6 Ways to Deal With Your Most Irritating Colleagues

We’ve probably all been there when it comes to having an annoying co-worker. You know — that one co-worker who is either overly arrogant, lazy, or talks your ear off? Even if you consider yourself an easy-going person to work with, you’ve probably encountered that one colleague who drives you up your cubicle walls.

After all, what would work be without having a co-worker who drives you nuts? You’re probably familiar with the beloved co-worker we’ve all grown to love (or despise), David Brent from The Office. He’s that annoying co-worker who describes himself as a “hardworking, alpha male, jackhammer… merciless…insatiable…” and is probably a good example of the person in the office you can’t escape. So, let’s disarm the irritating wind up merchants of the world, shall we? Here are seven ways to handle your most irritating co-workers:

  1. Maintain a positive attitude.
    Honestly, the best thing you can do in this situation is to let the annoying things your coworker does to roll off your back. Sometimes when you only dwell on the negative, it can distract you from being productive at work. If your co-worker is truly a problem, then address the situation. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to stay focused on what you need to accomplish and to have a positive attitude at work.
  2. Find a common interest.
    Sometimes, if you have a co-worker you continually butt heads with, you’re probably better off trying to find some common ground with them. Try to find at least find one thing you have in common, even if it’s the dislike of the coffee in the break room. This will help working together become more tolerable.
  3. Try to ignore their flaws.
    If your co-worker is a slacker or super arrogant, just ignore them. If your boss is yet to catch on to the problem or simply lets it slide by, it’s not your problem to worry about. Even if it drives you nuts your co-worker is never prepared or brags all of the time about nothing, don’t feed into their flaw. This will only cause you to become more annoyed and frustrated with the situation.
  4. Kill them with kindness.
    On the occasion you’re dealing with a workplace bully, a negative person, or gossiper, it’s important to remain calm and continue being kind towards them. Even if your co-worker is going out of your way to bring you down, don’t let them rain on your parade. Stay out of arguments or debates that would cause a negative impact on your work. All you have to do is continue smiling and going about your work as usual.
  5. Politely reject their attention.
    Have that one co-worker who is constantly pestering you or asking you to go to lunch every day? Politely reject their invitations. Even if you consider yourself an extrovert and don’t mind conversation, there will be those co-workers who get under your skin. Whenever your annoying co-worker begins distracting you from your work, politely tell them to respect your space and to only speak to you if their question is work-related.
  6. Be assertive.
    If the problem continues to persist with your annoying co-worker, you need to take charge. After you’ve done everything possible to find a solution, you need to stand up for yourself and your needs. Tell your co-worker he or she is a distraction and they’ve been negatively impacting your productivity. Of course, you want to be polite, but you also need to be assertive. If the annoying co-worker doesn’t get the picture, then your next step is to approach your manager for an intervention.

Don’t let your annoying co-workers bring you down at work. If you have to cope with someone who drives you nuts, remember, it’s all about how you react to the situation. Don’t let the wind up merchants harm your success in the workplace.

What advice do you have for dealing with irritating co-workers?

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