Good co-workers can make your job an enjoyable experience, but irritating ones can make the workplace unbearable.
Heather Huhman, a career and workplace expert for the online career site Glassdoor, said nearly all employees are forced to deal with bad co-workers, who range from arrogant and lazy to overly talkative and insatiable.
"Even if you consider yourself an easygoing person to work with, you've probably encountered that one colleague who drives you up your cubicle walls," Huhman wrote in a recent blog.
To help employees, Huhman offered six ways to handle the most annoying co-workers:
Maintain a positive attitude: The best thing to do in this situation is to let the annoying things a co-worker does roll off your back. Dwelling on the negative can distract you from being productive. At the end of the day, it's up to you to stay focused on what you need to accomplish and to have a positive attitude at work.
Find a common interest: Employees who have a co-worker they continually butt heads with should try to find some common ground with that person. Try to find at least one thing you have in common, even if it's the dislike of the coffee in the break room. This will make working together more tolerable.
Try to ignore their flaws: Co-workers who are slackers or superarrogant should just be ignored. If the boss has yet to catch on to the problem or simply lets it slide, it's not your problem to worry about. Even if it drives you nuts that your co-worker is never prepared or brags all of the time about nothing, don't feed into their flaw. This will only cause you to become more annoyed and frustrated with the situation.
Shower them with kindness: When dealing with a workplace bully, negative person or gossiper, it's important to remain calm and continue being kind to the person. Stay out of arguments or debates that would cause a negative impact on your work. Just continue smiling and going about your work as usual.
Politely reject their attention: If you have co-workers who are constantly pestering you or asking to go to lunch every day, you should politely reject their invitations. Whenever an annoying co-worker begins distracting you from your work, politely tell him or her to respect your space and to only speak to you if the question is work-related.
- Be assertive: If the problem with an annoying co-worker persists, you need to take charge. After doing everything possible to find a solution, you should stand up for yourself. Tell co-workers they are distracting and they've been negatively impacting your productivity. Though you want to be polite, you also need to be assertive. If the annoying co-worker doesn't get the point, then the next step is to approach your manager for an intervention.
"Don't let your annoying co-workers bring you down at work," Huhman wrote. "If you have to cope with someone who drives you nuts, remember, it's all about how you react the situation."
Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.