4 Types of Toxic People To Look Out For In The Workplace

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Every office has one or two or probably even more. Those challenging but also quite interesting co-workers who know how to shake up the workplace with drama. Unfortunately, these types of toxic people are mostly characterised by their greed, laziness and selfishness. They are willing to do whatever it takes to bring you and others down for their own pleasures and benefits.

If you have encountered these types of co-workers before, the experience will tell you that they are capable of draining and exploiting the ‘innocent and good’. Being unaware of their tactics can not only negatively affect your productivity and performance at work, it also affects your self-esteem. It’s, therefore, important to quickly read into people’s actions and discern their motives.

Here are 4 of the (common) toxic co-workers that I have experienced and who you should look out for:
The Lazy A*%# Girl (or Boy)

Don’t be fooled. The lazy girl or boy might be ‘lazy’ but they are also very ‘sleek’. These types of co-workers are masters when it comes to passing on their work to others. They want to be liked by everyone in the office. So they will accept jobs and assignments from people only because they can’t say no but also with the intention to strategically shuffle that work back onto someone else’s plate. This makes it look as if they saved the day at work even when they really didn’t do any of the work. They know how to skilfully get the credit for things they did not do.

The Busy Body

These types of “precious” colleagues are quite similar to the lazy ones. The only difference is that the ‘busy bodies’ ALWAYS…. I mean always complain that they are too busy. Too busy to help, too busy to support and yo probably also too busy to think! I know… I had to throw some shade in there. Anyway… busy bodies always (did I say always?) have so much to do that they need your help with everything.

However, every work you do for them needs to be carefully monitored by them at all cost; one of the main characteristics of these co-workers is that they always need to be in control. And don’t expect them to help you out when you need a favour one day. One of their favourite phrases is “Hey [your name], I would love to help you, but I’m just too […..] fill in the blank”.

The Naysayer

Don’t be surprised when you encounter a lot of naysayers in the workplace or in the corporate world in general. Naysayers love to be negative. They like to have a problem for every solution but never give a better solution. These are the types of co-workers who like things just the way they are because ‘that’s how it’s always been done’.

If you like to try new things or take risks, you’ll definitely have to take it up against the naysayer.  From my personal experience, naysayers have mostly been the people working at a certain company for a long period of time. And if you haven’t been working there for at least 10+ years (in their opinion), you have nothing to contribute boo!

The Gold Promo Digger

I ain’t saying they are gold diggers, but they are not messing with you if you haven’t got their promotion ticket. I would personally describe these types of people as one of the most cunning co-workers in the workplace. They are clever, goal minded and have their eyes set on one thing: promotion. They pretend to be your friend only to discover how they can manipulate and twist things to benefit their own needs. They will do almost everything and anything. From speaking badly about you to your fellow co-workers to sabotaging your work. But what makes it quite dangerous is that it’s all done in secret.

Promo diggers will gossip and talk bad about other people to you, but still, act like they are the best of friends with those same people. Don’t be fooled. How they treat others is how they will treat you.

It seems quite harsh and frankly, it is. But that’s exactly why it’s so important to be aware of these types of characters in the workplace, just so you can look out for yourself! – Have you experienced toxic co-workers in the workplace? I would love to hear about it!

Sarah Johnson

Sarah is Founder and Editor-in-Chief at IAMICareer. She has a strong background in Marketing and currently holds a BA in Commerce. Sarah is passionate about seeing young people thrive in career and is dedicated to helping the millennial generation bridge the gap between university and the corporate world.

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