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What to say to a complaining Co-worker

What to say to a complaining coworker who is always negative

Every day in the office we have to deal with the typical workplace personalities like negative Nelly. If you have to work closely with a negative colleague who complains constantly, it can drain your energy.

Some staff love to focus on the negative and the office drama, you’ll see the person talking in hushed tones with the door closed, ranting about some workplace issue. Everyone knows that Negative Nelly has cornered yet another victim and is spewing out her list of complaints.

Shut down the complaining coworker

The sooner you can shut down the complainer the better, they will try to waste a lot of your valuable time with their negative observations. The more you listen, the more it takes away from your own projects and you are just encouraging more complaints with your sympathetic ear.


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When negative Nelly realizes that you aren’t particularly interested in listening to her and you offer up solutions to fix the problem, she will stop whining to you. Negative people aren’t interested in problem-solving, they just want to rant on to an attentive audience.

Next time someone corners you and wants to complain at work, use one of our professional responses to let them know you’re not interested. Whatever you say to someone at work, you need to make sure you feel comfortable with someone repeating it someone else.

Vote for the best reply for a complaining coworker

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Got any comments, questions or tips for dealing with an complaining co-worker.  Share them in the comments below.


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