HR Management & Compliance

Working with You Is Killing Me

A review of the book Working With You Is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Traps at Work by Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster.

The Cynic, Boundary Buster, Credit Stealer, Charming Cheating Liar, Fatal Attraction, and Entertainer: Every office has them. The question is what to do about them. In their book Working With You is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Traps at Work, published by Warner Business, Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster present simple, yet effective, means for dealing with these everyday office tormentors.

The first step the authors suggest involves “unhooking” yourself emotionally from these antagonizing personalities. According to Crowley and Elster, the key to doing that lies mostly with yourself, and that is what they spend the bulk of the book discussing.

Working with YoWorking with You Is Killing Meu Is Killing Me covers how to help you improve bad relationships at work, from looking for physical signs of stress that come from dealing with the “cubicle culprits” (clenched teeth or uncontrollable twitches) to techniques for handling that stress (breathing deeply, focusing on solutions, writing memos).


Most of all, though, Crowley and Elster point out that we don’t have to look outside of our cubicles for the work-life sabotaging culprit, just in a mirror. While we all may think that we are the most balanced one in the office, many of our problems are self-inflicted, and so the authors dedicate a chapter to the roles we play ourselves in the office, how they hinder us, and simple solutions for breaking out of those roles.