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What to do when you're frustrated with a coworker

What to do when you're frustrated with a coworker (1) (1)

I have yet to work in an office that didn’t have some drama, people angry at others, policies that don’t work for everyone, incompatible employees.

I used to dream of working at a place where none of these tensions existed. Then I discovered that a workplace like that doesn’t exist. If you work--even if you work from home or your current title is stay-at-home-ninja (props to all those full-time moms out there)--you’re going to experience problems, most likely with other people.

When that happens, it’s tempting to throw your hands in the air, conduct online searches for new jobs, or simply go to work each day with frustration hanging on your shoulders. I’ve done all of those, and spent way too many hours wondering why problems happen in the first place. I mean, we’re all adults, right? Can’t we put our differences aside, drink some strong coffee, and get our jobs done in peace? The answer is No, because even adults are imperfect. Anytime you take two or more imperfect people and put them together to work, there’s going to be disagreements, bad days, and drama.

What to do when you're frustrated with a coworker

However, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do about it. Last year I found a solution to the dilemma. I was talking with a couple of coworkers about their frustration with a newly-hired employee who was stirring things up, changing things around, and making a lot of people uneasy. My coworkers wondered how someone like that, who obviously didn’t go with the flow of the office, would get hired in the first place. What force would compel our boss to hire someone so different?

And that’s when it hit me: God chose the new guy.

Above my desk there’s a verse I scribbled down a few years ago that means a lot to me, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place… And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). This verse marks the pivotal moment in Esther’s story where she’s forced to see God’s hand in her life, and it’s that realization that carries her through, giving her enough courage to make things right. That moment in her story resonates with me. It reminds me that wherever I am, I'm serving God’s purpose.

God put me right here for such a time as this. He called me. And he’d called the new hire as well.

I shared my revelation with my coworkers and it was as if the frustration just melted away. Rather than pointing a finger or pushing against the new guy, we began asking God to reveal a purpose for all the change and challenges. We even started praying for our new coworker and asking for his opinion more. Realizing that God was at work in him, as much as God is at work in me, opened my heart in a new way. The drama that I’d felt before turned into excitement because I couldn’t wait to see what God would reveal.

From then on whenever get frustrated I remind myself of that realization and my attitude shifts. I enter the room with a heart eager to learn and discover. If you’re having an issue with someone you work with, I would encourage you to do the same. Remind yourself that God put both of you in that place for such a time as this, ask God to open your eyes to the reason, pray that the person is able to fulfill whatever duty God is calling them to, and be willing to step in and help them fulfill it. I promise it will make a huge difference for you just like it has for me.

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