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When something bothers you at work, it’s your job to remedy the situation. If you’re not a naturally assertive person, you might be inclined to sit back and hope the problem fixes itself, but that isn’t likely.

A day at the office can ruffle your feathers in any number of ways. Other people can’t read your mind, so chances are, they won’t know you’re upset unless you speak up. Here’s some advice to help you navigate these sticky situations.

Don’t Delay

When you feel wronged by a colleague, you probably go back to your desk and silently stew over it. By the time you decide to say something, the moment has passed and your message doesn’t really resonate.

Avoid this by addressing the issue in a timely manner. For example, if a colleague takes credit for your work in a meeting, politely chime in when they’re finished speaking and highlight your own contributions.

Call the Person Out Privately

If you feel wronged by someone at work, having a conversation with them as soon as possible is important, but do so in a private setting. If you bring the issue up in front of others, they’ll become defensive and you’ll look petty. They’ll be much more likely to listen in a private setting, because their guard will be down.

Make Your Goals Clear

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for managers to assign work that isn’t part of an employee’s job description or doesn’t align with their goals for the future. If your boss is a perpetual offender, say something or you’ll end up with a job you don’t want.

Tackle this issue the next time you’re assigned a project that doesn’t make sense for your job or your future. Politely accept the task, but have a conversation with your boss — even if you’ve done so before — to explain why you’re expecting a different type of work going forward.

Stand Your Ground

Some people overstep without realizing they’re doing it. Kindly, but firmly, put them in their place by setting a protocol for the future. If they push back, don’t take it. Calmly state your position on the issue and make it clear you won’t waver. When they realize you’re not someone who can be pushed around, they’ll back off.

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