Difficult Personalities: The Sacrificer

The Sacrificer is the bleeding heart of the office. She comes in early and stays late. She'll do anything you ask them to. But she will, in a self-deprecating way, complain about her workload, difficult employees, and customers or bosses. She often has an unpleasant personal life and sublimates her unhappiness by trying to make work be the answer. What brings out her negativity is the feeling that their great efforts are going underappreciated. When this occurs, her favorite saying is "I have given up my life for this company and nobody cares." Here's an example:

Sacrificer: I'll do it. Don't worry about me. Go home.

Appreciative Team Member: I can't do that to you. I'll stay.

Sacrificer: I really don't have anything to do so I might as well stay and finish the report.

Appreciative Team Member:Thanks. I'll see you in the morning. Good night.

Sacrificer: (to herself) Right. I'll just slave away. No one really gives a darn.

Appreciative Team Member: Are you sure? I hope I'm not putting you out.

Sacrificer: What are another few hours. I've already been here for ten.

The Solution

You must give this person constant positive feedback on how much you appreciate her contributions and hard work. She especially likes recognition in front of colleagues and teammates. If you really want them to remain positive, periodically send them email in which you praise their commitment (and be sure to cc the boss).

Get tips for another difficult personality > >

Find your workplace nemesis from
14 personality descriptions.
Cope better with these 5 tips.

Excerpted from Managing Workplace Negativity by Gary Topchik, published by AMACOM Books

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