How To Deal With Obnoxious Colleagues At Work

by - Monday, July 10, 2017


It is actually amazing how our backgrounds have shaped us to become who we are. Most of the things we picked up, either good or bad, as children, have all lived with us and in a way shaped us today. “No man is an Island”, as the popular saying goes. It is therefore unquestionable that we will have to deal with different people from all walks of life, day in and out.

An informal meeting or union may not necessarily be binding as any party can choose to walk away if it happens that the parties in question are synonymous to parallel lines in thoughts, ideas and actions. The same cannot be said in the formal sphere as in the case of one’s place of work.

In fact, when the HR asks during the interview if there will be a problem working in a team, they always forget to put the clause that says the person may be really annoying at times. Lol. The truth is we will always come across annoying people all the time that avoiding them is almost impossible.

How do we then deal with such in the workplace? It would be an easy thing if we could just ignore them and avoid them totally, but it is almost impossible to because more often than not, you would have to work together. There are other ways one can deal with this issue instead of using the avoidance rule.

1. Do not correct them in the presence of others. Most times, this move backfires as they feel you are only trying to ridicule them. Look for a time when they are in a good mood and start a chat in that line.

2.      Always expect people to annoy you. Yea, it seems weird, as to why one should naturally expect this. But the truth is when you are psychologically prepared for it, it matters little when it is actually being done in reality.

3.      Take an intentional break. A break may be in form of a walk to another part of the office to meet another colleague while the obnoxious situation fizzles out with time. It could just be a three minutes’ walk away from your table.

4.      Stay professional. This will help in a long way and pass a message across to others that no matter how annoying the situation is, you remain as professional as possible by sticking to official issues.

5.      Do not give them room to annoy. We must also admit that sometimes we are also part of those who may aid the process of being annoyed through comments, actions and inactions, which may lead to the second party becoming obnoxious.

6.      Sometimes obnoxious people do not know they are actually obnoxious, it is therefore necessary to avoid the general office gossips totally, and that alone will limit the type of attitude they bring to your table.

7.      If you happen to be a likeable person, chances are that people would want a relationship with you at all cost and their demand for that relationship may become annoying at times. You have only one answer – tell them you are not interested.


The list of dealing with annoying people, especially at the work place, is not exhaustive. We must realize people are different just like our faces are. Therefore, we must keep looking for ways to stay and remain sane.

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