Annoying Co-Worker? We All Have One


Whether a job is enjoyable or not doesn’t just revolve around the duties you have to handle; it can also include how you feel about your co-workers. At some point in nearly every career, professionals find themselves in roles that they like but are stuck with a co-worker who rubs them the wrong way. This can make the work feel less fulfilling, as dealing with the annoyance harms their perspective.

If you have an annoying co-worker who tends to overshare or interrupt you, there are things you can do to remedy the situation. Here’s what you need to know.

Prepare to Speak Up

If your co-worker is interrupting you regularly or has a tendency to overshare about their personal life, you need to get ready to speak up. Usually, these kinds of situations won’t get better on their own, as there is a decent chance your co-worker doesn’t realize they are bothering you.

Before you talk with your co-worker, make a plan for handling the discussion. The goal is to cover your points without your co-worker feeling like the conversation is an attack. As a result, you have to make sure you aren’t accusatory or aggressive when you talk about the problem.

Instead, you want to be compassionate but clear. Be ready to outline the situation in a factual manner, but use a kind approach. For example, you can express your appreciation for their work-related contributions first, then let them know how their oversharing or interruptions make you feel or interrupt your workflow. Acknowledge they might not realize the impact of their conversational choices, and potentially offer up a solution that can remedy the issue.

Speak in Private

After you prepare what you are going to say, don’t blindside your co-worker in a public forum. That can make them defensive and may inadvertently invite other people into the conversation.

Find a way to speak with them privately. This could include sitting down in one of your offices, slipping into a conference room, or otherwise finding a quiet area to talk. After all, your goal shouldn’t be to embarrass your co-worker or call them out in front of others. Instead, it should be to find a resolution for the situation.

Initially, it is also best not to involve a manager or HR unless you genuinely need them to intervene. Often, these situations can be dealt with among co-workers when the conversation is handled in a delicate, professional and compassionate way.

However, if your initial discussion doesn’t yield results or your co-worker refuses to stop interrupting you or making you uncomfortable with their discussion topics, you might want to seek assistance from a supervisor at that point. If that also doesn’t lead to positive results, it may be time to explore other opportunities if the annoying co-worker is truly hindering your ability to do your work or enjoy your job.

Ultimately, annoying co-workers are something that happens nearly everywhere, but that doesn’t mean the situation can’t be addressed. If you’d like to know more or you’re looking for new jobs, the team at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our staff today and see how our conflict management expertise can benefit you.






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