How to Deal with that Annoying Coworker (Without Re-Enacting the Kardashians’ Hottest Drama)


Let’s face it—there’s always going to be someone in your life who isn’t the most pleasant person to be around. While this might be difficult to handle at times, there are ways to get in the right head space to properly deal with the situation—and with the annoying person at the heart of the drama.

Lead by Example

Remember the ol’ “Golden Rule,” which dictates that you should treat others the way you want to be treated yourself. Perhaps this difficult coworker hasn’t had a ton of guidance in their career. There’s a chance they don’t know how to conduct themselves in a professional environment. If that’s the case, then show them—by being professional yourself. Obviously, this entails a lot of patience, and that’s not always in huge supply, but if you focus, you can do it. Be the coworker that you want them to be. If you treat them with respect, maybe they’ll take note and give you an easier time when they’re around you. It’s worth a shot, right?

Turn the Situation Around

Bruce Lee was a proponent of using the momentum of an opponent to manipulate a different outcome. He was talking about martial arts, but the same concept applies to the work environment, too. If an annoying coworker is complaining about something, try to guide their energy toward something productive. Remind them that while, yes, the situation they’re complaining about is annoying, at least it’s [insert positivity here].

  • At least it’s Friday
  • At least the weather is nice
  • At least it’s wing night at the local sports bar

Or try to distract them in a positive way. Is there any humor to be found in what they’re complaining about? Maybe a faulty cash register or a fickle software program? Make a joke about it. Unite with them against the “common enemy” and grow your relationship with that person as a result. Often times, these folks just need a friend. Maybe you can be that friend to them.

Learn from Them

If all else fails, then take note of your annoying coworker’s behavior. Why? Because they’re giving you a step-by-step lesson in how not to act at work. You might think that you’d never act that way in the first place. Maybe not, but it doesn’t help to have a refresher!

You might also take note of how your other coworkers deal with this annoying coworker. Do they have tactics that make the annoying individual to be easier to deal with? Maybe you can employ those same methods in your own interactions.

In the end, you can only control yourself and your own actions. Try to tough it out, be kind to them even if it’s difficult, and remember: your shift is going to end eventually. Check out these tips on how to be happier at work. If this isn’t solace enough, though, then it might be time to make a switch to a better job.

We can help with that, you know. That’s what Capango is all about! Let us find you a better job (and hopefully one without annoying coworkers!).


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