If you’ve been working in “the real world” for at least a few years, you’ve probably realized that you’re going to interact with all kinds of personalities in the office. And unfortunately, you may not always get along with everyone. I mean, spending 40 hours a week (at least!) with the same people can really make personalities come out in full force — for better, or for worse.
We’ve compiled a list of all the different types of people you might see in the next cubicle. Some may rub you the wrong way and others may be your go-to lunch buddy, but either way, you should be prepared to deal with all of them in your workplace.
1. The Gossiper
This is the person that lives for office romance and scandals, eavesdropping on conversations, unintentionally spreading rumors, and damaging reputations. They somehow manage to nose their way into your personal life and find out all the juicy details before you know it. Don’t get them wrong, though, they do genuinely enjoy chatting with everyone and can be some of the most outgoing people you’ve ever met. They just find it hard to keep secrets — so the best way to avoid rumors about yourself is to keep your stories and secrets to yourself around the Gossiper!
2. The Optimist
Always perky and enthusiastic, it’s nice to have this person around when you’re feeling down. They see the glass as half-full and manage to imbue the workplace with a happy, cheery glow. Their favorite quote is also probably something along the lines of: “Turn that frown upside down”! But as great as they can be when you’re feeling down, sometimes the never-ending enthusiasm can get…tiring. It can be hard to keep up with them all the time!
3. The Overachiever
The Overachiever is perpetually swamped with work and never has time for anything else. They’re too busy to chat during lunch (or even eat lunch!), or help you look over an email. They won’t reply to your emails unless you constantly bother them about it, but the minute they need your help, everything else can wait. Because their needs are the only things that matter, right? But to be fair, these are the people that are extremely good at their jobs, get a lot done, and probably have some of the best work ethics you’ve ever seen.
4. The Friend
The Friend truly values co-worker relationships, and is always willing to help out if you need something. They are a team player, and always seem to have your back. They’re trustworthy and fun to talk to, and make work more enjoyable and exciting (which is always welcome). In fact, many studies have shown that having a friend in the office can boost morale and work productivity! Be careful, though, to make sure the line between personal and professional life stays clear.
5. The Thief
You know what’s worse than working with a loud chewer?
When the loud chewer is chomping on your food. The Thief doesn’t steal your wallet or your keys — it’s usually pretty small things, but nonetheless frustrating. Don’t let the Thief borrow your stapler, since you’ll probably never get it back. And the most common item they take? Your food (this is definitely not okay). If you notice any of your food mysteriously disappearing, you’d better start labeling your lunches in the office fridge. Otherwise, you might get into an office kitchen note war.
6. The Oversharer
Often known as “the office chatterbox”, the Oversharer feels the need to tell everyone about his or her personal life — which is usually fine, just not every 5 minutes and with an excessive amount of details. He or she generally means well, but loves the sound of his or her voice. The next time you find them unable to keep their thoughts to themselves, try giving them a time limit. Telling them, “I have a meeting in 5 minutes”, usually works, but if all else fails, headphones are a pretty good bet.
7. The Critic
This person loves to challenge your thoughts and ideas even though he or she may not have any better ones. The critic is crucial when it comes to fighting groupthink and playing devil’s advocate, but can sometimes go too far and be a little insensitive with his or her words. When this happens, don’t get defensive too quickly — be the professional one here and stay calm. You won’t get anywhere if you take everything too personally, so pick out the relevant facts that the Critic points out and use those constructively. Criticism is always feared, but it’s invaluable when it comes to improving, so props to the Critic for always seeing areas to improve in!
8. The Whiner
The complete opposite of the Optimist, the Whiner can never find anything positive to say. They can somehow turn every conversation into a complaint and never stop grumbling. At some point, it becomes easier to just not talk to the Whiner because of how negative they make you feel. But don’t fall into that trap if you can avoid it! Try sympathizing with them or acknowledging what they say for once (be sincere!). You might find that they’ll clam up in shock because someone actually listened and responded to them. 😉
We’re not saying that every one of your coworkers is represented here, but based on experience, we’ve noticed that most employees usually fall into a few of these categories. If you don’t think you fit into any of these categories or are curious as to which personality you are, take this Buzzfeed quiz to find out!