I had a chat with our department manager the other day about the colleague I’m struggling with – colleague X. In her typical blunt manner she told me to ‘Get over it.’ At first I was shocked; this coming from a senior member of staff felt like my concerns were being dismissed without consideration. But when she talked a little more I started to understand what she was trying to tell me.
‘Who is this affecting; you or her? She isn’t upset about this but you are.’
That shift in perspective was a revelation to me. I’d not even considered that my upset over the situation was affecting me more than it is her. This is why the manager chose to tell me to get over it. The only person being hurt in the fray is me! It’s definitely more complex than that but when all is boiled down that’s the long and short of it.
It’s not to say I’m accepting colleague X’s manner towards me; it simply means that after the event I’m letting it go. I’ll continue to stand up for myself, but instead of letting a disagreement eat me up for the rest of the day I will simply ‘get over it’.
Another piece of advice that the manager gave me was to take a different approach to the colleague. Lately I’ve been getting very defensive over my position here in the office; I’m still new enough that I’m learning every day and I think my co-workers sometimes forget that. So when colleague X tells me I’ve done something wrong, I’ve been feeling like I’m on the back foot and get very anxious. With an attitude shift I can see that whilst I don’t have to accept her manner of speaking to me, I also don’t have to take it to heart. As the manager said; I need to approach the situation with an open mind and open arms.
Is any of this making sense? It’s all still fairly muddled in my mind; I am going to give the new way of dealing a good go and see how it works out.