Author Topic: Annoyed by Your Coworker?  (Read 124 times)


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Annoyed by Your Coworker?
« on: February 06, 2015, 12:00:10 AM »

C-Family @ Faithwall


Annoyed by Your Coworker?

Annoyed by Your Coworker?

Annoyed by Your Coworker?

Navigating the pen-clicking, loud-talking, over-perfumed world of office irritations

By Diane Paddison

After decades in the corporate world, I’ve encountered my share of office annoyances.

Tom had a habit of dominating meetings, cutting people off, or talking over them to make his points. I found Gary’s constant need for affirmation and promotion exhausting. Karen was very sweet, and so was her perfume, but it gave me headaches every time I came in close proximity. Rick liked to take his calls on speakerphone—I could hear the details of his conversations even through my closed office door.

The people and personalities that challenge us at work are the ones that offer the greatest chance for personal growth and missional impact.

I had plenty of wonderful, considerate colleagues, too, and when I look back, those are the people I think about most. But the people and personalities that challenge us at work are the ones that offer the greatest chance for personal growth and missional impact. Learning to get along with your coworkers (even, or maybe especially, the annoying ones) is a part of your Christian calling, and it also happens to be essential for your career.

Here are some ways to work through the annoyances and make the best of it.

Don’t stew. The typical office annoyance starts with something very small but can quickly escalate out of proportion. If something is bothering you at work, there are two basic options for handling it in a healthy way: you can choose to take action and try to work it out with the person responsible, or you can choose to let it go. You absolutely must choose. Grumbling about office annoyances to yourself (or others) only causes distractions and wastes precious time and energy. It also tends to harden your heart toward your colleagues.

Let a lot of things go. That guy clicking his pen in the meeting next to you? He is God’s perfect creation, and you are called to love him as Christ loved us. It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor; a sensible person keeps quiet (Proverbs 11:12).

I have a friend who hates the sound of people chewing, to the point where he sometimes has to get up and leave the room. He knows, though, this peculiar sensitivity is his problem and his responsibility, no one else’s, so he’s careful not to blame others for eating their lunches in the break room.

Are you extra sensitive to something? Consider whether your reaction to the annoyances in your office is being influenced by your own sensitivities, insecurities, or past experiences. Sometimes the things that make us the most uncomfortable about other people come back to our own issues.

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