10 Annoying Traits to Not Make Friends at Work

Posted on: by Michael Tringe

One of the main reasons you stay at a job (or maybe even got the job in the first place) is because you liked your co-workers, or they liked you. Here are ten ways to annoy all your co-workers, in no particular order.

1. Lie to Everyone. This may sound like a no brainer, but when it comes to work – we want to try and be helpful, so sometimes we…well, stretch the truth about what we can and can’t do, or do and don’t have experience with. Do everyone a favor, and be aware of the things you actually don’t know how to do (yet).

2. Don’t Try. If your effort level is hovering around the zero mark, you might not be getting much in the way of kudos from your colleagues. So put in some effort around the work at hand, and watch the praise from your co-workers blossom like fresh water lilies on a happy pond.

3. Have No Feelings. Remember that time when your uncle passed away, the one you were close to, and you told your co-worker who promptly replied by asking you to help them fix the copying machine? Yeah. Turn off the timeclock in your head and turn on your emotional antennas to be sensitive to the lives of others.

4. Your Way or the Highway. If you can’t think outside the box even for a minute about a new way to do something, then chances are – you’re not going to make it past square one when it comes to innovating with other people. Try imagining a new way to do things – you might just inspire your colleagues!

5. Blatantly Offend. You probably hadn’t thought about it when you blurted out a racial stereotype when you were telling a joke about the last US Census, but you might been more considerate considering that not everyone fits into those 10 boxes. Be a little sensitive to the backgrounds of others to increase your chances of endearing them.

6. Post Inappropriately. If you thought it was funny to take a pic of your colleague without them knowing and then making funny comments about them (even though you’re not even friends on Facebook in the first place) that might come back to bite you. Treat people online like the humans that they really are, and you might just get them to actually accept your friend request.

7. Confuse everyone. In case you haven’t noticed, when somebody tells you something that makes no sense, you stop paying attention rapidly. Not only that, you stop paying attention period. If you want to make new friends, try to communicate in ways that will actually achieve the purpose of language in the first place. And voila! You’ll be one step closer to a work friend. Communicate.

8. Don’t help. When we get shoveled with someone else’s task because said person put in zero effort to achieve said task, it’s hard to be friends with that person. After all, they’re the reason you had to go in early and leave late. A little extra effort (aka “trying more than once or with a variety of approaches” can go a long ways towards building those coveted work bonds.

9. Whine. Nobody likes a whiner, your mom taught you that a long time ago. So why would wining fix anything? Looking into the actual issue of any situation and making deliberate and thoughtful attempts to solve those issues can be a positive step forward on the journey to meaningful relationships on the job.

10. Never Adapt. When you’ve been stuck on something, chances are, you’re going to have to unstick yourself or at least get some help to try a new approach. That’s where trying a new approach can win you a friend. Don’t be shy, give change a whirl.

This 21st Century Skills lesson series was produced in collaboration with Feather River College and California Community Colleges “Doing What Matters” initiative. If you loved it, share with a colleague and you might just make a new friend!

All videos were written and directed by Katherine Vondy.

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Written by Michael Tringe

Mike Tringe earned his MFA in Film Production from USC and has worked at Creative Artists Agency Film Sales (Paranormal Activity, Black Swan), Vuguru, Michael Eisner's multi-platform studio, (The Booth at the End (Hulu), Don't Ask, Don't Tell (Snag), Little Women Big Cars (AOL), and Blip Networks (300 million monthly views, Smosh, Annoying Orange, Nostalgia Critic).

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