How To Deal With An Annoying Co-Worker

Working in an office environment can be taxing even at the best of times, but when you are surrounded by one or more co-workers that have annoying habits, going into the office can be just as bad as a visit to the dentist.  There are many reasons a co-worker can strike the wrong cord with you, pinpointing exactly what it is they do that bothers you is the best way to learn how to deal with their behavior. Here are a few ways you can manage your reaction to hard to manage coworkers.

Create Space

If you have a coworker that is hard to be around, sometimes the best thing to do is make a little space between the two of you. Reduce your interaction with them, such as conversations that are not related directly to a task, or changing your break time so that you don’t meet in office social situations. If your desk is near theirs, consider requesting reassignment. Don’t make it obvious that you are avoiding them, as it can make your office environment even more awkward.

Understand Their POV

While some people are intentionally obnoxious, there are an equal number that get on their coworkers nerves without being aware of it. Sometimes, this can be from a general need to please, over-friendliness, or simple insecurities. Try interacting with your coworker in a more healthy fashion to see if this changes their behavior before writing them off as a simple nuisance.



Sometimes looking at behavior from the other person point of view does little to change how they make you feel-annoyed. Even when you actively try to avoid interacting with them, at times their behavior can still spill over into your comfort zone. If this happens on a regular basis, a direct approach can be the only way to get the peace of mind that allows you to be productive in the workplace. The next time you come in contact with them in a way that is not productive, calmly bring up your concerns in a clear but non-confrontational manner. Sometimes this is all you need to stop the annoying behaviors that make you dread coming into the office.

Letting It Go

Sometimes, directly dealing with a difficult office mate, or even trying to change their behavior doesn’t work. If the office dynamics don’t allow you to put any of these suggestions into effect, or even to bring up the issue with your supervisor, and you are not willing to change jobs, the only way to deal with it is by ignoring it completely. After a while, either the offending person will find a new target, or you will become skilled at tuning them out.