Have you ever come to that point in time when you feel like a coworker is out to revenge? For whatever reason.

I don’t know about you, but there have certainly been times like that for me. As though we are out for a competition of whatever sort. If you know me too well, you’d know that I hate unhealthy competition. The sky is out there and can contain every one of us. So why bother?!

Besides, unhealthy competition is so much work! Jeez, you’d have to spend hours plotting. Time thinking of how to strike. I’d rather go to bed and have some beauty sleep.

But, I guess some people don’t see things in the same vein. And maybe they have some spare time on their hands to unleash their ‘revenge’.

And I’m sure you are probably wondering why this person is out to hurt your feelings. You are left somewhat puzzled, wondering how you may have offended this individual in the first place.

Truth is, most often than not, you probably did nothing, other than being yourself!

You know that coworker that’s ever willing to copy every uninterested party in emails even when you both can handle the matter in private? And you are like: “Hey, we could have discussed this in private!”

Pointing out your mistakes to superiors in meetings, accessing your computer, or ultimately trying to undermine your success.

I understand this feeling and that’s why I’ll be sharing a few tips with you in this post to help you stay sane with a vindictive coworker.

1. Remove yourself where necessary

This will not necessarily relate to you removing yourself from the office or changing departments because this may not be possible. However, there are psychological ways you can handle the issue in a mature manner.

Take, for instance, the email dilemma, it won’t be a great idea to respond to such an email immediately, because you may be in a terrible mood at that point in time.

A better approach will be to ignore the email and go about other urgent matters that are brain stimulating. You can always revisit the email and respond when you are in a lighter mood.

Trust me, you don’t want to respond an email when you are in a bad mood. Remember that emails can always be revisited and you certainly don’t want to be the one seen to be negative. And emails are good for reference or documentations. You never know!

2. Throw in some Kindness

This is one of my preferred methods to handle such individuals. But, the truth is that it’s not an easy feat.

All the same, for every bad behavior, rant, or accusation from this co-worker, try your possible best to counter the act by being the better party.Reply with an apology (only if you made an error indeed).

No harm admitting your wrong even when this co-worker is going about it the wrong way. Personally, I feel it shows maturity and the fact that you are not a coward and are willing to own up to your mistake.

At times like this, you should probably be singing, Selena Gomez’s ‘Kill ’em with kindness’ to yourself.

Read: 6 Ways to Help you Work with a Difficult Person

3. Don’t assume bad intentions just yet

I want to believe that some people are just so defensive and would go about any extent to cover their ass.

If you take some of these things to heart, it’s certainly not healthy and could lead to unhappiness in the workplace. A better approach will be to give the benefit of the doubt until it becomes something to be worried about.

You need to be absolutely sure that this coworker is out for revenge (for whatever reason), before drawing up conclusions.

Read: How to Handle an Annoying Person at Work

4. Let them Act Out

Eventually, you need to realize that as much as you need the distance, you’d need to still work with this person, in the same environment.

It’s okay to let him/ her act out. If other coworkers notice the behavior, good for you. Otherwise, from the behavior or words, you’d be able to know what his/her intentions are. If there is any at all.

It’s also a good idea to talk to someone about it. Preferably a coworker who knows this person. If the situation is getting uncontrollable, then it’ll be wise to document the behavior and keep evidence if needed, just in case you’d need to see HR.

Read: Help!! HR isn’t on my Side

Ultimately, if the situation is too toxic that you can’t handle, then maybe you shouldn’t be at this workplace in the first place. Consider better options if need be.

But, bear in mind that life isn’t always fair and that’s reality. You may have to learn to deal with toxic coworkers and learn how to handle them because you just have to work with such people and can’t change them.

I thinks it’s all about training your mental approach so that you don’t become too worked up with some some actions of this individual.