No office is perfect. As much as you and your colleagues get along, there are probably still (more than) a few difficult personality types that you are interacting with on a regular basis. Some can cause real issues, eroding worker morale, and creating tension, whereas others are probably just a bit annoying to have to deal with.

In this article, we will take a look at some different types of office personalities, and discuss the best way to deal with them so that you can diffuse a situation or at least create a calmer work environment.

The Office Bully

This is just like the mean kid in middle school. They could tease coworkers, talk over others, or try and steal credit for work they did not do. Often times, these individuals are discreet with their bullying, so managers might not even be aware that this is happening – especially as many people who experience bullying do not report it.

If you are on the receiving end of bullying in the office, it is important that you stand up for yourself. Let the bully know how their words or actions impact you and your work; there is a chance that they might be unaware of your experience. Beyond that, you can create personal boundaries regarding what you will tolerate. Depending on the situation, you may want to document the bully’s actions and inform a manager – just be sure to focus on the facts and leave try and leave emotion out of it.

The Negative Nancy

You know the type. It seems like every word out of this coworker’s mouth is a criticism. Nothing is ever good enough. This person can be really difficult to work with, as they suck the energy out of groups. Other colleagues can be afraid to speak up and share their ideas because they know this individual will only point out the negative.

Beyond just trying to avoid this type of coworker in general, it can be tough to deal with a Negative Nancy at work. One thing that you might try to do is to set aside time in meetings to specifically discuss the positives and strengths of an idea, followed by potential threats or weaknesses. Having this structure could at least keep the negativity to a minimum.

The Annoying Coworker

We all have our quirks and specific ways of doing things, but this can sometimes be really frustrating in an office environment. Maybe someone listens to their music too loud, or always comes by to chat while you are trying to work, or (the worst) likes to microwave fish for lunch.

Regardless of the particular type of annoying habit your colleague has, it may or may not be best to bring it up with them. Instead, you may want to see if there are things that you can do for yourself to improve the situation. For example, can you get noise-canceling headphones or put up a “do not disturb” sign on your office door? It might be worth having a conversation about the fish…

There is a chance that while reading through this article you recognized yourself in one of these descriptions. Take a deep breath, it will be okay. Now that you know, you can start to adjust your behavior so that your time with your work family is a little less stressful.


Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash