To deal with an overly sensitive coworker, there are a few things you can do to try to make the situation more bearable. Let’s share some insights.
What will I learn?
An overly sensitive coworker can be a real pain to deal with. They are constantly getting hurt, and they tend to take things too personally.
12 Easy Ways To Deal With Overly Sensitive Coworker
Such behavior can make it challenging to work with them and lead to conflict. Thus, it is essential to deal with an overly sensitive coworker.
There are a few things you can do to try to deal with them:
1. Avoid Being The One Who Is Always Initiating Conversations:
If you always start conversations with such coworkers, you exacerbate the situation.
Instead, try to let them initiate conversations. If they don’t, just let it be and don’t force it.
They will think that you are interested in them and might get the wrong idea.
If not, they will appreciate that you’re not trying to make them feel uncomfortable.
Also, if you start a conversation, you never know what might hurt them. Thus, it is safer to remain quiet.
2. Put Yourself In Their Shoes:
Try to understand where they are coming from.
It is probably not easy for them to open up and share their feelings. So, try to be more understanding and patient with them.
When you show them that you understand them, they will feel more comfortable around you.
Thus, rather than overreacting, try to see things from their perspective.
Then they will, rather than overreact, try to understand things. It will reduce their sensitivity to some extent.
3. Find A Way To Bond With Them:
One way to make them feel more comfortable around you is to find a way to bond with them.
This could be anything. You can talk about your shared interests. Or have a cup of coffee together.
Or, you could participate in activities together outside of work.
When they see you’re making an effort to connect with them, they will be comfortable with you.
4. Avoid Jokes:
Such people often take jokes the wrong way. They will take it seriously and might even get offended.
Thus, it is best to avoid making jokes around them. Jokes can be any, but there are many other things to talk about.
Sensitive people often feel left out because they can’t participate in such banter.
Also, they might not be comfortable with the humor and feel out of place.
5. Respect Their Personal Space:
Another thing to keep in mind is to respect their personal space.
Don’t invade their personal space, and don’t touch them without their permission.
Also, avoid staring at them as it makes them feel uncomfortable.
When you respect their personal space, they feel more comfortable and safe around you.
Moreover, they will also respect your personal space.
6. Don’t Take Their Reactions Personally:
When they overreact or get offended, don’t take it personally. It is not about you, and it has nothing to do with you.
They are just sensitive, and they can’t help it. So, don’t let their reactions affect you or your work.
There are ways to cope with such people. The key is to be patient and understand them.
With a little effort, you can make the situation more bearable.
7. Be Assertive:
When dealing with such people, it is essential to be assertive. Don’t let them take advantage of you.
If they are constantly crossing the line, be assertive. Let them know that their behavior is not acceptable.
Be firm but polite when you talk to them. They need to know that their behavior is not tolerable.
You can say something like:
“I understand that you are sensitive, but that doesn’t give you the right to cross the line.”
“I don’t think it is fair to me when you do/say _____.”
“Well, I would appreciate it if you could _____.”
“Please stop doing/saying _____, making me uncomfortable.”
8. Avoid Confrontation:
However, if their reaction is minor or not that huge, you can ignore it. It is best to avoid confrontation. It will only make the situation worse.
They might feel attacked, and it will only make them more defensive.
Thus, it is essential to keep the peace and avoid any confrontation.
You may be tempted to say something when they cross the line, but it is best to remain calm.
Keep in mind that it is not worth getting into a fight with them.
9. Don’t Criticize Them:
You should also avoid criticizing them. They are already susceptible, and they will take your criticism to heart.
It will only make them feel more insecure, and they might even lash out at you.
Thus, it is essential to avoid any criticism. Instead, try to encourage them.
If they do something good, praise them for it. It will make them feel more confident. That leads to the next point.
10. Give Them Compliments:
Giving compliments is a great way to make them feel good about themselves.
When you compliment them, they feel appreciated and valued. It will boost their confidence and self-esteem.
Moreover, it will also make them feel more comfortable around you.
