How to Deal With Your Annoying Coworkers

Don't Strangle a Difficult Coworker
Difficult coworker? Don't resort to strangling her.. Wavebreak Media Ltd / 123RF
The workplace, like anyplace you bring together a bunch of people, is a jumble of many different personalities. In addition to people who are easy to get along with, you will also find some annoying coworkers. What sets the workplace apart from many other settings is that everyone—even those who are the most difficult—must cooperate in order to be productive. Here are five types of annoying coworkers and advice for getting along with each one.

The Chatterbox

Let's start with your most affable coworker.
The chatterbox usually means well. She is friendly and wants to share all her thoughts (every last one of them) with you. She isn't trying cause harm to anyone ... her incessant talking is just keeping you from concentrating on your work. Here are some things you can do to quiet down your chattering coworker so you can get your job done. Rather than risk insulting your colleague, put the blame on yourself. Tell your coworker you have trouble concentrating while you are listening to her very engaging stories. You'd love to hear them at some other time, just not while you're working. Then, if you truly enjoy her company, have lunch with her once a week.

The Gossip

The gossip seems to know everything about everyone and he wants to share it. Should you listen to what your gossiping colleague has to say? Yes, you should listen to it since it is often a good way to hear news that may not make it through more formal information channels.
The problem with gossip is that it carries both elements of truth and untruth, so view it with a cynical eye. Listen to your gossipy coworker quietly. Don't become a gossip too. However, if the gossip being shared is of a very personal nature, for example he shares with you news of another coworker's marital problems, change the subject or say that you don't feel right discussing someone behind his back.

The Complainer

There's always one person in a group who can never find anything about which to be happy.
If she's not complaining about her health or her family, her job, the company, or your boss are the subjects of her disapproval. Of course, some of her complaints may be legitimate, but the incessant whining is getting on your nerves. She's in danger of bringing everyone down with her negativity. Change the subject whenever the bellyaching begins or, if the complaints are centered around work, ask her if she'd like your help brainstorming some solutions. Who knows? You may solve some problems.

The Delegator

In almost every workplace you'll find someone who wants to share his work with his colleagues. We're not talking about those who have a legitimate reason to delegate work to others, for example managers or team leaders. We are speaking of those who either can't do all the work they have been given or don't want to do it. If team work is encouraged in your office and you have time to help your colleague, you should. However, if managers are the only ones who have the authority to delegate and you already have your hands full, then you have to turn down the request.
Tell your coworker you have your own work to do and can't take on any more.

The Credit Grabber

The credit grabber does not acknowledge any help she receives from others. She accepts all the praise for a project without mentioning that she didn't do it alone. The first time this happens, consider it a mistake. Mention it to your colleague and ask her to let others know about your participation. If she doesn't, or if this happens again, make sure you let others know about the role you played in getting a project done. Then, unless you are mandated to work with this person, refuse to help out again.

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