Everybody has experienced it at some point in their lives – the coworker you can’t stand, the boss who treats you unfairly, or just the overwhelming feeling of working in an environment where you are unhappy or don’t fit in. The truth is, no workplace is ever going to be ideal for everyone. But you deserve to go to work and not feel miserable without having to find another job, and there are real, psychological habits that you can get into which will vastly improve your success and happiness.

If you’ve ever looked into seminars or online psychology programs, you’ve probably heard these tips before. Whether you’re starting at a new office or you just want to improve the situation at your current one, the trick is to change your way of thinking.


1. Ask Yourself What You Can Do Differently

No, not every conflict or setback you experience at work will be your fault. But you start with what you have power to change, and that’s you, right? Learn to embrace self-awareness and understand the impression you give to people – whether it’s coworkers, bosses, or clients. Positivity is important in the workplace, and you can find that by improving your attitude you also give out more positive signals to others. Did you know 71 percent of employers value emotional intelligence more than IQ? Your boss will value you for the ability to be positive even under pressure and to resolves conflicts with diplomacy and empathy.


2. Learn to Understand Your Coworkers

Most of us have experienced passive aggressive behavior at one time or another, but can you understand the motivation behind it? Knowing that a coworker is feeling underappreciated, overworked, or slighted in any way can help you understand when they’re lashing out and it’s not necessarily at you. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings – know what motivates people to work, what your coworkers care about, and what you have in common. The chances are that not everyone is going to get along, but there’s a difference between a personality conflict and a truly toxic presence in the workplace. Speak out if you’re being bullied or harassed – studies have shown that hostile coworkers can actually directly affect your health.


3. Get Along Well With Your Boss

The best relationship you can have with your boss is one where they can trust you. Be timely, do what you say you’ll do, communicate, and be honest when you make a mistake. You can also learn to read the behavioral clues of your boss, know when is a good time to present them with ideas and questions, and be aware of what’s going on in their day as well and what stresses they are under. Respect their work style. Always show your boss that you value their time and feedback through your actions and nonverbal communication. And never get overly dramatic when you disagree. If your boss is constantly difficult and unpleasant, give them no ammo to use against you by being consistent and professional.


4. Keep Your Emotions in Check

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the leading cause of death on the job is car accidents. The second leading cause? Homicide. It’s a scary thing to think about, but you have to remember that the people you see at the office every day have their own histories, issues, and mental states, and you might not always know who you are dealing with. No matter what happens at work, don’t get angry. Don’t perpetuate conflict or get in the middle of conflicts that are not your own, and as hard as it may be, try not to take things personally. If you can train yourself to remain professional, you will be able to handle any situation with calmness and authority. And if you suspect anything is seriously wrong with one or more of your coworkers, always report it to your superiors.


The power of positive thinking can elude many of us when we’re faced with the stresses of everyday life, but all it takes is a lot of practice. Think about what your own intentions are. Do you want a raise? A promotion? Do you want your boss to listen to your great ideas? Then think about why you want these things and what the best way to get them would be. Imagine every workday as a time to work towards something bigger, and you will feel inspired to succeed. No matter what – or who – the office can put in your way.


What tips would you share to add to this list?



About the guest post author:

Amy Nielson is an avid blogger who writes often for education sites. You can follow her on Twitter @NielsonAmy.