Annoying Co-Workers? Tips to Help You Cope

Despite your best efforts, there are just people you’re not going to get along with at work.

It’s frustrating, but what can you do? Personality types clash sometimes, but grinning and bearing it only works for so long. The good news is that there are coping strategies you can put in place to productively get through your day without sending negative energy toward your co-workers.

  • Start with yourself. Many times there are things we don’t like about others because it hits too close to something we don’t like about ourselves. Seeing someone biting their nails might irritate you because you can’t control your own bad habits. Maybe your co-worker always talks loudly on the phone with a peer and it makes you angry, but you do it as well. Being self-aware may help you to recognize something in yourself that can help you control negative feelings you have about others.
  • Call them on it, nicely. Some co-workers are just rude by nature. Being insulted in front of a group can hurt your feelings or work ethic. If this happens to you, consider calmly approaching the person who made inappropriate remarks. Try to use statements that start with “I” instead of “you”, which tend to illicit a better, less defensive response. Calling rude co-workers out in a way that doesn’t attack them might make them soften their approach.
  • Use leading words. Do you have co-workers who immediately poke holes in your plans? When interacting with this kind of person, start by acknowledging doubts first. Addressing their concerns before they even come up will keep them from poking holes in your plan. Asking questions such as “What would you do in this situation?” or “Is there a way we could make this work?” will encourage them to participate and get their questions addressed.

Being kind and professional should always be kept in mind when addressing another peer in a business setting. Don’t let a co-worker ruin your flow – keep up the good work!

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Photo credit: jseliger2

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