The 5 Most Hated Office Personalities

By   |  December 28, 2012

Sometimes, working in an office is like swimming with sharks. In order to survive and thrive at your place of business, you need to recognize the 5 most hated office personalities, and then use your own finesse to handle them (thereby protecting your career). To help you understand this quintet of super-annoying types, we’ve compiled a helpful quick guide to their different personalities and character traits.

Once you’ve gotten a handle on the 5 most hated office personalities, you’ll always know them as soon as you come across them, and you’ll be primed to take even their most infuriating behaviours with a grain of salt.

1. The Big Shot – This type perceives himself (or herself) as a total superstar. Egotistical and completely in love with him or herself, the Big Shot has an inflated sense of his or her own power and position. Sometimes, a big shot really is a big shot. In other words, he or she does have significant influence in the workplace. Other times, the big shot is simple a legend in his or her own mind.

Typical personality traits related to the “Big Shot” include bragging, flaunting expensive clothes and accessories, name-dropping, and flirting with staff who are lower on the totem pole. This type typically has a hot temper. When his or her ego is threatened, he or she will lash out verbally, denigrating anyone who threatens his or her own self-image. To deal with the big shot, stroke his or her ego or stand up to the person. Obviously, stroking the ego of the Big Shot is a safer option, particularly if he or she has the power to fire you or make your life a living hell.

2. The Gossip – This is one of the most malevolent office personalities. Gossips are typically bubbly, social types, who have their fingers in every pie at work. Nothing escapes the notice of these tale-tellers, and they are attracted to any whiff of drama that might be in the air. The gossip operates in staff washrooms, in lunchrooms, through email, by phone, and in every other way. As soon as he or she gets her hands on a new tidbit of information, he or she will make sure that all allies are aware of it.

When it comes to character assassination that may literally destroy your career, you need to know that the gossip is most likely to do you damage. To deal with the gossip, avoid chatting about anyone that you work with, and keep your own conduct above-board. By refusing to slag off others, you’ll take the high road. Bear in mind that the gossip tends to resent those who won’t join his or her clique, or play along with gossiping.

3. The Whiner – Nothing’s every good enough for the office whiner, and life is always so hard for this person. As an adult, you know that everyone has problems and unseen pressures. You also know that most people keep these issues under wraps while they try to get the job done at work. The whiner doesn’t have the maturity to hide his or her problems, whether personal or work-related. Instead, he or she moans about the injustice of it all. The whiner is a drag, but not as inherently evil as the gossip. To deal with the whiner, give him or her a shoulder to cry on, or just avoid the person.

4. The Kid (Childish) – The Kid will bring a mixture of good and bad traits into the workplace. Spontaneous and impatient, this person may have surface charm, because he or she is so unrestrained in dealings with others. To find the kid, look for the person who tells crude jokes, gives high-fives, and generally acts like a rowdy kid in the schoolyard. Occasionally, the Kid will grow hot-tempered when things don’t go his or her way. To deal with the childishness of this type, adopt a parental stance. Be mature and above it all.

5. The Ass Kisser – Sometimes, ass kissers know exactly what they are doing. After all, VIPs, such as the big shot we talked about earlier, really love having their egos stroked. However, watching the ass kisser in action is really very nauseating. To deal with someone who only flatters those who can do him or her good, treat him or her just like you treat anyone else, and remain silent while the ass kisser sucks up to superiors. There’s no point in complaining about it. Just limit contact. Often, ass kissers do themselves in, by sucking up to VIPs who may then drift away to other companies. So there’s always hope that you’re ass kisser is putting his money on the wrong horse.

Now that you know the 5 most hated office personalities, you’ll be ready to swim with the sharks and survive.

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