoctrinated into their coven; instead, you may be thrown into the cauldron. Avoid the witches by searching for the obvious warts: selfishness, unreliable, dishonest, takes credit for others' work, critical, and envious.
Demons: This coworker is just plain mean. They are insecure and feel better by putting everyone else down. Demons are "evil spirits" who delight in killing other's spirits by criticizing them. They will try to play off their behavior as a "Halloween prank". Treat this creep as you would any bully--keep your distance and don't let them see your fear.
Ghosts: They are hard to catch, hard to see and hard to understand. They are afraid of confrontation and will avoid it all costs. The ghosts are the passive ones in the organization-the ones who won't be honest with you or give you their ideas and opinions. Try to encourage the ghost to appear by giving them permission to disagree with you and asking them to find problems with your ideas. This is a coworker who won't haunt you if you help them not to be afraid.
Zombies: They have been in the organization for years. They know how to hide and survive while doing just enough to earn their keep. To work with them, accept that they will be around and likely won't change. Zombies are apathetic and mechanical. Do not team up with them, unless you are ready to fall under their spell and become another mindless zombie.
Linda Peterman is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in private practice in Tampa, Florida. She specializes in couples counseling, relationships, communication, domestic violence and other issues pertinent to mental health and happiness. To learn more, go to her website at: http://www.counselingtampa.com/contactus.html
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