There’s always that one colleague who really grinds your gears, but luckily there are proven ways to achieve peace.
In this article:
- Figure Out Why
- See That Person as a Mirror
- Document Any Bad Behavior
- Overcome Confrontation Anxiety
- Play Well With Everyone
- Get to Know Colleagues
- Don’t Gossip
- Seek Help
Tips on Dealing With That Work Colleague Without Resorting to Violence
You may not actually even be aware that there is a specific colleague who aggravates you, because maybe you’re actually a decent employee with better things to focus on. But identifying the problem means formally identifying who frustrates you.
Think about your work rants to loved ones. Who do you make it a point to avoid being in the same room with? Does a single person keep coming up? If you answered yes, and could think of a dozen other scenarios involving this person, then you found your culprit.
2. Figure Out Why
Once you’ve identified your least favorite work colleague, pinpoint the specific feelings this person provokes in you. It’s tempting to just go, “He is the most annoying person in the world; his face is just begging to be punched,” but this is a generalization that only serves to frustrate you even more.
Ask yourself why that person is so annoying, specifically. Label each emotion that you feel whenever this work colleague ticks you off. This will help you focus on finding solutions.
3. See That Person as a Mirror
This may be a little difficult to confront, but ask yourself how your reactions and emotions to this person can help you learn more about yourself. This isn’t a very emotionally satisfying step, but it’s very beneficial for your own long-term self-improvement.
Are you annoyed at this person because they rub your insecurities the wrong way? Do they prevent you from doing your job effectively and efficiently? Sure, getting pissed is a natural reaction, but you don’t need that energy in your life. You might as well channel it into being productive.
4. Document Any Bad Behavior
More often than not, an annoying colleague simply happens to check the boxes on your list of pet peeves. Other instances may just prove your least favorite colleague is generally a grade-A ass.
If that colleague is demonstrating a number of red flags and setting off multiple alarms in your head, try to document any bad behavior of theirs. This way, if it comes to it, you can report your findings to the proper authorities. Do take note, though, that it’s one thing to just keep a record of their misdeeds when they occur and another to actively find faults and build a personal vendetta.
5. Overcome Confrontation Anxiety
Nobody like confrontations, let’s be honest. But sometimes there are situations at work that truly call for it, like when your rights and duties are compromised.
Confronting others shouldn’t be the very first step in approaching the annoying colleague problem. But when you do, make sure you’ve gone through the previous steps thoroughly.
This takes away any unnecessary conflict that comes with confrontations driven by negative emotion and not reason. It also makes for a more transparent encounter, where you can confront your colleague with facts instead of just saying “Hey, you’re annoying.”
6. Play Well With Everyone
No matter how many achievements you’ve racked up over the years, what makes or breaks you professionally are the relationships you form. Got a degree from an elite school? Got years and years of relevant experience? None of that matters if you can’t get along with your colleagues.
Having a good relationship with colleagues helps pave the way for success. It also creates a satisfying and safe work environment, not just for you, but for everyone you work with.
Effective relationships with colleagues also make it easier for you to discuss your problems and concerns with them. You get annoyed at your own buddies, right? But you talk it out with them, and everything is right with the world again. The same should go for your workplace, albeit more professionally. Think of it as something you can advise your kids about someday.
7. Get to Know Colleagues
Find ways of bonding with your colleagues. This is not a new concept for companies, as they hold team building events, holiday parties, family events, and more.
Building work alliances through bonding lets you develop a more positive outlook through work. It also helps you understand your colleagues a little better.
Who knows, maybe you’ll find something in common with that annoying co-worker and end up being friends. That wouldn’t have happened if you left yourself stewing in a brew of frustrations.
8. Don’t Gossip
Gossip is said to be the lowest form of storytelling—but probably among the juiciest source of entertainment. And just like any cheap entertainment, you’re given a short thrill, but at the end of the day, you’re left with nothing that made your life any better.
The danger of gossip is that it easily blows out of proportion and can cause serious damage. It can ruin lives, shatter dreams, end entire careers, and destroy reputations. Sure it’s tempting to gossip about that annoying colleague, but what does that make you?
If you really have to gossip, take it with a grain—nay, a fistful—of salt. Then probably ask the gossiper if they have anything better to do, before going back to work.
9. Seek Help
If this annoying co-worker worsens conditions and causes real problems at work, you should notify your manager or immediate supervisor. Better yet, you can bring it straight to your company’s HR department.
Ask your HR manager for help in dealing with your colleague. They can come up with some useful solutions for you. They can rearrange seating arrangements, relocate you or that colleague, or provide that colleague with a warning if it’s proven that they have risky and/or malicious intent.
The worst case scenario is that they end up firing the colleague, but again, only for extreme cases. You don’t want to take an annoying colleague’s noisy chewing to HR, do you?
In this video by The Telegraph, shares how to deal with difficult colleagues in the workplace:
At the end of the day, you have to remember that a job is a job. You are not required to love each and every aspect of it or to like your annoying coworker. This does not mean your job is bad nor that your annoying colleague is a bad person. It’s normal to sometimes feel like you just want to punch someone for being annoying. However, the reality is that everyone is cooped up in the same space, so you all may as well try to make everything as easy as possible for one another.
Do you have your own way of dealing with your least favorite colleague at your place of work? Tell us in the comments section below.