Every office has its own share of drama and dramatis personae, and you need to learn how to deal with them if you want to decrease the amount of work-related stress you deal with every day.

Let’s talk about the most common types of office drama queens and how you can prevent their drama from escalating to telenovela levels at the workplace.

The Alipin

Character Description: The alipin has victim complex, always complaining about everything and everyone. Her negative attitude towards work and constant whining can severely dampen your morale.

How to Deal: Nobody likes a whiner, but antagonizing the alipin could make things even worse. Joining in on her whining session won’t do any good, either. The best thing you can do is nudge her toward solving the problem by asking her what she intends to do about the issue and helping her resolve it.

The Tsismosa

Character Description: The tsismosa’s favorite pastimes include eavesdropping, peeking at whatever you’re doing, and spreading juicy gossip.

How to Deal: If you’re the center of the tsismosa’s attention and the constant gossiping is starting to get to you, you need to confront her without starting a fight. Wait until you two can talk privately, and tell her what you know without sounding angry or accusatory (for example, you can say “I heard that you may have said…”). Even if she denies saying anything, at least she knows you’re aware of the situation and that you want it to stop.

The Antipatika

Character Description: The antipatika is characterized by her entitlement issues, holier-than-thou attitude, and tendency just to put you down.

How to Deal: Talking with the antipatika can be difficult, especially since you often need to feed their ego with compliments just to get them to listen to what you’re saying. When you do have to deal with them, don’t let them bait you into an argument, and don’t let any of their comments cut too deep. Just focus on doing your job, and keep all interactions professional.

The Mahadera

Character Description: The mahadera is prone to verbal outbursts over every little thing, and often starts arguments over things that could have been resolved peacefully.

How to Deal: Like the alipin, the mahadera constantly feels that the whole world is against her, but she reacts much differently. Instead of just whining to someone else about her problems, she often lashes out at the people involved directly – often loudly and hurtfully. The trick to dealing with the mahadera is to stay calm, no matter how bad the outburst gets. Ask her to stop, assure her that no one is attacking her, and you convince her that you want to have a conversation that’s beneficial to you both.

No matter what kind of office drama queen you’re dealing with, always remember to stay calm, polite, and professional. If all else fails, you may need to have a little talk with your boss or HR staff and ask them to help tone down the drama.

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