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Daneen Skube

Your coworkers' prickliness is about them, not you

Q. The people I work with seem rarely to take the way they affect me into account. Why do they think so little of me? How can I work well with others when they appear to have no interest in my needs?

A. You can work well with others if you stop taking them personally. People rarely know you or think of you enough to make it true or logical that their behavior is motivated by you.

Using advanced interpersonal skills at work requires a dawning awareness that we should not take other people's behavior personally. Yes, it is common and tempting to think an angry person is angry at you. You may also believe an arrogant person is contemptuous of you. You'd be more accurate if you...