Working with my coworker was like being in a never-ending soap opera. Every day brought a new crisis, a new drama, and a new round of gossip. At first, I tried to keep my distance, but it seemed like everywhere I turned, she was there, ready to suck me into her latest crisis.
Here are just a few of the situations I found myself in with my drama queen coworker:
- The stolen lunch: One day, my coworker came running into the break room, her face red and tears streaming down her cheeks. Someone had stolen her lunch from the fridge, and she was convinced that it was a deliberate attack on her. She spent the rest of the day loudly bemoaning her fate and blaming everyone in the office.
- The office romance: My coworker had a crush on one of our colleagues, and she made sure that everyone knew it. She would spend hours talking about him, analyzing his every move, and speculating about whether he liked her back. When he started dating someone else, my coworker was devastated, and spent weeks moping around the office.
- The promotion snub: When our boss announced a promotion in our department, my coworker was sure that she was a shoo-in. When she didn’t get the job, she was outraged and immediately started spreading rumors that the person who got the promotion had cheated their way to the top.
Dealing with my drama queen coworker was exhausting, and I wasn’t sure what to do. Should I confront her and tell her to stop the drama? Should I just ignore her and hope she would go away? Or should I try to be a sympathetic ear and listen to her problems?
In the end, I decided to take a middle path. I would listen to her, but I wouldn’t get too involved in her dramas. I would be polite, but not encourage her behavior. And I would set boundaries, making it clear that I wasn’t interested in participating in gossip or drama.
It wasn’t easy, but it worked. Over time, my coworker began to realize that I wasn’t interested in her drama, and she stopped coming to me with her latest crises. I was able to focus on my work, and the office became a much more pleasant place to be.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, my advice is to be firm, but polite. Don’t get sucked into the drama, but don’t be rude or dismissive either. Set boundaries, and be consistent in your behavior. And most importantly, remember that you have the right to work in a drama-free environment.