The Toxic Coworker

Thinkstock single image collectionWe’ve all been there. The first few days of new jobs are always troublesome, finding out who you want to talk to, who you can click with, who you want to make your new happy hour buddy, etc. Every job has their characters among the employees from the cool kids, the slackers, the hard workers/overachievers, and the toxic coworkers.

What is the Toxic Coworker? The worst coworker of them all. They may be amazing and fun, and even your best friend, but at they end of the day, they are the venom that flows through your skin slowly killing you…day by day, hour by hour. The toxic coworker is the person that just slowly complains and complains about the  job. They tell you all the bad things about work, even if you have no complaints and are happy go lucky about it!

Eventually their fuming will get the best of you and you will succumb  to the negativity of their attitude. They hate their job and they make you hate yours too. This is the absolute worst possible feeling. Day and night, night and day all you can think about is how you hate your job. You hate going to work because all the rumors have been pasted in your head, you hate going home because of the fears of coming back again the next day. All of this from someone pointing out all the things that never bothered you and engulfing you into their hatred for their job.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my job right now and I’m very happy where I am, but I fell victim to toxic coworkers at my former job — it was unbearable. (These toxic coworkers are now my best friends so its cool that I call them toxic.) Three months in I was ready to check out and made a vow to myself to never fall victim to the toxic coworker again.

My Tips for avoiding the toxic coworker:

  • Nothing is as bad as your former job, so tell em to shut up
  • Choose not to discuss work on cigarette breaks
  • When something negative comes up, look at the people around you, point out the ugliest one and say, “At least we don’t look like them…”

CT

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  • marieveebee

    Always an interesting topic CT! I think another tip is to tell them they are being toxic (in a nice way of course). Sometimes people are so used to complaining/venting, they might not actually realize they are having an effect on you. Sometimes it just takes a simple “hey, can we try to stay positive, etc.”

  • Thats a great tip Marie. I actually dropped that line when starting a job to someone, saying I don't want to hear anything bad and it was a great understanding between us both.

  • CT, I am also a laidback sort of gal, and sometimes when I deal with a coworker who is venting, my instinct is to sort of tell them they're worrying about nothing. I know that's REALLY annoying to the people who have legit concerns that need to be talked about, so I guess my tip is to recognize when a coworker is on a toxic trip and when they're trying to tell you something important (yet depressing).