When a Co-Worker Drives You Crazy


Co-workers: they can make or break a job. You could be working in your dream career, even at your dream company doing work you absolutely love, but if even if there’s just one colleague who is annoying as all get out? Well, you may soon start looking for another employer, THAT’s how much a colleague who puts your teeth on edge can affect you.

What types of co-workers make the list of the most annoying? Take a look below:

Drama Queens. Male or female, these types of folks make a big thing out of Did another colleague look the drama queen a bit too long? Instead of thinking that perhaps the person was looking out in to space deep in thought, drama queens automatically assume the worst: the person hates them, is obsessed with them, is plotting against them, and so on.

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In other words, to drama queens, everything is about them. Oh, and life is one crises after another.These people Just. Can’t. Be. Bothered.

Want to ask if they can help you real quick on deadline? Don’t bother; it’s not their project. Are you on a work team together and you notice someone is doing the bare minimum (if that) and she always seems to work in slow motion? Oh, and does she often complain about her horrendous workload? Yup, a slacker.

The Braggart. Did someone just get a new Camry after just two years with the old one? You know about it because the braggart is letting everyone know about it. Did her boyfriend just give her a dozen roses and a nice necklace, just because? Does she talk about the new shoes she just purchased, how she got into a club no one can get into, and on and on about her fabulous life? There’s a braggart!

These aren’t the only types of crazy-making colleagues. There are bullies, perfectionists, gossips, suck-ups, shrinking violets, smiling backstabbers, Pollyannas, heroes, TMI sharers, and more.

But notice something here: chances are you at some point, sometime may have been one of these annoyances yourself? In other words, we’re all human, we all have our weaknesses and we all are annoying to someone else at some time.

We advocate understanding and forgiveness. So with that in mind, take a look below for some coping mechanisms you can use when the annoying ones make your life crazy at work.

When you find yourself annoyed by a co-worker, pause for a moment and dig into what you’re really feeling at the moment of annoyance. Are you angry, sad, disappointed, anxious? The simple act of naming your emotion can help alleviate it. At the same time, identify the exact thing/behavior your colleague does that annoys you. Instead of “he’s just an attention grabber,” it should be “I dislike it when he interrupts a speaker during meetings.”

Now ask yourself what your reaction can teach you about yourself. Chances are that another person’s actions irk you because you’re worried that you exhibit the same tendencies. Taking the above as example, if someone annoys you for interrupting and you think it’s because he needs to hog the spotlight, are you possibly concerned that you may sometimes come across as a limelight lover, too? Or are you worried that you’re too quiet and never speak up when you have a great idea?

Either scenario could mean that you have some work to do on yourself: either work on giving others a chance to shine or start speaking up more when you have something to say.

Of course, some annoying colleagues are – frankly – truly toxic! If that’s the case and you can give concrete examples of how their toxicity affected you (a team member slacked so much the project missed a deadline, and you have the documentation to prove it), bring your concerns (and documentation) to your manager or human resources.

Finally, if you find that a colleague truly does make your workday miserable, it may be time to look for another employer. If that’s the case, consider contacting the recruiters at Helpmates. While we do offer temporary assignments, we also have a lot of direct-hire opportunities. Take a look at all of our current openings and follow the instructions on the listing if one appeals to you.

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