Have you been getting the evil eye from your coworkers? Maybe you’ve been clueless why people are scowling at you when you walk into the room. Could it be that you’re doing some annoying things to get their blood boiling? Before you end up with a target on your back and have a hit taken out on you, maybe you should change some things. Unless you thrive on negativity, you shouldn’t pat yourself on the back for holding the number one spot on the Office Pariah list. If you made that list, you need to figure out how to get off it and fast!
You can stop alienating your co-workers by refraining from certain behaviors. Now, if you enjoy your role as the office pariah, kick back, relax and keep doing what you’re doing. Just start wearing a hazmat suit to the office because you need to be prepared for tomatoes whizzing by your head as if your coworkers are trying to boo you off the stage. But, if you want to get off that list stop annoying everyone so much!
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1. Don't Become a Time Waster
Maybe you’re a time waster. You know the type. You think the world revolves around you. No wonder you’ve been dodging bullets all day long. Your coworkers have about reached their limit of how many more times they can sit and listen to you waste their time talking about your non-existent love life. Your coworkers could care less if you waste your own time. Who cares if you’re lazy, never come to work on time and can’t ever finish projects within deadlines. Yet, all hell could break loose if you waste a coworker’s time. The minute you saunter over to their cubicle, they’re frantically trying to figure out ways to disappear. They have no patience to hear another conversation about how your cat got up into your neighbor’s tree again and that’s why you were late for work.
Those scowling faces you’re getting from coworkers are a message to you to stop hindering their productivity. When you attend team meetings, stop raising your hand every five minutes to ask the presenter a stupid question. You’ll end up looking foolish and then have to fend off the angry crowd who probably want to start throwing things at you. When it’s your turn on the agenda to present a topic at the next staff meeting, make sure you’re prepared. Racing into the conference room with your shirt out of your pants and hair sticking up on all ends is not going to go over well. No one cares that you were napping too long in your car during lunch break. Most likely they wish you could’ve stayed locked in the car rather than waste their time with a nonsensical presentation.
2. Stop Bursting People’s Bubbles
Ok, so maybe you’re not a time waster. Instead, you’ve earned the place of honor as a hated coworker because you constantly burst people’s bubbles. Your negativity has taken on a life of its own and grown out of control like a Venus fly trap—devouring any innocent prey that happens to come your way. You act like Scrooge, except your aversion to Christmas lasts all year long. People view your cubicle as the haunted house where the scary witch lady lives and should be avoided at all costs. After all, if they get too close, you might put a spell on them and turn them into a toad simply because you feel like it. News flash to you, you’re negativity is ruining the positivity of the workplace. So, you don’t care about that. Fine, yet if you do have an ounce of goodness in your heart, you can change your tune and avoid being hated by your co-workers.
The next time your coworker braves the walls of your cubicle to hand you a document and starts chatting about their awesome first date the night before—keep your mouth shut if you have nothing nice to say. Just nod and smile even if it kills you to spread some happiness around the office. Don’t act like Cupid’s arch enemy and start shooting dark arrows to burst their bubble. You’ll look like an angry old person who needs some loving attention and is taking his frustrations out on the entire office. Hopefully, after enough forced smiles, your cold heart will begin to melt.
3. Don't Act Like an Immature Child
Ok, so embracing your inner child is great. Acting like an immature child is not so great. Your coworkers will hate you if you behave childishly at every chance you get. Toilet paper your coworker’s cubicle once and you may be in the clear. Getting crazier and causing mayhem by repeatedly pranking your co-workers is a surefire way to get you on the naughty list and banned from the next holiday party. No one wants to be around someone who constantly acts like a child all the time.
So the next time your manager tells you and a coworker to take a client out to lunch, make sure you get to the restaurant early. You don’t want a repeat of the last fiasco when you overslept, got to work late, forgot about the lunch appointment and raced into the restaurant by the time dessert was served. Your coworker still hasn’t let you live that one down. It’s a wonder your boss trusted you enough to give you a second chance.
When your girlfriend calls during the day to break up with you over the phone, don’t freak out. Acting like a five year old and throwing a temper tantrum in your cubicle is not a way to get on your coworker’s good side. They’d probably like to turn you on your backside and give you a spanking. After all, you’re the one sucking all the professionalism out of the office by acting like a child. Maybe you had your eye on a promotion, but your manager gave it to a coworker. Don’t get mad and go outside to key their car or slash their tires. Ok, so that may be an extreme example, but you get the idea. Childish immaturity should be reserved for children in the playground, not adults in the workplace.
4. Don't Become a Work Hermit
So maybe you have taken sharing versus oversharing to the extreme and behave like a hermit in the office. You’re not even sure if your coworkers know your name. The minute someone comes near you to chat, you nod and bolt in the other direction. People should start calling you the Flash because that’s all they feel when you run away—a whoosh of air and then blinding light. You’d rather eat lunch hidden in your office or alone in your car, than hang out with people in the break room. Such strange hermit-like behavior is going to get you labeled as an oddity and quickly cause your coworkers to hate your exclusiveness to your party of one.
Ok, so maybe you’re an introvert, but you should start socializing with your coworkers. Even if you’re shaking in your boots, ask a coworker to have lunch with you. That won’t kill you. Loosen up and embrace your wild side—even if that means only having a tame alcoholic drink—while hanging out at the weekly happy hour. At least you’re getting out of your bat cave and being sociable. People won’t get the wrong idea about you.
5. Stop Your Perfectionist Tendencies
No one is perfect. What? You didn’t realize that! Well, in case you think you’re perfect—you’re not. If you think you’re perfect, you will alienate your coworkers and quickly get on their blacklist. They will hate you and how you constantly nitpick their every move. Ok, so you won the spelling bee in third grade. Everyone knows you’re the best speller around. You don’t need to prove it every second of the day. Stop carrying that red marker with you all over the office. If you could, you’d probably start making red x’s on people’s faces too, not just on their documents.
When you see a small spelling mistake in an email, it’s not necessary to stop what you’re doing and tell the sender that he made a mistake. It’s not like you were proofing a contract for a major client. It’s an email. Let it go! Focus on accepting your own faults. Maybe then you’ll become less of a perfectionist and more of a likeable person at the office.
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Become the most lovable coworker. Ok, so maybe that could quickly become annoying to others. Find that middle ground where you stop behaving in a manner that makes your coworkers hate you. Value other people’s time and don’t waste it. Hold your grumpiness inside and stop going around bursting people’s bubbles. Refrain from throwing temper tantrums and acting like an immature child. No one said you can’t want to yell and scream. Just exercise self-control and act like a mature adult.
Save the wacky immature behavior for those weekend road trips with your buddies. Don’t become a work hermit. After all, you don’t want people to get the wrong idea that you’re an anti-social psycho killer just waiting for the right moment to snuff out your enemy. Make peace with yourself and realize that you’re not perfect—and throw away all your red markers!
Have you ever been hated by a coworker or had a coworker that you hated? What was the annoying behavior that made you hate this person or made them hate you?