Coworkers are a big part of life. We spend a lot of time with them. And like any relationship, things can be difficult once in awhile. We can let them down. We can do something that annoys them. And they can do the same things to us.
Once in awhile you’ll find a situation where the relationship can’t be repaired after something or some things have occurred. Figuring out how to not work with that person is probably best.
But often things can be repaired. And it’s usually in the best interest of you, the other person and the rest of your team that are working towards certain goals.
If you’re struggling with a coworker situation, here are a few thoughts on forgiveness that can help.
1. Forgive, but maybe don’t forget
One of the trickiest things with forgiveness is trying to get genuine understanding from the other person. In your mind they have wronged you. Perhaps they have really hurt you. And in the case of work, maybe they have really made you look bad.
But it’s up in the air as to whether they see it that way. Maybe they see that you should share some blame or all the blame. Maybe they just don’t see that they did anything wrong. It could be for a number of reasons. But the key thing is that how they feel and respond is out of your control. And that’s not easy.
You’ve probably heard it before, but forgiveness is really about you letting go of your negative feelings toward the situation and the person. Just move forward. I’m not saying it’s easy. But for the sake of your well being it is likely necessary.
You don’t need to necessarily forget what the person did. But move forward with that knowledge to hopefully do the best you can to avoid more pain in the future. And focus on the positives about your work.
2. Ask about their perspective
It can be enticing to try and talk to the person about the situation. To try and coax some understanding out of them. That can work sometimes. But it can also lead to more disappointment. It could even lead to an argument where you both get worked up about the situation that’s already caused bad feelings.
Instead, you could approach the person with an open mind about their situation. You’re not necessarily trying to rehash an incident. Go into it with curiosity about them and their lives. Ask them questions. Just try to get to know them beyond the one or two things that occurred in work.
The goal is to try to learn more about their perspective on life. Maybe there is something going on that caused them to forget something or perform poorly. Or maybe they are just the type of person that doesn’t see how they affect others.
Whatever the case, more knowledge about them can make it easier for you to understand that they weren’t necessarily trying to harm you.
3. Ask about your history and perspectives
Also consider looking into your own history to learn more about yourself. Maybe there is a history of people letting you down over your life. That’s not your fault, but it could lead to you really noticing the little things people do that really affect you.
Generally, the more you know about yourself the better you’re able to deal with life’s situations and challenges.
Forgiveness is important. It’s important for you. Hanging on to a feeling, especially anger or frustration, is going to affect what you’re doing right now and in the future. It can hinder your work. It can make you not enjoy going to work and it can lead to a lack of fulfillment. Try to move past the situation so you can focus. It may not be easy. You don’t necessarily need to forget it. But it gives you a chance to get back to work.