How To Deal With An Annoying Coworker

Even if you love your job, no office will be perfect. And neither will any one person, including you. If someone at work annoys you, you should first assess where the real problem lies. Are you just being rude and judgmental, or does your coworker actually exhibit bothersome qualities? Either way, don’t fret. For the days where you just can’t catch a break, here are six down and dirty tips for dealing with an annoying coworker.

  1. One Word: “Busy”

    Hopefully, you don’t work with inherently annoying people. Hopefully, people get on your nerves because you’re so important and busy that you just don’t have time to deal. Even if this isn’t the case, pretend like it is. Diffuse any pesky interactions with keeping yourself busy. Give off the impression that you’re there to work, not to socialize. People will respect you and probably leave you alone.

  2. Two Words: “No Thanks”

    If your work friend is a downer, don’t spend your time with them. It’s OK to decline lunch or coffee invitations, even if you genuinely like a person. Some days you just can’t deal.

  3. Talk To Your Boss

    You don’t have to be a tattle-tale, but you might want to move desks or locations if you are constantly annoyed by someone in your line of sight. Familiarity breeds contempt, and if the coworker in question can see you, they might be more likely to meander up to your desk unannounced. If this is what’s bugging you, don’t get personal. Frame it as a productivity issue, and talk to your boss about how you can increase your value by moving to another location in the office.

  4. Take A Walk

    How annoying is this person, really? And how much of it is on you? Reset yourself psychologically by getting a little bit of sunshine and stretching your legs. Even doing a few flights of stairs can make a big difference. Who knows? The coworker in question might not even be annoying, after all. Give yourself a few moments of zen, and get right back to work.

  5. Try The Silent Treatment

    It might sound rude, but it will work. Quit talking to the coworker in question. If they’re in your department or you have to interact with them constantly, feel free to be a bit terse and cold. Be professional always and helpful when you can. As long as you’re being respectful, you don’t have to be liked.

  6. Have A Conversation

    If all else fails, be a grown up. Talk to the person that annoys you, but be as nice as you can. Take them out to lunch, and spend some time mentally preparing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Who knows? Maybe your coworker is unaware that you can’t stand their gum smacking, or maybe they’re going through a hard time. Cut them (and yourself) some slack. Talk about it like adults.