How To Handle An Annoying Co-Worker

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Use the following assessment tools to confirm whether your annoying co-worker is only annoying or whether the person’s behavior has gone beyond annoying and is now harassing, threatening or abusive.

What category would you place the behavior in?
A. Annoying
B. Harassing
C. Threatening or Abusive

Be honest with yourself. Is just about anything your annoying co-worker says or does annoying but doesn’t belong in the more severe categories? For example, if you find yourself annoyed because your co-worker eats their lunch “too loud” that is annoying. However, if you’re annoyed because your co-worker eats “your lunch too loud” then that is beyond annoying.

If the behavior is only annoying then the problem is yours. Have you ever considered that your behavior might annoy your co-worker? Believe it or not human beings are human and that means we have imperfections. As members of the human race we notice how imperfect some of those around us are but usually we forget that we “ourselves” are imperfect. Oh, the truth hurts.

If you’ve determined that the behavior is only annoying then focus on your work and make sure you include the individual whenever possible in conversations and other forms of communication about your work section, i.e. email, memos.

You say you’ve already tried that and your co-worker didn’t return the friendly gesture? Try again. This time don’t expect anything in return. Relax. If your co-worker wants to include you in email and conversations with your boss that’s great but it’s not a prerequisite for you to behave properly toward them.

You don’t have to be good friends to treat another person with respect. Find a reason to pay your co-worker a compliment. Everyone does something well. Look for it and then pay them a compliment or ask for advice but if it’s contrived they’ll see through your pathetic attempt to gain their respect. Don’t be a brown-noser. If you have to lie to try to make someone else feel friendly toward you then you are wasting your time and the time of the brown-nosee. There are some people who crave anything that even remotely resembles friendliness or admiration that they will accept fake praise, fake admiration or fake friendship.

Be honest with yourself and others but especially, yourself.



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