5 Toxic Personalities to Avoid at Work

By Chelsea Babin

Coworkers play a big role in our day-to-day work lives and, if they’re less than ideal, they can take what would otherwise be a fantastic job and turn it into a nightmare. Although you can’t always avoid these toxic personalities, you can minimize your interactions with them to maximize your career success and happiness. Here are 5 toxic personalities that may be dragging you down at work.

1. Control Obsessed: When you’re in a collaborative environment there’s nothing worse than being forced to work with someone who is obsessed with having constant control. These people feel they should be in charge in every situation, no matter how unqualified they are, and thrive on the ability to take over a project and then take all of the credit. Avoid recognizing their authority if that authority is not a part of their job description and try to contribute your ideas as well as encourage other team members to share theirs. You can keep the process collaborative if you don’t let the control obsessed take over.

2. Victims who Complain: There are some people who find the negative in any situation. There are some people who never take responsibility for their own actions. Then, there are others who combine these qualities to create one nightmarish coworker. Ignoring negativity is a skill you’ll have to learn if you can’t avoid this kind of person but it’s hard to ignore someone who never takes responsibility for their own actions. If this leads to mistakes being pinned on you, this kind of coworker could hurt your career. Make sure to keep a record of your work and when you send things their way if you have to work with a victim who complains and try to surround yourself with more positive people to counteract their negativity.

3. Arrogant Critics: Some people think they’re better at their job than everyone else and they’re willing to prove it by tearing down their coworkers’ performance in order to build themselves up. Avoiding these arrogant critics is essential if you want to remain happy and confident with your job performance. However, when you are forced to be around them, remember that arrogant people are often tearing others down to try to cover up their own weaknesses or insecurities. Compliment their work and ensure that your boss sees the stellar effort and skills you put into your job so that these arrogant critics don’t affect your career.

4. Gossipers: Those who are bored with their own lives often resort to gossiping about others. Fortunately, these toxic people are easily avoided if you change the subject whenever they start to discuss the personal lives of others. Additionally, the only personal information you should share with these kinds of coworkers are your goals, passions, and work-related interests. That way, they’re either inspired to become more ambitious and less gossip-oriented or they’re bored with you too and they’ll move on to wasting someone else’s time.

5. Filled with Jealousy: Some people get frustrated when they see others succeed rather than being happy for them. While this does little to tear you down in the eyes of others and often just puts a spotlight on their insecurity, it’s still difficult to work with people who are filled with jealousy when others succeed. The best way to avoid their negative streak is to remain modest around them and be careful not to share your achievements because they’ll only turn it into something negative.

While you can’t always choose your coworkers, you can learn how to deal with or avoid the incredibly toxic ones. When it comes to these 5 types of toxic coworkers, it’s essential that you find a coping mechanism so they don’t damage your career or minimize your happiness at work. If these strategies don’t work and you’re surrounded by toxic coworkers it may be time to start looking for a new job opportunity.