8 Ways to Cope in a Hostile Work Place!

  • Do you get stressed out at the thought of going to work every morning?

  • Does the thought of spending eight or more hours at work each day get you all wound up and sweaty?

  • Do you constantly find yourself wishing that Monday mornings were Friday evenings?

  • Does the mere thought of interacting with your boss or co-workers leave you feeling emotionally drained?

If these feelings have nothing to do with your ineffectiveness at work, then you are probably in a hostile work place.

 What makes a work place hostile varies largely, but it’s commonly attributed to having a bad boss (this could be an understatement), co-workers who drive you up the wall, and an ineffective Human Resource Department, among other things.

Here are 8 survival tips to help you cope in a hostile work place until the tide turns in your favor:

1. Work on yourself.

As irritating as the situation may be, learn to contain yourself. Develop an internal coping mechanism like counting to ten before you respond to an annoying or insensitive comment.

Draw strength from a higher power. Pray, meditate and do whatever it takes to get yourself together, calm and composed.

2. Keep reminding yourself why you are at the job. 

Why are you working in that company? Are you there for the money, experience or for personal fulfillment? What are you hoping to achieve? Whatever the reason, let the objective you want to achieve give you the strength to survive each day.

3. Don’t mix business with pleasure. 

If you can help it, draw the line between your private life and your life at work. Sometimes unnecessary socialization at work provides the ammunition that makes your work environment even more unbearable.

A little gossip at the copy machine with a co-worker can be the beginning of a nightmare.

4. Be courteous and professional. 

Conducting yourself in a professional manner seals the lips of those who want to capitalize on your unprofessional behavior to make your life a misery. Before you respond to annoying e-mails, or speak to your boss or co-worker about frustrating issues, calm down, take a deep breath and avoid the temptation to escalate the matter.

5. Learn what not to do.

Since life is always about making progress and getting better, consider your work environment as the best teaching arena to learn something about yourself, learn what not to do, learn what not to say and also who not to trust in future.

If you are planning to start your own business or be in management, consider this a good place to learn about how not to treat employees or how to be a good boss!

6. Look within yourself and be creative.

It's amazing how a hostile work place can bring out the best in you. What you are experiencing may force you to look deep within yourself to explore your life from a new perspective. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you learn about yourself and this may prompt you to expand your range in terms of what you want to do in life.

When you have reached the end of your rope, start focusing on what matters most and expect better things for yourself.

7. Stand up for yourself. 

Do not keep silent about the hostility. Speak up for yourself, defend your actions when necessary, talk to someone who might listen to you, record your complaints with Human Resources and do whatever is necessary to set the record straight. Even if the results of your action are not what you expect, it really feels good to know that you are standing up for yourself and letting your voice be heard.

8. Jump ship!

Stay on the look out for better opportunities elsewhere, so that when your job situation gets so bad and unbearable, and after you have exhausted all options, you can get the courage to be good to yourself and jump ship!



Caroline Jalango is a life strategist and motivational coach for women who want to do better for themselves. She is the author of "Settle for Less No More” and "You Deserve to Feel Good" motivational books for women who want to succeed. For more topics like this, visit to gain the momentum to do better for yourself and get the results you want! Go to to download and receive a free ebook to help you do better for yourself.