You’ve seen that person stomping around you, and you try not to get their attention. Everyone’s walking on egg shells around this person, and talking behind their back. But few people make the effort to look past the shouting epitaphs to find out the truth behind the emotive bombs. And there’s always more than meets the eye. Problems go deeper than the surface unpleasantness.
Yes, it’s not professional to take the attitude to work, but we’re all human and have done that too many times to count. It’s not like you can shut life off until you manage to get your coping skills back under control. Things or people will piss you off in life everyday. Even the most civil person will have moments of Hulkiness. It’s why we all relate to the story about Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. It’s all part of who we are – even the perkiest cheerleader can have claws.
It’s strange that some companies have HR departments who do little to find out why someone is acting out towards the people surrounding them. First of all, no one wants to work in a tense environment. Secondly, your company’s reputation can suffer if that person starts attacking people from outside (like vendors). Thirdly, the HR department is supposed to be trained in personnel interactions and crisis management. And yet, employees continue to suffer around bad tempered people who poison the atmosphere.
It’s not always a black-and-white situation. Sometimes, a personal event could be overwhelming that unhappy person. Sometimes, it’s a lifetime of unhappy events. And sometimes it’s because they are dumped on with no protection from their superiors. Maybe their life could be full of all three issues, or worse. We all have the ability to interact with others on a multitude of levels.
Sometimes, we have to take it upon ourselves to put ourselves into that person’s shoes to figure out what’s bothering them. It won’t be easy, and we might get our heads bitten off. But just maybe, that person is waiting for someone to notice that they’re in trouble (and they have few places to turn to for help). A few minutes alone with them might do them a world of wonders. It’ll definitely do wonders for everyone else who’s been at the receiving end of the verbal darts. Life already drops a lot on our heads. We need to help each other get through it by simply acknowledging that the other person is also human.
Even when they don’t act like it…