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How to Cope with Annoying Co-workers

Everybody has that one colleague that the rest of the team just can’t stand. Whether it is because the colleague is overly sarcastic, loves to stir up drama, or is simply arrogant and insulting, the office space can feel tense and uncomfortable whenever they are around. These five ways show how to cope with annoying co-workers.

1. Pinpoint What Truly Makes Them Annoying

Identify whether it is a character flaw that comes subconsciously to the person or actions they take consistently that are uncalled for. For example, it is a character flaw if the person talks more about themselves at work than the project. But if they constantly butt in on people’s conversations, that is just bad behavior. Whichever one it is, it needs to be addressed.

2. Talk to Them About It.

Especially in the case of a character flaw, the person might be oblivious to the negative effect it has on the rest of the team. Be direct in speaking about the issue and address it clearly; avoid beating about the bush or sugarcoating words. Let the person know how their attitude affects the rest of the team and hinders productivity, don’t just gossip about it in groups.

3. Hear Their Point of View

Nine out of ten, the colleague might be struggling to fit in. Other times, they could be exhibiting the spotlighted attributes as a defense mechanism due to insecurity. Whatever the case may be, be sensitive enough to give a listening ear and see how you can help. If they insist on being right, you might have to involve the rest of your team or even call the attention of higher-up personnel.

4. Address It As a Team

If said coworker insists on being right and refuses to effect changes where necessary, involve the rest of your team. Outline how his actions affect workflow and the consequences he would have to suffer if he keeps up with his actions. Where the colleague has previously confided in you about his struggles to fit in, discuss ways the team can be more welcoming and revive the team spirit.

5. Forgive and Ignore the Less Toxic Traits.

Everyone has those natural character traits that may come across as annoying to others yet be difficult to change, like booming laughter, a loud speaking voice, or an affinity to strong perfumes. Maybe your coworker enjoys giving bone-crushing hugs or has a tendency to burst into songs after hitting a milestone, accept it as a part of who they are, and learn to live with it. Remember that there is something about you as well, that everyone else has to tolerate. Stay positive and look on the bright side; hugs can come in handy when you hit a stumbling block in your project or have to heal from a failed deal. This is the easiest way to cope with annoying co-workers.

We cannot all be perfect but if we each work towards perfection, excellence is a sure deal!

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Oputa Okwanuzor is a freelance writer skilled in the art of weaving words into stories for brand boost through copywriting, or make a soothing read using creative writing. In her free time, she loves to share personal development talks, fashion inspos and writing tricks on her blog.

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