How to deal with toxic co-workers: 7 dangerous personalities


Don't let negative and sublime people rent space in your head. Stop the rent and kick them out.” - Robert Tew

The workplace is beautiful, amazing and dangerous at the same time, and we know that. The people we work with can make the workplace either the best place you can be or just the opposite.

We spend countless hours at work. As a result, we spend more time with our co-workers than with our friends and family. Some of our co-workers can be really helpful and amazing which often leads to a lifelong friendship outside of work. 

But most of the time we are stuck with really bad co-workers which can affect our mental health and performance at work. Toxic co-workers can discourage us and even lead us to quit our jobs. 

But we can't really choose the people we work with. So the best thing we can do while dealing with bad co-workers in the workplace is to reduce their impact on us and our work.

Let's take a look at the seven most dangerous personalities for coworkers and some effective strategies on how to deal with them. 

How to deal with toxic co-workers: 7 dangerous personalities
How to deal with toxic co-workers

1. Chatterers

These are the ones who spread gossip all over the workplace and the only thing they are good at is talking about other people behind their backs. They alter and exaggerate the truth and talk about anything they can know about that person. They act mostly out of hiding their flaws and try to divert attention away from their flaws. This can affect your desire to work and cause you to worry about problems that may not actually exist.

How to deal with gossip:

  • Understand that it can be difficult to communicate logically and rationally with this type of person, as you will not be able to get them to change their personality and behavior. The best way to communicate with gossips is to tell them directly but politely that you do not appreciate the exaggerated or not true comments they make about others. But you have to be careful as this can turn into new gossip.
  • Make sure not to indulge or participate in spreading any rumors or gossip about your boss, co-workers, or your workplace. Do not share any details about your personal and social life with co-workers that you do not trust.
  • Understand that their behavior is part of their personality. Gossip is their strategy to hide their flaws. So do not take their comments or words personally. 

2. Alwamon

These are the employees who always blame others for not getting work done. It is easy for them to point the finger at others when things go wrong and they will never be held responsible for their mistakes, bad decisions, and poor performance. They are also good liars and can easily convince others that they are right.

How to deal with llamaine:

  • Acknowledge and accept any mistakes on your part instead of playing the blame game. This will show that you are more mature, responsible and believe in taking charge rather than pointing fingers at others.
  • Instead of getting involved in the blame game, highlight facts that exist, documented, and verifiable to prove them wrong.
  • Don't allow blame to provoke you and be sure to set boundaries with them. Focus on your inner peace and show them their limits through subtle words and actions.

3. Dramatics

These are the kings of drama. They tend to be very emotional and interact in ways that are far from professional. They are attention-seeking and overreact to anything. These people often develop superficial relationships to satisfy their emotional needs. Nevertheless, they can be very attractive, cheerful and lively people. So make sure you get to know them and keep your limits in dealing with them. 

How do you deal with dramatists?

  • Try not to criticize them even when their mistakes seem obvious. Instead, focus on their positive side and praise them for what they offer as it helps them improve it even more.
  • If necessary, tell them honestly how their reactions, behavior, and mood swings have affected you personally. Make sure you stay calm during their dramatic expression of their emotions.
  • Understand that it is not your job to take care of them or change their personality and behavior. Focus on how to reduce the impact of their behavior on your business.

4. Dominators

The control freak is one of the worst co-workers who is inevitable in any business, as they love to be critical of everyone, especially those who work their own way. This is because they feel the urgency to control everything that is going on in the workplace. Therefore, they often intrude on other people's business and overstep boundaries. They can be an asset to the company, but their attitude can demotivate others around them. 

How to deal with controllers:

  • Be sure to praise their accomplishments for their attention to detail and to appreciate their contributions to the company. However, you should know the difference between praise and flattery
  • Sometimes it is best to let them take over when a task is not critical or adversely affects your performance.
  • Do not take their behavior or actions personally. Have confidence in your abilities and skills.

5. The complainers

These are the ones who act like a victim in all circumstances and complain about everything just to get attention. Constant complaining can seriously affect your performance and discourage you in the long run. They often try to convince others in the company of how management is acting unfairly and focus only on what is going wrong. Their negativity can be contagious and can degrade the entire work environment.

How to deal with complainers:

  • Be patient when communicating with them. Understand that they are in fact feeling victimized and not acting like this on purpose.
  • Focus on the facts to point out the errors and try to show them the positive side of the company. When they start to complain, listen to them patiently and then present a counterargument with sufficient evidence.
  • Empathize with them whenever you can. But don't fall into the trap of believing what they say. Set boundaries while having conversations, avoid them as much as possible, and stand up for yourself when needed.

6. Skeptics

You know your skeptical colleague better than anyone else. He is often suspicious of management and anyone else. He does not trust anyone in the office and can deduce the strangest conspiracy theories about others and the company. And certainly his behavior can have serious negative effects on your work and performance.

How to deal with skeptics:

  • Be careful what you tell them about yourself, others, your boss, or the company. Understand that your harmless words can easily become the next conspiracy theory they will come up with.
  • Give them realistic and rational explanations for why their theories are incorrect.
  • Do not believe their theories or concepts because their negative perceptions can influence your thoughts and behavior.

7. Narcissists

Narcissists are perhaps the most dangerous coworkers you work with. They are cocky and often work as managers or supervisors. They often exhibit the classic signs of a narcissistic personality, they lack empathy for their co-workers, demand constant admiration, expect high even if undeserved praise and act as if they deserve everything in the company. They are annoying, arrogant, and hated by most people in the office.

They consider themselves exceptional even if they are not. They have an inflated view of themselves that can harm others and the company in general.

How to deal with narcissists:

  • Although compliments are a great way to boost their ego and engage with them, you can make do with some general praise and appreciation. This will make things easier for you.
  • If their actions or behavior must be criticized, be sure to start with positive feedback first and then gently shift toward criticism.
  • Keep your expectations realistic when it comes to narcissists. Make sure you don't put yourself in situations that cause them to take credit for something you have done.
  • Once you can identify a coworker's personality, you will be able to better manage yourself, your work, and your professional relationships while preserving your well-being and career.