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Had an Argument at Work? What Now?

Last Update: April 28, 2020

Sometimes our emotions get the best of us and we can’t control them. You might be having a bad day and feel edgy as it is, and then someone comes and starts pulling your strings and it’s just a matter of time you’ll snap. You’ll probably say things you’ll regret later, but the damage’s done. No argument is a good thing, but an argument at work is super bad.

If you had a fight with a coworker, this is what you can do

This is the place where you want to look professional and you don’t want your coworkers nor your superiors to see you like that. Once that happens you know that things went from bad to worse. What to do now? Well, there are a few things you should do to recover from an incident like that.

Wait it out – sleep on it


This is the first golden rule. Don’t try to solve anything right after the incident because you’re both probably still hot-headed and the odds that it will end up with a ’round two’ are extremely high. Even when you think you’ve cooled down, your coworker may not have. You don’t want to risk and make the whole situation ten times worse than it already has been. Give it a day, everything seems different after a good night’s sleep.

Talk to the culprit


So a new day’s arrived and you’ve both blew off some steam, now’s the time to hash things out. Ask the co-worker if they are willing to talk, and make it clear that you’re not here to fight all over, but to sort things out.

The bad idea is to start with “I feel like you…” because it already seems like an accusation. A toned-down accusation maybe, but it’s still an accusation. The other person is probably going to feel called out and you might potentially revive the argument from the day before. Start with yourself:

I did this because of that. I feel like this. What do you think about that?

Stay calm and try to keep the dialogue positive. The best outcome would be for you both to apologize if you did something to upset the other and agree to disagree on the subject that made you argue in the first place.

Don’t give it more attention than it deserves


Admit that it happened, talk it through and leave it behind you. Avoid giving attention to it than necessary because you want to be known for your work, not for your arguments with other people. It’s good to know to stand up for yourself, but you don’t want to be known as the troublemaker.

Make your work ethic speak volumes, and when asked about the argument (because there will most definitely be people working there that just want some material for a good gossip) say that you’ve resolved anything that needed to be resolved and that all’s good now. The less you talk about it, the quicker it will go away.

Acknowledge that it happened, discuss it with the person involved and move past it.

No matter what’s the reason for your argument at work, resolve it with the person involved and move past it. Don’t dwell on it too much. Think about the triggers that caused the arguments and use it as a learning experience. Now you know what you should pay attention to so it never happens again.

Final thoughts

Next time you’ll be more prepared for a situation like that and you won’t let it escalate to the measures it did. Don’t let your bad experiences define you. Everyone was in a situation like that at some point in their life. The important thing is how you’ll move past it.


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