How to make a downtrodden coworker smile

Oh, coworkers. You love them. Sometimes you hate them. However you feel about them, you wouldn’t be able to get through the day without them.

One situation that I find arising entirely too often is having a coworker that is, for one reason or another, down in the dumps.  You may love them to pieces, but when they’re in a bad mood you just don’t want to be around them. Nobody does. It’s not your fault for wishing there was a tiny escape pod built into the space under your desk when they come in looking like they might burst into tears. It’s much easier to be around happy people. So, the surefire way to remedy the situation is to help them be happy!

Here are some methods that I find particularly effective in reversing a coworkers sallow mood:


Happiness Booster #1: TREATS!

Give your browbeaten coworker a treat. I suggest chocolate. Write a cutesy note on it that says the reason for the treat is because they’re so awesome (and NOT because they’re being a Debbie Downer).


Happiness Booster #2: Offer to help without burdening them.

Find something that you know needs to be done and swoop in to help them. Don’t ask if there is anything they need help with. Their pride may prevent them from asking. Or, they may not have the energy to actually think of something they need help with (I know this from experience). If you know they need something copied, grab it from their desk and copy it for them. If they need their room unlocked, see to it. If they need their lunch heated up, do that and deliver it to them. Then, if they don’t smile at that you can throw their steaming hot lunch in their face. At that point they’re just being nasty for the sake of it.


Happiness Booster #3: Show them this.


Honey, take my pic- AHH!

Hilarity is guaranteed.


Happiness Booster #4: Write them a nice note.

Try to key in on what’s bothering them. If you can say something in the note that counteracts what they’re sullen about, you’re golden.


Happiness Booster #5: Smile at them!

Sometimes all your coworker needs is someone to be nice to them. Nice is nice.


There are so many days that all we really have is each other. If we help each other to keep spirits high, our jobs will be that much easier. And much more happy.


I have a unique perspective on teaching. As a young guy, I still have that “world is my oyster” perspective on life, so I am more than willing to try new things in the pursuit of happiness. I have always been a naturally happy person and don’t shy away from trying to make others see that it’s easy to be happy! Thus, the blog you’re reading. The main impetus for actually putting all the work in to getting this blog up and running? A coworker stopped me in the hall one day and actually reprimanded me for being so smiley all the time. They actually said that I shouldn’t be so happy as a teacher! My response? Screw that! I SHOULD be happy. I now smile at that coworker EVERY time I see them…and usually say something like, “Isn’t this such great day to be a teacher?!” They don’t usually smile back… Don’t be like them.

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