If friends are the family we choose for ourselves, then what are our coworkers? These are the people you end up spending most of your week with, and for better or for worse, you often will end up knowing way too much about them. After all, when you spend between 30 and 50 hours a week with someone, it’s hard to avoid hearing their strong opinion on various topics, their favorite lunch spot, or when they like to go to the bathroom. Try as you might, you really can’t ignore them. Luckily though, you can find ways to deal with them.
Your job can be a fantastic place to make new friends and broaden your networks and if your office is filled with friendly individuals, you might try to look at this as a blessing. However, unlike friends that you can just ignore when they are annoying you, that’s not the case with coworkers; they are not going anywhere. If you’re more of an introverted person, invest in some good headphones, and practice setting boundaries with your chatty colleagues.
Dealing with jealousy can be a fragile affair given the root cause is not generally verbalized and can be difficult to address. No one is ready to admit that they are simmering with envy but a casual discussion about it could be beneficial. Also, think about the way you may be making them feel and change your own habits to adjust if you can.
There is always that one flirty person at work who confesses their love at the Christmas party or after one-too-many lingering desk visits. If you are genuinely not interested, try and distance yourself. If their persistence is impacting your ability to do your job, it’s important to be direct with them (or reach out to HR or your supervisor, if possible).
You’ve spent a ton of energy pulling together a recent presentation and the time has come to showcase your admirable efforts. There’s that one person that chimes in and takes all the credit. This is one of the most infuriating bad coworkers because they are also most likely to flee the scene as soon as the issue arises. If this issue is smaller, have a stern chat with them that you expect better practice moving forward. If it’s a larger issue, speak with your manager in a confidential discussion.
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