Are You the Annoying CoWorker and Not Realize it?

Nancy Anderson
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No one wants to be the annoying coworker, that person who everyone loves to hate, so make sure your habits aren't causing you to gradually slip into that position. Take a look at these six common traits an annoying coworker is likely to have, and take measures to squash any that you recognize in yourself.

1. Bragging

Few things are more annoying than people who keep bringing up their past achievements. No one at your job cares if you graduated first in your class or if you had the most sales three years in a row in your prior position. Stop being an annoying coworker, and keep your focus on your current responsibilities. When you do things right in your current position, you'll earn honest praise from your coworkers.

2. Inflexibility

Most jobs involve collaboration, and great collaboration requires an openness to different perspectives. Learn to be a good listener and to take everyone's point of view into consideration when making decisions. Rigidity is unlikely to make you friends, but flexibility helps foster a more pleasant work environment where everyone is heard and the best ideas make it into the final decisions.

3. Nonproductive Criticism

Few people enjoy unsolicited criticism, so avoid being an annoying coworker by keeping your negative thoughts about your colleagues' work to yourself. When you feel it is important to speak up, always combine your critique with a realistic option for improvement. Be ready to discuss your suggestions, and provide support showing why your way is better than the way it is currently done.

4. Being Antisocial

You may not become best friends with those you work with, but you need to be willing to be friendly acquaintances to keep your workplace running smoothly. Smile and greet everyone at your job pleasantly. Ask about your coworkers' health and families. Sit with colleagues at lunch, and at least occasionally, accept invitations to get together outside of work. Stronger social connections correlate with a better work environment. Most importantly, foster a pleasant work environment by never being rude to anyone in your organization.

5. Pessimism

Negativity is contagious, so don't be one of those annoying coworkers that brings everyone down with their negative attitude. Choose to look on the bright side of things, and see problems as challenges, not disasters. A happy attitude encourages everyone to do their best for more productivity, and as a bonus, it adds an air of fun to work and a sense that you're all in it together, regardless of what comes your way.

6. Putting Yourself First

Everyone wants to get ahead, and your ultimate career goals likely involve better assignments, raises and promotions, but that shouldn't be your primary focus when you're actually doing your job. Instead, focus on being an asset to your team and your company. Stay aware of your company's mission and your importance in reaching that mission, and then do the best job you can for more success for all.

Although it's difficult to change bad habits, it's worth the effort if your bad habits are pulling your whole office down. Work harder to cultivate a cheerful, humble demeanor, be a team player and deliver criticism in a positive, helpful manner. Then, enjoy watching your reputation shift from annoying coworker to model coworker.

Photo courtesy of franky242 at


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