It’s no surprise the biggest cause of stress in the workplace is other people – people who are not like you, don’t do things the way you do, see things the same way – people you just don’t get.

So while I can’t fix stress from the traffic commute or a screaming kid on a plane, I can identify 4 stress-inducing behaviours at work and share what you can do about them. But before I offer my views, why not take a moment to see it from a different perspective?

1. Arrogance, rudeness (Oh, if only I had a dollar for every time I hear this!)

Perspective: You see arrogance. They see confidence.

This sort of behaviour needs to be slammed right back. They don’t see themselves as arrogant, they see you as weak or indecisive when you don’t say anything. Now, this may go against every fibre of your being but you need to go right back at them with a sharper, harder tone than you may normally use. Being direct is the communication they understand. Don’t beat around the bush.

2. People who won’t speak up

Perspective: You see weakness. They say why bother when you already have all the answers.

Is it possible you do all the talking and take command? That there really is no chance for them to speak up? Consider giving them more space and time to prepare for meetings, sending an agenda. Don’t just expect them to have a well thought out response each time. Just because you think you do.

3. Negativity

Perspective: You see negativity. They see themselves offering practical feedback.

Just because you’re Ms Happy Pants and think everything is possible doesn’t mean others share your cavalier attitude. They believe they are helping you see things another way before you waste their time. See it as an opportunity to consider maybe that big fat idea of yours won’t work without some adjustment.

4. People who talk all day

Perspective:  You see loud-mouthed time wasters. They see engaging and funny.

They think they are making your day by being user-friendly. They need people around them to get energy and life. You may not. Consider telling them (kindly but firmly – remember tone is everything!) that you need quiet time sometimes. Maybe ask for certain times of day, or even find another space for yourself when you’re doing the thinking work.

People who don’t act or think the way we want them to causes massive stress in the workplace but with some adjustments, it doesn’t have to.

It all comes down to respect – respect for our differences – that will ultimately make your life easier. With less stress and greater productivity. And that’s a good thing.

Learning more about the way you behave naturally and the way others behave differently allows you to use your secret superpower, empathy, to modify your own behaviour for less stress and better results.

Which Fruit are you? A fun, fast and unique way to understand more about yourself! 

Not sure how you’re being perceived by those around you? Undertake this short sampler quiz from The RIPE Personality Profiling System to identify your personality type? Are you an Apple, Mango, Lime or Banana? Find out what this means and why you connect with some people and not with others!