Q: “For three years, I have been stuck with an irritating co-worker who loves to aggravate me. Although I try to hold my tongue, I can’t seem to stop myself from responding to her personal digs. I’ve told her numerous times to leave me alone, but to no avail.
“My boss says I’m too sensitive and that I should just ‘suck it up.’ I tried complaining to Human Resources, but they were no help. Quitting my job isn’t possible, so what can I do?” Harassed
A: Actually, you seem to have answered your own question. You can’t quit, go to HR, or seek help from your boss. You’ve already tried asking her to stop, and you certainly can’t change her annoying personality. The only remaining option seems to be learning to live with her.
The secret to tolerating pesky co-workers is emotional detachment. As long as you provide the reaction she is hoping for, this woman will continue to provoke you. But if you can convince yourself that her words have no importance, you will immediately take away her power.
People often complain about their co-workers. To see if you might be annoying someone, take this Quick Quiz: Do You Annoy Your Co-workers?