It could be the annoying laugh, the very loud phone calls, the smugness in meetings or their habit of always shirking the coffee round, but whatever it is that rubs you up the wrong way, you need to find a safe method of dealing with it. Here’s how to cope with the most annoying person in your office and keep your sanity at work…
It can feel like the hardest thing in the world, but imagine how much harder going to work would be if your annoying colleague knew how much you hated them. They’re probably not going to resign and leave any time soon, so you need to stay on their good side. Try and address the behaviours that annoy you as pleasantly as you can, maybe saying you’re finding it a little hard to concentrate. Go out of your way to be generous by offering to make the next round of coffee – acts of generosity fire up the reward centre in your brain and put you in a better frame of mind, even if the person you’re being nice to is a pain in the neck.
Ask them to stop
If the charm offensive doesn’t work, you probably need to address the problem head-on. Politely but firmly ask them to turn the volume down a bit because you’re trying to stay focused, or ‘jokingly’ suggest they might want to switch from the daily tuna sandwiches to something a little less pungent. Never resort to sarcasm, childishness or passive-aggressiveness – if you can’t trust yourself to stay polite, perhaps have a quiet word with your manager and see if they can sort the problem out.
Only kidding. There are plenty of good reasons you might want to pack in your job, but the annoying colleague sitting next to you shouldn’t be one of them. However much you might loathe them and however much they’re making you hate come to work, handing in your notice is never the sensible solution to the problem. Fate has a horrible way of slapping you in the face. If you did hand in your notice, they'd probably do the same things a few days later, and then you’d probably regret acting in anger.
Whenever you find that your annoying workmate is really getting on your nerves, take a step back and try to remain calm. It’s a good excuse to take a break and walk away, maybe grind your teeth a little and then unwind with a calming cup of coffee. A (long) coffee break can be just the thing you need to return to your desk feeling more focused and in a better frame of mind to tolerate their irritating behaviour.