5 Steps Nurses can take to handle Negative Attitudes at Work





There are days when you go to work and are in such a good mood, only to find that one or two of your coworkers are in a horrible mood.

They will be complaining or whining about something that the employer has not done, and how everyone is so bad, and life is just so unfair.

After listening to them for a while, do you notice how all this negativity starts to affect you?

Let’s look at five easy steps you can take to handle negative attitudes in the workplace.


Have boundaries

Do not let a detractor’s negative energy affect your positivity. When negative energy is being thrown in your direction, do not mirror it back. When you mirror another person’s bad behavior, you allow yourself to become a reflection of the negativity that was projected at you.

Imagine that you are surrounded by a positive fence. Decide in your mind that you will not be pulled down into their negative space.

Guard that positive space you have built around you.


Approach them with a positive attitude.

Start your day with a simple greeting.  Say “good morning” or even just “hello” to the people at work and do not mind whether they respond in kind or not.

Even if no one seems to respond to your greetings, set the precedent that you are in a good mood.


Smile and walk away

Before you even get to the work place, make sure to start your day with a smile.

Smile at yourself in the mirror before you leave the house and send yourself enough positive energy to share with the people at work.

Smiling has a lot of great benefits, one being that it naturally takes away stress.

If you hover too much around negative talk, you will start to feel very depressed.

If the negativity of your surroundings gets to be too much, learn to walk away.


Compliment your coworkers

People feel good when they receive positive attention. Find something nice to say about someone and pay them a compliment.

This is one way that you can make people know that you support them, and it may change their mood.

Be careful not to make the compliment sound forced or fake though.

A fake compliment can come off as insulting, and that’s not something you want to do.

 Move on

If your coworkers continue to be difficult despite your best efforts, don’t lose hope. You cannot change people unless they want to change.

If they are trying to put you down, make it clear that it does not work.

Stay happy and stay positive. While it is best to avoid conflict, make sure to put your foot down when the advances become offensive.

Focus instead on what you can accomplish and enjoy your work.

Don’t dwell on other people’s negativity.

Draw the line and move forward.


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How do you handle negative attitudes at work?



  1. Your suggestions all point to one theme, at least for me. We can’t control other people’s behaviors. The only ones we are responsible for are our own. I love how you suggest coming in, smiling and saying ‘good-morning’. At least you set the tone for how you want your day to be. And sometimes, that’s all we can do. Way to keep us on point and accountable for our own behaviors, Joyce. Really excellent article. Thank you for sharing.

    • Joyce says:

      Elizabeth, what you say is true. You can only control yourself and not others.
      And you can set the tone for your own day.
      Thanks for visiting.

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