by: Kelsee Hankins
No matter where you work, there are always a few different personalities that you will encounter. Negative Nancy, Chatty Cathy, Slacker Sue - and that might just be scratching the surface. You might be wondering how you're supposed to navigate each day in your workplace without losing your sanity. Dealing with crazy coworkers doesn’t have to keep you from meeting your goals and deadlines at work. When you feel overwhelmed with all these personalities at work, try some of these tips to get you through the day.
Handling a Negative Nancy
Chances are, this person loves to complain and highlight everything negative that they possibly can. While they thrive on the bad news, they can be sucking the energy out of you pretty quickly. The easiest way to handle it is obviously to limit your exposure to the person, but that’s not always a possibility. Sometimes, they really just need to be heard and that’s the extent of it. But, don’t let their issues weigh you down. If they start taking advantage of your friendly listening efforts, suggest that they seek assistance for their complaints from management or HR. Dealing with constant negativity from co-workers likely isn’t in your job description.
Limiting Conversations with a Chatty Cathy
While you’re filling up your coffee mug in the lounge, there’s undoubtedly that person that will start asking you a thousand questions about your weekend. You may oblige, but you’re already stressing about the 10 deadlines you have looming over your head for the day. More than likely, your chatty coworker doesn’t realize they are getting on your nerves. If it’s an occasional disturbance, excuse yourself in a light way by dropping that you’ve got a deadline to meet, wish them a great day, and head to your desk. If their chattiness gets to be more chronic, they may need a more blunt approach. Try saying something about catching up later, maybe during lunch or an afternoon coffee run. It may take a little reinforcement over time, but keeping your work at the top of your priority list is the main goal.
Not Falling Behind with Slacker Sue
We’ve all encountered the person who just doesn’t keep up for whatever reason. Maybe it’s taking extra long lunches, missed deadlines, or playing on social media all day, but it’s slowing down progress on your work. As annoyed as you might be, it’s not your job to police a co-worker’s behavior. There could be an underlying reason for your co-worker’s behavior, so don’t make assumptions and become accusatory off the bat.
Instead of ambushing your co-worker, try entering into a conversation about how you can help. Have a few examples of their past behavior on hand, just in case you need to share how their behavior has harmed your work as well. Situations like these are never black & white, but keeping the communication positive and open is a good place to start. Also, try addressing the issue with your co-worker before going to your manager as that may inspire them to improve. Give them a chance to try again after your conversation, but if that fails, speak to your supervisor for more help. Focus on what work needs to be done, not on the person’s failings.
Rather than letting annoying co-workers wreck your sanity while you’re trying to get things accomplished, focus on you, your work, and your role in the office. If you need help, don’t hesitate to talk with supervisors for more help. You can’t win with everyone, but most issues can be resolved with assertiveness and an open mind.
Kelsee is a millennial lifestyle blogger based in the Midwest USA. She's all about forging her own path and breaking all the rules to get there. When she isn't writing about her travels, personal finance, or other passions on the internet, she's a professional actor/singer and teaching artist.