Hey, coworkers are kind of like your extended family: You didn't choose them, and you don't really want to hang out with them on the weekend.
But even if you can't choose your coworkers, you can stay on the lookout for those that could sabotage your progress and work with your company. Being aware of some of these sneaky behaviors means you won't end up at the mercy of a crappy cubicle-mate.
And, if you recognize any of these behaviors in yourself; stop it.
1. The Frenemy
You go out for lunch together, but you also heard she threw you under the bus when your boss called her out on missing a deadline. It's good to have friends at work, but only if they have your back. Flip-flopping between friends and enemies is pretty toxic, especially if it could cost you your job in the end.
2. The Flake
He said he'd do something... and then he didn't. Flakes are the worst because they're usually gung-ho in the beginning, and then lose their luster in the clutch. Avoid or make sure you have a contingency plan in place when dealing with The Flake.
3. The One-Upper
Oh, you came up with an awesome solution to make things easier at work? Well, she came up with something awesome-er. Don't get into a contest with a one-upper, because a_ they'll always win and b) you can let your results speak for themselves.
4. The Golden Child
There's always that one coworker who can do no wrong, and is probably related to the boss somehow. Even when he makes a mistake, it's somehow deflected onto someone else. It's frustrating and if you're dealing with a Golden Child, it's best to focus on your own actions.
5. The Chef
Someone's having fish for lunch, if the smell coming from the break room is any indication.
6. The Delegator
Usually, delegating is a great leadership tactic. But there's always that one coworker who delegates everything, and then kicks back with a donut and Facebook for the rest of the day. Make sure you only take on what you can handle, and then suggest The Delegator take on some of the responsibility, too.
"Sure, I'd love to help you work on that shop accounting, Steve. How about you man the phones and I'll get back to you in an hour?"
7. The "Too Blessed to be Stressed"
You always end up doing this coworker's job because she's super mellow and just working there until her career as an interpretative dance artist really takes off. Just make sure your responsibilities are clearly segregated so you don't take the fall when she (inevitably) gets called out on one too many office yoga sessions.
8. The Bulldozer
You said you're busy, but he doesn't take "no" for an answer and keeps piling work your way. Try something like this: "I would love to help you take that on, but right now my workload is pretty heavy. Come back to me in three days and we'll talk about it."
9. The Whiner
She always acts like she's mildly surprised when a Monday rolls around, and you're sick of her whining about doing a job that she signed up for. You can totally acknowledge frustration, but remind your whining coworker that everyone is busy and then try and isolate her with a task that keeps her quiet so you can get your work done.
10. The Martyr
He's working late on Friday... just to let you know. He lives and dies by his job, but you know that you're doing well, exceeding expectations, and don't need to stay late to prove to your boss to show you love your job. Know what's even more impressive than staying late? Getting your work done on time.
Whether you work with one of these repeat offenders or you've realized that you have some of these behaviors on lock, they can be super disruptive to your work mojo. Either avoid them at all costs, or check yourself to make sure you're doing something you love, and doing it well, regardless of the people around you.