Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Working is fun especially if you love what you do. It just gets toxic after some long time and from time to time because of many factors around, and one of them is having one or more toxic coworkers. Surely, you hate having a toxic coworker because they just seem to make your day less of a good day. Everyone, including you, hates toxic coworkers… BUT have you looked at yourself? Are you sure you aren’t one?

I’m sure you do not want to be a toxic coworker because you know how such kind of person isn’t healthy for others. Below is a list of questions answerable with yes or no which you should answer for yourself to know if you already are a toxic coworker.

Question-to-Self #1: “Is gossiping a hobby of mine?”

Do you like talking a lot about other people? Do you talk behind someone’s back? Do you always gossip?

IT’S A YES IF: You like starting conversations about an office issue or other people’s business. You do it often. It’s how you greet your friend in the office. You keep on asking and finding out about other people’s matters even when it’s not necessary for you to know and even when you’re not necessary to know it. Coworkers know you as someone who knows every single [work-related and not work-related] thing in the office.

Sharing heart-to-heart stories and meaningful conversations can sometimes lead to gossiping conversations without you even noticing it. Office gossip may include talking about other people’s relationships, work performance, looks, abilities and anything else! It’s toxic since we all know that gossips are usually negative; conversations like that include judgements, false/incomplete stories and jumping into conclusions. It may lead to misunderstandings and furies between coworkers especially if the gossip is sensitive or untruthful. It creates a negative and judgemental atmosphere at work.

Question-to-Self #2: “Do I love taking credits?”

Do you see to it that you’re credited in your accomplishments that you can’t leave the office without getting noticed or recognized loudly? Do you take a big credit for things you just helped in a bit?

IT’S A YES IF: You do all the ways for everyone, most especially the boss, to know and notice how “incredible” your performance at work is. After you helped a coworker to finish a report, you want everyone to know that you did because you are “a kind and hardworking person”. You want ‘more than just thanks’ from the coworkers you assisted. You want yourself to be acknowledged for things you didn’t do much in.

Credits are important to give respect and recognition to everybody who worked hard to execute and succeed a certain goal such as a project or a deadline. It’s wrong to take credits for accomplishments you didn’t even sweat for. Coworkers will definitely and extremely hate you because it’s so unfair to take credits for others’ work. Everyone is working hard to earn what they deserve (including both recognition and wage), so you have no right to get others’ work and put your name on it.

Question-to-Self #3: “Do I always have a say?”

Do you like commenting on everything? Do you always share your opinion even when it’s unnecessary? Do you verbally judge your coworkers in any aspect? Do you always want to be heard and listened to every time you speak? Do you always have a say in everything?

IT’S A YES IF: In every conversation, regarding work or out of work, you don’t like just listening. You always want to speak up both necessarily and usually unnecessarily. Your “say” is usually leaning to the negative perspective of things. You tend to oppose your coworkers’ opinions always. For example, a coworker talks about her opinion regarding a national issue. If you agree with her, you, as someone who always says something, will tell your opinions too and give a “more fascinating” insight so you’ll stand out. If you disagree with her, you will prove your point upto the very last second just to save yourself.

If there’s a toxic person who always has a say, others might be shy to express themselves or might hold back. It’s totally unhealthy because it leads to unconfident employees restrained by toxic coworkers and their toxic personalities and words.

Question-to-Self #4: “Am I lazy but bossy?”

Do you slack at work? Do you often command coworkers, especially the seemingly “inferior” ones?

IT’S A YES IF:You see other coworkers as inferior to you because of your age, abilities, looks, performance or standing in the company. You boss around even when you are not the boss. You are so good at commanding and asking favors, but you are also good at taking a rest instead of working. You have a comment on others’ works, but you don’t even look at your work. .

A bossy person has no right to be sluggish. A lazy one has no right to boss around. It’s definitely toxic since aside from it ruins your image, it ruins a great day.

Question-to-Self #5: “Do I pressure others or influence them negatively?”

Do you lead someone to get into peer pressure? Do you use your influence to influence other people’s decisions and opinions?

IT’S A YES IF: You like dragging coworkers to agreeing with you or siding with you in certain circumstances. You try to convince coworkers on a certain perspective you have regarding an issue. Through sharing your opinions, you aim for other’s empathy towards you. You make others say yes to you or approve your say usually by pressuring them or persuading them eagerly.

Work itself, workload, reports, outputs and deadlines — There are already lots of things that pressure a worker. Having a toxic coworker that brings even more pressure is not good anymore.

So, are you?

Everyone hates a toxic coworker because having one [and more] is very unhealthy and unhelpful. It’s definitely distracting, disturbing and destructing!

Answering the questions above and knowing how to know if it’s a yes, I’m sure you already have an answer which hopefully is a ‘no’. If it is a ‘yes’ however, then think again and consider the 5 questions-to-self written above and do something. Understand why your answer as a whole must be a “no”, and make sure that the next time you come back to read this list, you’re getting not even one “yes”.

Author’s Bio: Nicole Ann Pore is a daytime writer for HR Dept AUS, an Australian company providing HR support and services for any kind of business. Before the Communication field, Psychology is Nicole’s long-time love and interest because people’s behaviour intrigues and fascinates her a lot! As a writer and as a person, she wants to inspire and empower people in many ways possible.

Because of the course she took up in college, Nicole has become interested in film critiquing and filmmaking. She is into events hosting and voice over acting and hosting.| Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts. “To God be the glory”

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