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Killing You Softly: How to Deal With Annoying Coworkers

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By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on November 08, 2013 9:55 AM

Do you ever feel like you're dying a slow death toiling away as an associate underling at BigLaw? Don't worry, that's how you're supposed to feel (we wish we were kidding).

BigLaw may be known for BigBucks, but it's also known for nothing short of misery. Sometimes it's not just the looming specter of billable hours that makes you miserable, sometimes it's the people you work with. Here are some ways to deal with annoying coworkers.

1. Let It Out

Sometimes you have to let go of your frustration, and a great way to do that is by hitting the gym. Whether you run five miles on the treadmill, or make believe a punching bag is a partner, physical activity is a great stress reliever. If you're not the physical type, and more of a sit on the couch type, consider therapy, or venting to your non-coworker, or non-lawyer friends. If you go the route of venting to your friends, keep it to a minimum, or you may not have any friends left.

2. Eat Alone

Instead of taking your already horrible lunch break in the cafeteria with precisely the people that you can't stand, take some time on your own to grab a bite to eat. You can pick up the paper or catch up on some work, anything than having to talk to your annoying coworkers.

3. Focus on the Clients

Remember them? Corporations have feelings too -- just kidding (no really ). Instead of focusing on the annoying people around you, focus on the people effectually paying your bills. Think about whether there's anything you can be doing to provide better service to your clients.

4. Focus on Your Work

Diving into your work is always a good way of avoiding the rest of the world around you. Think about what you can do to be more efficient and increase productivity. If you're so busy being annoyed by your coworkers, are you putting all of your effort into your work? You know what, earphones can really help this process.

5. Look at Your Own Behavior

Sometimes self-reflection is necessary. Are you doing anything to engage your coworkers in annoying behavior? Are you the one who is annoying? It's easy to point the finger, but not as easy to look in the mirror. Think about whether there's anything you can do to not be annoying, and maybe others will follow suit.

Working at BigLaw can be stressful enough without considering coworker interactions. If coworkers are getting to you, rather than trying to change their annoying behaviors, see what you can do to not get caught up in office drama, and focus on becoming a better lawyer.

How do you deal with annoying coworkers? Let us know on Facebook at FindLaw for Legal Professionals.

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