‘That’s Not Fair!’ Try a More Positive Response When You Feel Unfairly Treated at Work

Life isn’t fair, and neither is work—at least sometimes. When a manager or co-worker treats you unfairly, you may feel angry, but blowing your top won’t get you anywhere. Keep your cool and deal with the setback constructively by following this advice:

Don’t jump to conclusions. Maybe your treatment isn’t really unfair. Examine the situation closely to determine how you might have contributed to the problem. Sometimes we’re blind to our own behaviors, so ask a trusted friend for his or her take.

Stay calm and professional. You’ll earn people’s respect by taking the high road. Instead of getting mad or getting even when you are treated unfairly, concentrate on doing your job and learning from the experience—even if the lesson is only that you can’t win every disagreement.

Look for the bright side. Negative experiences don’t have to ruin your outlook on life. Focus on what you can change, not what you can’t control. Remember that you’re still capable of doing good work no matter what others might think. Look back over past accomplishments to remind yourself of what you can achieve.

Forgive the other person. This can be difficult, but it’s an important part of the process of moving on. You’ll still have to work with the other person, so learn to let go. Do what you can to avoid a repeat situation in the future and continue treating everyone the way you want to be treated.

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