Do you dread going to work because you have a co-worker or a boss that makes you miserable?

If it’s your co-worker, you may be able to ignore them, if it’s your boss there is no way getting around it. Either way, it’s time for you to take action and improve the situation.

The first step is to identify the issue. Are they just annoying because they gossip or talk endlessly about issues that don’t affect work, or is it more serious and they are actively attempting to sabotage your success? Defining their level of toxicity is vital in determining the actions to take. If it’s your boss, it’s a little more challenging because confronting them could put your position in jeopardy; it’s essential at this stage to try not to make them feel defensive as you plan your strategy.

The second step is to determine what action will be necessary. This is a great time for you to pause and take a half-step back to get a clear perspective on the situation. More than likely, whatever action you choose is going to make you uncomfortable so it’s important to be clear on the intentions behind your action. Ignoring the situation will likely make it worse, and taking the wrong action could be detrimental too. This is where your stress level can skyrocket because you feel stuck between a rock and hard place. This is also where it is imperative to pause before you take the next step. Taking time to make sure your next move is in alignment with your values will actually lower your stress. Sometimes “no action” is the best action until a better action is revealed. The key is to give yourself credit for being proactive even when it feels like you aren’t doing anything.

If your situation involves a co-worker, you will handle it differently than if it’s your boss. It’s usually easier to challenge a co-worker and let them know that you will not tolerate their behavior and have a plan to do something about it. If your situation is with your boss, this is a good time to determine if you’re willing to lose your job by taking an action. Sometimes the stress is bad enough that unemployment is a healthier choice. Before you take an irreversible step, get some career advice. If you can, get this advice from someone you trust that knows both you and your boss.

The most important step is maintaining your character. Ensure that you are not feeding the gossip mill by outwardly complaining about the situation when you’re at work. This is a great time to find support outside of the office. Find someone who can let you vent without judging or attempting to “fix” the situation for you. Find ways to relax and take your mind off the situation when you’re not actively pursuing a resolution.

This short guided meditation is designed to help you create an internal space where you are relaxed enough to think clearly about your next steps.