The best ways to deal with an annoying coworker (who won’t stop whining and complaining)

We’ve all dealt with an annoying coworker who won’t stop complaining. No matter the size of your organization, there’s one person who whines and complains a lot. This person usually means well, but their complaints burn your ears every time you hear it. The annoying coworker may even be really good at their job, but you still have trouble working with them. Nothing is good enough for them. 

Now, everyone complains a bit and it’s not really that much of a problem. A Harvard Business School study, for example, found the average employee spends up to 10 hours a month complaining. And it can even be productive. Complaining is one way to communicate that things aren’t working for you. Any good organization knows that it must continually change to continually profit. But when a coworker gets on your nerves because they just won’t stop complaining, that’s when they officially become the annoying coworker.

If you’ve wondered how to handle an annoying coworker who won’t stop complaining and whining, keep reading. We’ve rounded up the best ways to handle this person with compassion (but also to get them to leave you alone).

6 – Praise them at work

 Sometimes, people complain because they want to be recognized

If you’ve got an annoying coworker on your hands, pay attention to what they are whining and complaining about. We all have things we don’t like in life (or at work), but if you pay close attention you may be able to discover what someone is really after. 

Are they complaining about the coffee quality? That’s fairly normal. But are they complaining about how another person took credit for their idea or their boss never listens to them? That may be a signal of something a little deeper. 

Depending on the person and the work environment, coworkers may complain to you because they don’t feel recognized at work. Perhaps they see you as a kind person or someone who values everyone equally, so their complaints to you are really asks for validation. 

If that’s the case – praise them publicly. 

Only do it when it’s appropriate, though. You don’t want to embarrass them or yourself. However, use whatever channels your company has for recognition and give the person a shoutout. As long as it’s genuine (as in, something you actually noticed about the person – you don’t want to praise someone for something you’ve never seen them do), then it could go a long way to helping that person feel valued. If the only reason they complained to you is because they weren’t feeling valued, that simple act of recognition could stop their complaining. 

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