Coworker Driving You Nuts? Here’s How to Handle it the Right Way

They take 20-minute “bathroom breaks.”

They take shortcuts with their work (and, surprise, more winds up on your plate).

They think hitting deadlines is a “nice idea” – not a job requirement.

Bottom line? They’re driving you nuts! Frankly, you’d like to march right up to them and vent your frustrations. Better yet, you’d like to complain to your supervisor and make it their problem to deal with.

But criticizing a fellow employee (either to their face or their boss) might not have the effect you want. After all, you don’t run the ship – and you do have to work with this annoying coworker. Harping on them might only increase tension and fuel animosity toward you.

How can you keep your sanity, without nagging or criticizing that irritating fellow employee? Below, PrideStaff shares a few practical tips:

  • Realize that attitude is important. If you choose to focus on your coworker’s annoying behavior, it will become amplified in your mind – and frustrate you even more. Realize that, while you may not be able to eliminate the annoying habit, you can control the way you respond to it. Try to stay calm and smile when you feel yourself becoming aggravated.
  • Focus on the positives. Find something you have in common with this person. Ask them what they did over the weekend that was enjoyable. Do whatever you can to uncover positive aspects of this individual, so you can focus on those things when their annoying behaviors crop up.
  • Take a break. If possible, isolate yourself mentally and emotionally from the irritating coworker. If you can’t physically separate yourself from them, find other ways to tune them out. Grab your earbuds and listen to music if that’s permissible, or take a five-minute walk outside on your break. Even a brief respite can help you press your “reset button” and improve your tolerance.
  • Try being direct. Does this person constantly whine? Skimp on work? Place blame on others? Try to understand exactly what is it about their behavior that grates on your nerves. Then, when the offending coworker engages in that behavior, ask them to change it in a direct, yet respectful, way. If you’re professional, kind and keep the focus on the behavior (not the person), you may get the result you want.
  • Know where to draw the line. If you don’t see any change in behavior, resist the impulse to nag. Don’t lose your composure. Walk away and go through the appropriate channels to manage the situation.

Don’t let an irritating coworker drive you crazy.

Whether you want to get away from an annoying coworker, find a more positive workplace culture, or land a better employment opportunity, our recruiters are here to help. Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities. We’ll help ensure that you don’t just search, but succeed.