4 Types of Toxic People To Look Out For at Work

4 Types of Toxic People To Look Out For at Work

Every office has one or two or probably even more. Those challenging but also quite interesting colleagues who know how to create drama at work. Unfortunately, these types of toxic people are often characterised by their selfishness and ability to be extremely opportunistic – They are more than willing to do whatever it takes to bring others down for their own benefits.

Being unaware of their tactics can not only negatively affect your productivity and performance at work, but it can also affect your self-esteem. The ability to discern your colleagues’ motives at work is, therefore, extremely important. Here are four common types of toxic colleagues that you will most likely find in the workplace and that you should look out for:

The Lazy One

Don’t be fooled. The lazy colleague might be ‘lazy’ but they are also very ‘sleek’. These types of colleagues are skilled when it comes to passing on their work onto others. They want to be liked by everyone in the office, so they will accept jobs and tasks from either managers or other colleagues only because they can’t say NO, but also with the intention to strategically shuffle that work back onto someone else’s lap.

This makes it look as if they saved the day at work even when they really didn’t do any of the work. Watch out for the ones who know how to get the credit for work they never did.

The Busy Body

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

Nevertheless, whenever you are busy and might use a few extra hands, don’t expect them to come to the rescue. 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 environment in general. Naysayers love to be negative. These are the types of colleagues 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. Mostly, naysayers are the individuals who have been 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!

The Promotion Digger

Promotion diggers will never engage with you if you haven’t got their promotion ticket. They are goal minded and have their eyes set on one thing: promotion. They often pretend to be your friend only to discover how they can take advantage of you in order to achieve their goals. They will do almost everything and anything. From speaking badly about you to your fellow colleagues to sabotaging your work. But what makes it even more dangerous is that it’s all done secretly.

Promotion diggers will gossip and talk bad about other people to you, but still, act like they are their friends. However, it’s important to understand that how they treat others definitely shows how they will treat you.

Even though there might be a few toxic colleagues, the workplace can also be filled with some lovely people who can end up being more than just your ‘work friends’. Nevertheless, I can’t stress enough how important it is to always look out for yourself by learning how to spot the difference between genuine and toxic colleagues at work. 

Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson is a marketing professional and the Founder and Editor of Corporate Career Girl. Her true passion is to empower career girls in the workplace and help them bridge the gap between university and the corporate environment.

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