Summary of “How to Work with Someone Who’s Always Stressed Out”

We all know people who seem to be constantly stressed out – who claim to be buried in work, overloaded with projects, and without a minute to spare.
How do you deal with coworkers who can’t handle stress? Should you address the issue directly? Or try other tactics to help them calm down and focus? And how can you protect yourself from their toxic emotions?
“Say something like, ‘I notice you were working late last night, and it wasn’t the first time. How are things going?'” Then, after your colleague recites the usual catalog of pressures, “Say, ‘That must be hard.’ It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not. That’s how this person is feeling. Acknowledging it gives you both a chance to move beyond.” At the same time, Weeks says, you mustn’t “Enable” or agitate your colleague by making comments like, “I don’t know how you can you stand it! This company is working you to death!” That’s not helpful.
“Don’t add to their sense of being overwhelmed.” You might shorten your emails to the person, split your larger requests into several smaller steps, or encourage the idea of dividing work into manageable chunks.
“When someone is toxic and draining your energy, you sometimes have to figure out how you can get distance from that person or limit your interactions with them.” Of course, this isn’t always easy – particularly if you work in the same department and are assigned to the same projects.
Think about ways to reduce the person’s cognitive load by breaking work up into more-manageable chunks.
The colleague – we’ll call her Jenny – “Was so overwhelmed and stressed out by her work that her overall performance was really beginning to suffer,” recalls Karoli.
“Everyone could see how hard she was working. But I also saw the dark circles under her eyes, her jumpy mood, and her irritability.”

The orginal article.