Every workplace or office has an eclectic mix of personalities. While it’s extremely valuable to have a diverse array of coworkers. But there are also times when working with certain people becomes downright difficult. Here are some personalities to watch out for, and how to deal with them.
Everything is always somehow related to the Ego-maniac. No matter how irrelevant the topic may be, the Ego-maniac will always find a way to bring it back to themselves and their achievements. Recognize that this behavior is coming from a place of insecurity, and try to empathize with their quest for recognition. This can make it easier to deal with their braggery.
Avoid conversations with the Rambler except when absolutely necessary. The Rambler will take a piece of information that could be conveyed in one sentence and transform it into an incoherent soliloquy. Be very direct with the Rambler, and try to stick to yes or no questions.
[Related: 7 Annoying Coworkers To Avoid]
Somehow, everything bad always just seems to happen to this person. Evicted from her apartment? Lost his keys? In the middle of a seemingly self-imposed psychodrama? Don’t let the Mess drag you into their personal drama – if they really need your help or advice, offer to talk with them after hours.
No detail is too small for the micromanager to assert their control over. Your sign off on that email you cc’ed her on? The color of the new office napkins you purchased? Nothing escapes the micromanager’s gaze. Craft a multi-pronged strategy to manage the micromanager in your life.
Keep your personal supply of granola bars and chips away from the Glutton. He will try to steal a bite of what you are eating at all costs. Don’t fall victim to his devices— direct him towards the office fridge or invite him to buy his own snack foods, and scrupulously avoid mentioning you have a hidden stash of chocolate in his presence.
Nothing is ever good enough for the complainer. Hearing constant complaining can be grating and harmful to morale and productivity. Try asking them leading questions that can help them see positive aspects of a situation, asking them to keep complaining to a minimum, or crafting other strategies to shield yourself from their barrage of complaints.
The Worrywart is a close cousin of the Micromanager. The Worrywart will worry about everything, whether it’s font on a memo or the meat choice for a luncheon. Don’t them get you into a lather – remember that every decision doesn’t need to be a production.
[Related: How to Deal With a Micromanager]
The Naysayer will meet any idea you present with cynicism and doubt. Keep confidence in yourself and your ideas by knowing how the Naysayer operates, and thus taking “no” they give with a grain of salt.
Whether they are fanatically narrow-minded in their beliefs about religion, politics, or that the Eagles are the best rock band ever to have lived, avoid conversations with this person on sensitive issues that you know will just erupt into arguments. You’re most likely not going to change the Fanatic’s mind, and it’s probably not worth your time and mental energy to try.
The over-sharer has no conception of the distinction between public and private life. They will take great pleasure in sharing all of the grody details of their weekend encounters. Don’t get pulled in by their lurid gossip and over-the-line stories. If they truly feel like they need to share these things with you, suggest meeting at a bar after work.