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How to Deal With a Demanding Co-Worker

by Jaime Vargas-Benitez

A demanding co-worker can make the workplace uncomfortable and frustrating. Maybe you work with someone who piles work on you that is not your responsibility or expects you to do things like get lunch for him or clean up his workspace. There are ways you can deal with a demanding co-worker without having to leave your job and search for another one.

Short and Sweet

If you have a demanding co-worker, it may be helpful to keep your conversations with him concise and on task. Remove the opportunity for your co-worker to demand things of you. You may try moving to another workstation if possible or just excusing yourself from any conversation with the co-worker that is not pertinent to the job. This will lessen your contact with your co-worker and may discourage him from coming to you with further demands.

Remain Calm

Some people may act in irrational ways, making demands that are inappropriate. For instance, maybe you have a demanding co-worker who insists you do a portion of the workload that is not your responsibility. When confronting a demanding co-worker you should remain calm and state your boundaries in a rational tone. Tell your co-worker, for example, that you will not be available to help out with her work because you have your own heavy workload to deal with. Demanding people are often emotionally charged, so remaining calm and collected can help prevent public outbursts in the workplace.

Find Common Ground

When dealing with a demanding co-worker it may help to find something you both have in common. Perhaps you both enjoy playing a particular sport or maybe you two are from the same hometown. When you can find a way to connect positively with a demanding co-worker your interactions with him may become more pleasant. Also, a demanding person may feel guilty attempting to take advantage of you in the future if you share a common ground.

Time for Human Resources

If you have exhausted your options with a demanding co-worker, it may be time to get Human Resources involved. Your workplace should be a productive place where you feel respected and able to do your job. Document your specific issues with your demanding co-worker and the instances in which you tried to discuss the issues. When you consult Human Resources for assistance with the situation, it may be helpful to have your documentation with you that illustrates your side of the conflict.

About the Author

Jaime Vargas-Benitez has been a parenting writer since 2010. She has worked in the child wellness field in various roles for over 20 years. Along with the experiences of raising her own kids, she has been privileged enough to participate in the raising of hundreds of other children as well.

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