If you work in an office where the culture is pretty laid back and the only person you deal with is your easy-going supervisor, then you are in the lucky 10% and the rest of us envy you.

We all know there’s a psycho in some form or another at every workplace. Whether it’s an incompetent co-worker, an aggressive manager, or a stressed-out office assistant; we all deal with people who test our sanity and patience sometimes. 

Let’s explore 13 types of “crazy” we may encounter at work and how to deal with them. 

  1. The Backstabber

Backstabbers have been around for centuries, and everyone knows at least one person like this. They act friendly but will stab you in the back just as soon as they get an opportunity.

Most found: Managers/co-workers envious of their peers, superiors, or competitors, and employees looking to save their jobs by any means necessary.

What makes them so toxic: These people don’t care about anyone but themselves and will do anything to make themselves look better at the expense of others. They will isolate you, use you, and turn everyone else against you if they can.

How to deal with them: You can’t deal with these, just keep your distance, prioritize yourself above their interests, don’t trust them under any circumstances and keep things professional but courteous. Never tell that person anything personal because they’ll use it against you later down the road.

  1. The Cry Baby

This is one of the most common types of toxic people you will encounter in any office. They are usually young, naïve, and emotional. They are also very sensitive, which makes it difficult for them to deal with any type of criticism.

Most found: In small companies where there is little or no leadership.

What makes them so toxic: Their lack of experience in life causes many problems when dealing with others in the workplace. They cannot have a rational adult conversation without breaking down into tears halfway through. if you call them out on their behaviour, they get offended because it proves that the world is out to get them.

How to deal with them: They’re not that bad when you get used to them but try not to upset them too much because if pushed far enough, they would rather quit than stay in an environment where they think they are being ridiculed or mocked. 

  1. The Know It All 

They believe that everything they say is right, even if it’s blatantly wrong. They don’t listen to reason no matter how clever your argument is. Their over-inflated ego causes them to suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect (people with little knowledge overestimate themselves while people with a lot of knowledge underestimate themselves)

Most found: In any office environment with poor leadership.

What makes them so toxic: Their unwillingness to accept new ideas or admit when they’re wrong makes them very hard to work with. Sometimes their ego gets so out of control that people would rather listen to other toxic people than listen to them.

How to deal with them: You cannot penetrate this person’s wall, even if you’re right and they’re wrong. Your best bet is just to steer clear of this person as much as possible unless you want your days filled with frustration and anger (especially if there isn’t a superior to address issues with the know-it-all). 

  1. The Gossip Queen/King

The Gossip Queen/King- (A close relative to the backstabber)

They don’t care who it is or what the situation is; they will talk about anything and everything whenever they think there’s a chance someone would overhear them. 

Most found: In a small office environment with poor leadership.

What makes them so toxic: Their entire life revolves around waiting for someone to do something wrong and then telling everyone about it as soon as possible (usually embellishing what happened) 

How to deal with them: Do your best not to engage this person as much as possible since it’s almost always a lost cause. If you must confront them on their gossiping, do so with tact because if they feel insulted, they’ll take it out on the next person who stumbles upon them in conversation with someone else.

  1.    The Time Waster

This person doesn’t respect other people’s time, which results in projects taking longer than necessary. They make excuses for not completing their tasks and expect you to clean up after them. If you don’t help, their attitude quickly turns sour.

Most found: Any office with a huge workload and not enough people to do the job. 

What makes them so toxic: Their time-wasting not only affects the project at hand but also drags down the morale of everyone trying to get work done promptly. 

How to deal with them: Have someone monitor this person’s work and ensure that their excuses are legitimate before assisting or allowing them to take more time on the task. Otherwise, inform a superior. Sometimes you must be harsh with people to keep them motivated and on track.

  1. The Grouch

Nothing can make this type of person happy; they always complain instead of being positive and moving forward with tasks. They see life through a negative lens and thrive on negativity.

Most found: Anywhere with poor leadership

What makes them so toxic: Their negativity is infectious and extremely difficult to work around because it creates an unpleasant atmosphere that demoralises everyone. 

How to deal with them: Try not to let their negativity seep into your psyche because the more you let them get under your skin, the more they will continue to do so. Let them know that you’re available to help if needed but don’t let their hostility affect your work ethic.


To be continued

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