7 Types Of Annoying Coworkers--And How To Deal With Them
You spend most of your day at work, so learn how to handle officemates who get on your nerves before they drive you crazy (or out of that job).
Posted on July 25, 2011

The world is full of jerks—from the chick blabbing loudly into her mobile phone to the creep who won't give up his MRT seat to an old lady. Most of the time, the best way to handle them is simple—stay away! But there's one place where you can't escape people who are rude, lazy, or just plain mean: work.

"In the office, you spend your day with people you have not chosen to be with, and you have to work toward a common goal," says Rachel C. Weingarten, president of GTK Marketing Group and author of Career And Corporate Cool. "You can't ignore them because they could affect the future of your career."

A study by the University of Washington found that even one office jerk can pollute an entire team, making it harder for everyone to be nice. "This is the number one issue in the workplace today," says Marsha Petrie Sue, author of Toxic People. The biggest mistake: treating all cubicle creeps the same. "Different behaviors require very different techniques," says Sue.

We've identified for you seven types of annoying coworkers and how you can handle them:

1. The Gossip

This girl knows everything—from who is having an affair to who is about to get axed. Sure, she's fun to be around—but beware. Have you noticed that she also takes a little too much interest in your life? As in: "Who was that I saw you having lunch with?" and "Wow, you're dressed up today. Got any interesting appointments? Date ba?"

How To Deal: Distract her. Don't lecture her about the hazards of a wagging tongue—she'll just think you're uptight, and possibly make you the next subject of her tawdry tales. Instead, gossip with her about celebrities, rather than coworkers. If she starts dishing about the boss's marital problems, change the subject to Brad and Angelina, or a new telenovela.

Next, convince her that you're the most boring person alive. Give her a lot of details about the weekend you spent helping your mom bake, your solo DVD marathon, or a breathless blow-by-blow of the new office's decor. "It's no fun to gossip about someone who isn't interesting," says Weingarten.

2. The Spotlight Stealer

She might not lift documents off your desk and put her name on them, but this chick has a knack for making your great idea seem like hers. She usually does her credit-grabbing in staff meetings. As soon as you say something that interests the boss, she's front and center, yakking about the brilliant idea—why,  she was just talking about it last week!—until everyone has forgotten who the real Einstein is.

How To Deal: Put everything in writing. When you have a big idea to present, email it to several people—it will provide concrete evidence of your work, with the date and time to show you get first dibs. If you want to wow them with your ideas at a brainstorming session, bring handouts that give all the dazzling details.

Another good idea is to keep information flowing to your boss. "When you're selling your successes and contributions to your boss directly, these types can have little impact on your career," says Caitlin Friedman, co-author of The Girl's Guide To Kicking Your Career Into Gear. "So, share ideas with your boss privately whenever possible. If she knows how hard you're working, who cares if this person tries to take credit?"

3. The Underminer

She never says she thinks you're making a mistake. And at first, her comments sound like compliments—almost: "I love the way you always speak your mind in meetings; it's like you don't care what anyone thinks." Or, "Wow, really interesting decision you made there. Not a lot of people would have done that." Is it any wonder you feel your confidence drop to the floor the moment she walks in the room?

How To Deal: Pretend that her phony praise is sincere. "Even if it kills you inside, look at her and say, 'Gosh, thank you for noticing! It's true—I am outspoken!' There is nothing that tortures a mean person more than being perceived as being nice," says Weingarten.

Find out about the other types of annoying coworkers when you click on the next page!

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  • cheskafrances
    thanks cosmo...in my last work there are lot of gossip,whiner and shirker rolled into one..thanks for sharing this one...
    July 25, 2011 at 09:57 pm    report abuse   
  • love11
    this helped me a lot cosmo. I'm a fresh grad and let's just day I am having some co-worker problems in my first job. thank you very much. made me feel a lot better AND wiser. :D
    July 25, 2011 at 05:30 pm    report abuse   

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