So, the next time you see them doing something good, don’t hesitate to compliment them.
It will go a long way in making them feel good about themselves.
11. Show Them Empathy:
Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand how they feel.
When you show empathy, they feel understood and valued. It will make them feel more comfortable around you.
Moreover, it will also help build a better rapport with them.
So, the next time they overreact, try to show empathy. It will help in diffusing the situation.
Overly sensitive people can be a handful to deal with. But, if you understand them and are patient, you can be friends with them.
12. Be Patient:
Last but not least, you need to be patient when dealing with such people.
They are sensitive, and it takes time for them to open up. So, don’t expect them to change overnight.
Give them time and space to adjust. Moreover, don’t try to force your opinions on them.
Instead, try to understand their point of view and respect their opinion.
If you are patient, they will slowly start to trust you and open up to you.
These are some things you can do to deal with an overly sensitive coworker.
Here you know how to deal with an overly sensitive coworker, so use these tips and make your work life easier.
Why Is It Important To Effectively Deal With Overly Sensitive People?
First and foremost, it is essential to deal with such people because they are human beings.
They have feelings and emotions just like everyone else. So, it is essential to be understanding and patient with them.
Moreover, it is also essential to deal with them because they are a part of your workplace.
Here’s how they can affect the workplace:
1. Tense/ Uncomfortable Workplace:
If you have an overly sensitive coworker, they can make the workplace tense.
This is because they are always on the lookout for any offense.
And if they feel offended, they will not hesitate to lash out at you. This can lead to a lot of arguments and fights.
2. Unproductive Workplace:
Another reason to deal with them is that they can make the workplace unproductive.
This is because they are always busy complaining about something or the other.
And if they are not complaining, they are busy sulking. This can lead to a lot of work getting delayed.
3. Distracting Workplace:
They can make the workplace very distracting by always making a scene.
And if they are not making a scene, they make sure that everyone knows that they are not happy.
This can lead to a lot of gossip and rumors.
4. Fragile Workplace:
Overly sensitive coworkers are always on the verge of a breakdown. Thus, they can make the workplace very fragile.
They are always ready to take offense. And if something does offend them, they can cause a lot of drama.
They will even not hesitate to sue the company.
5. Unhappy Workplace:
Last but not least, they can make the workplace very unhappy. They are always sad, and they make sure that everyone is unhappy.
This is because they are always complaining about something or the other.
And if they are not complaining, they are busy sulking. This can lead to a lot of negativity in the workplace.
So, these are some reasons why it is essential to deal with overly sensitive people. Thus, do not completely ignore them.
Instead, try to understand them and be patient with them. Only then will you be able to make the workplace a better place for everyone.
Does Human Resources Have Any Role To Play When Dealing With Overly Sensitive Employees?
Human resources have a role to play when dealing with overly sensitive employees.
Human resources are responsible for managing and dealing with workplace issues.
And if there is an issue with an employee being too sensitive, human resources should deal with.
There are a few things that human resources can do:
1. They can talk to the employee and try to understand why they are so sensitive.
2. They can provide the employee with resources to deal with their sensitivity.
3. They can create a policy that will help deal with such employees better.
4. They can talk to the other employees and try to understand their point of view.
5. They can take disciplinary action against the employee. Suppose they feel that the employee is creating a problem for others.
6. They can also talk to the management and try to find a solution that will be beneficial for everyone.
So, these are some of the things that human resources can do to deal with overly sensitive employees.
You can go to HR if you feel like your coworker is being problematic for you.
And if you are an HR professional, these are some of the things that you can do to deal with such an issue.
Overly sensitive coworkers can be a problem in the workplace. They can make the workplace very tense and uncomfortable.
They can also make the workplace very unproductive and Fragile.
Thus, you can deal with them by trying to understand them and be patient with them. Do not completely ignore them.
Try to provide them with resources to help them deal with their sensitivity.
Let them know that you are there for them. And if nothing works, you can always go to HR for help.
Last Updated on 11 months by Shahzaib Arshad
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