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You come across them at every workplace; annoying colleagues. At Stepmile, we want you to succeed in your career, so we’ve put together four annoying colleagues and how you should interact with them. The best way to deal with an angry, negative, or mean colleague is quite a challenge but well worth the effort. Read, learn and take advantage of it.

The bully

And you thought bullies were only active in primary and secondary school? Unfortunately, however bizarre it may be, there is a lot of bullying at various offices in the Netherlands. According to the TNO, half a million employees were victims of harassment in 2014, 80,000 of which are structural. Do you feel unsafe with a colleague? Are you being yelled at or belittled? Time for action. Decide what you will and will not take from the bully. If they cross the border, take the following steps:

  • Describe the bully’s behavior.
  • Tell them what it does to you and its effect on your job.
  • Tell them that you won’t be doing this from now on.
  • Pick up more and stick to it.

Almost every company has regulations on how to deal with bullying in the workplace. Doesn’t this work? Then look it up higher and go past HR.

The negative

Some colleagues wallow in negativity. They think their job is stupid, the company is boring, their partner is no longer attractive, and the boss is always after him or them. Be the first to listen to your colleague’s complaints. Is the reason for the complaint legitimate? Maybe someone is just not feeling well. There is a good chance that the problem will be solved thanks to your listening ear. Is the person negative about nothing? Then try to interact with them as little as possible. It can be tempting to take over someone’s negative energy. Before you know it, you are also complaining about anything and everything. Do not respond to the rain of complaints; hopefully, it will stop by itself. Your colleague should know that you will not respond to nagging. Do they have something nice to say? They have a friendly chat. Hopefully, the penny will fall by itself.

The rude

Do you suffer from a colleague with bad habits? Does your colleague smell out of his mouth daily, or do you smell last night’s chip shop? Does someone make annoying noises all day, or does someone eat out of their nose? You can approach this in various ways. Start with the soft approach. Let it be said that it smells like alcohol and that the bottle of wine from the company outing might have leaked in the fridge. There is a good chance that your colleague will understand the hint and be better-taken care of. No success? Then point out the problem to the colleague. Say you don’t like the smell or are often distracted by his pen tapping. Not a success again? Then point out to your colleague the negative influence it can have on the company. Do customers come over, and your colleague smells? That is bad for the entire company. If this still doesn’t work, point the colleague to his own career. Making a career is difficult if a colleague does not want to sit next to you.

The gossip

Gossip is the rule rather than the exception in most offices. Sometimes it seems that some colleagues have nothing better to do than talk about each other. There is gossip about each other, managers, the company’s future, you name it. Minor problems are blown up to mythical proportions, which is under no circumstances suitable for the atmosphere in the workplace. Gossip is not prohibited by law and is difficult to tackle.

Gossip works like poison; Before you know it, the good employees quit, and you’re left with a jar of sourpusses. Nevertheless, we have a few tips for you. First, don’t go along with it and stand up for the one that is gossiped about. Report gossip to your supervisor immediately. A good manager tackles the problem directly. If gossip is handled correctly, you create an excellent working atmosphere in which every employee enters their own.


You spend a lot of time at work. It is therefore essential that you enjoy going to work. An annoying colleague should absolutely not stand in the way of this. Stand up for yourself; your opinion matters. This way, you get the best out of yourself. If you feel good about yourself, you do your job well, making you a good employee.