How to survive the annoying co-worker

  March 15, 2017

Of all the possible things that might get you down in your job, the annoying co-worker is virtually guaranteed. You might not have to deal with a boring/long commute or rubbish work hours, but no matter what you do, you will have to deal with co-workers (unless you literally work on your own in a lighthouse or something). We all know we can't get on with everyone, so whether it is the one who won't stop talking, the boaster, or the tattle-tale, when that annoying colleague does pop up, what is the best way to handle them?

Avoid them

Usually the most effective option, but not always the easiest to manipulate, especially if you have to work in close quarters with them. It's also not necessarily the best long-term solution as whoever they are will still annoy you when you do see them, although perhaps absence will make the heart grow fonder, you never know.

Confront them

Sometimes people genuinely don't know that they are annoying other people with their behaviours, and need a bit of intervention to make them aware. If you have a complaint about a certain behaviour or way of working that is the cause of frustration, sometimes it can be helpful to feed this back to the person in question. Of course this needs to be done tactfully and considerately and not as an attack as no one deserves to be bullied no matter how annoying they are. This path is definitely not for the faint hearted, and if not approached in the right way could backfire spectacularly and just create even more negative energy between you. It's not going to be the right solution in every scenario, however there are times when telling the other person how you feel might be the best way forward.

Try to get along

Another less than easy solution, but sometimes if you try hard enough you might find that you can identify some common ground with even the most annoying co-worker, and perhaps get along with them better than you thought. Sometimes it's purely because we don't know someone very well that we find them so annoying (and sometimes it's not) so next time your desk buddy is driving you bonkers, see if you can latch on to anything about them that you don't hate, and focus on that.

No matter how much you might love everything else about your job, there's no denying that some people are really just quite annoying so finding ways to deal with them is the only way to survive with your sanity intact. Especially as violence in the workplace is still pretty frowned upon.