Let’s face facts. We don’t get along with everyone. According to Andrew Kucheriavy of Resumark, “A recent study showed that almost 40% of workers feel out of place in the office.” It’s difficult but not impossible to make an effort to try to get along with annoying coworkers. The process begins with understanding yourself.
Understand Yourself and Learn Types of Personalities
Dr. Gary Smalley discusses various personality types in his book The DNA of Relationships. He shares how to learn better people skills and to get along with others. The first step is to understand yourself and why you are the way you are. What is your personality type? Once you understand who you are and how you “tick” you will have an easier time understanding others. When you can see things from another person’s perspective, you have an easier time getting along with other people. In understanding others’ behaviors, you will know how to counteract your own actions in a way that others can relate to. To discover your own personality type, check out this website personality tests, which offers free online tests. Know yourself so that you can get along with annoying coworkers.
Annoying Coworker Types and Learning to How to Deal with Them
# 1 The Office Know-It-All
You know the type. This person went to the best university and finds every opportunity to share each accomplishment on his or her resume. When you’re around this person, he or she may make you feel unworthy to be in their presence. For example, even if you did an awesome job on the presentation to one of your big clients, this person could have done it better.
- How to Handle the Office Know-It-All:
You need to know yourself…your strengths and limitations. Then work on developing your own abilities to succeed at work. If you have to work together with this person on a project, prepare for anything. Plan ahead and get the facts. Be ready to back up your statements. This person won’t change unless he or she gets a big wake up call, so do your part. When he or she continues to play the peacock, smile and know that you don’t need to stoop to their level by competing with them.
# 2 The Office Bully
This situation is different than the bully on the school yard. It is essentially the same principle, but they use different tactics. Rather than using physical intimidation to humiliate others, these office bullies use authority as a weapon. So how do you deal with bullies, especially if this person is your boss?
- How to Handle the Office Bully:
Engaging in futile arguments with this person will only fuel the fire. If you become offended by their taunts, outwardly expressing your hurt feelings will only cause further aggravation. To defeat the office bully, you need to match wits in an unaffected manner or walk away without further retaliation. This behavior will set the stage and let this person know you are not an easy target and he or she will move on to antagonizing someone else.
# 3 The Office Gossip
You know this type of person. They know each juicy detail about everyone in the office. Most likely you didn’t ask for it, but this person is chomping at the bit to spill the beans on your fellow coworkers. In order to obtain information on everyone, these people tend to change depending on who they’re with. That’s their way of siphoning gossip.
- How to Handle the Office Gossip
If you stand and listen to the office gossip one time, you’re in for trouble. This person is going to think you are always open to listening to his or her information. The best remedy is to politely excuse yourself and step away if the gossip mill starts to run.
# 4 The Office Email Offender
This type of coworker is usually a wall flower and you’d never think he or she could get annoying. However, put this person with a bone to pick, behind a computer and you’re done for. Sitting at a desk typing away at the keyboard, the email offender grows stronger with each keystroke. What this person is not able to say to your face, he or she says to you through an email. This is usually not done with the best manners or intentions.
- How to Handle the Office Email Offender
Remember that this person hides behind his or her computer. If you receive some offensive email rant, talk to this coworker in person. Don’t come in with guns blazing, but rather go professionally and with a confident tone. Ask this person to explain his or her purpose and clearly explain your feelings on the issue. By discussing the issue in person, you are bringing this person to your level, rather than stooping to their level by retaliating with an email of your own.
# 5 The Office Personal Space Invader
Most people enjoy personal space. However, some annoying coworkers live for the moment when they can invade your space. You know the kind: the close talkers, the I’m-just-popping-in types, the cubicle drapers. You see them coming and wish you could vanish into thin air. The personal interaction is anything but professional.
- How to Handle the Office Personal Space Invader
When you see this person coming, get ready to send out signals that you are not a welcoming target. Maintain closed body language such as: crossed arms, avoiding eye contact, focusing on another task. Close off your area by either shutting your office door or making that extra chair in your office unavailable by placing your jacket, tote bag or briefcase on it. You may have to counteract this person’s behavior with these tips a few times before they get the hint.
# 6 The Office Sponge
This person literally seems to suck the life out of you and everyone in the entire office. He or she is either living on cloud nine one day and then down in the dumps the next. The annoying part about this is that you are going to hear every minute detail of what’s going on in his or her day, whether you want to or not. This person needs to share at the risk of it becoming oversharing, unprofessional and annoying.
- How to Handle the Office Sponge
Don’t be rude as this person will completely fall apart and become offended. Remain professional but try to set this person straight in a kind way. You can say that you are glad he or she feels comfortable sharing with you. However, remind this person that the work environment needs to remain professional.
Remember that it is possible to deal professionally with annoying coworkers. Know yourself and your personality. Never fuel the fire and learn how to positively combat irritating behaviors.
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