The Strategist

5 signs of toxic coworkers

01/24/2020 - 09:19

Work can take everything from us not only because of work overload. Toxic colleagues are the main source of energy drains. Here are several signs of such people. Do you know someone who behaves like that? Even one of the points is a good reason to keep a distance with them.

Control freaks

As a rule, toxic employees try to control every step of their colleagues, to delve into all the little things, because they never feel confident and safe enough to transfer at least a small fraction of responsibility for their fate into the hands of others. This behavior is erroneous even at a superficial level, because the actions of others will still affect them, whether they want it or not. Sometimes fanatics of control achieve only one thing: they discourage other employees from motivation and deprive them of the desire to be creative in business; scare away people with a strong desire for independence.

Moods like English weather

Short temper is often explained by biochemical disturbances, but can be caused by excessive and constant traumatic experiences. Toxic people can experience sudden outbursts of rage, and they don’t even realize that they are behaving inappropriately; they also can work feverishly, although violent activity is not needed at the moment. Sometimes this is expressed in the tendency to jump in the conversation from one topic to another and other oddities.

Passive aggressive behavior

Not everyone behaves like a quick-tempered idiot when it comes to their mind, but even the weakest and most defenseless are usually cunning and insidious enough to poison the lives of others without uttering a word. They rule their world using offended looks, scornful grumbling, dubious compliments, cold shrugs or crooked smiles, self-pity, smoldering resentment and the halo of an ever-disappointed person, pretending to be really not like that. Try to unravel this tangle of negativity! When you get to the point of this puzzle, you will better understand what is meant by logic in the world of passive aggression.


It is sometimes impossible to communicate with these people, because too often it is they who manage you. Large corporations or any other impersonal organizations tend to reward such people who are obsessed with their narcissistic ego, partly simply because they are unsurpassed masters in grabbing rewards. They invariably make a wonderful impression until you take a closer look at them: then you will easily notice inconsistencies and deceit.


A toxic person masterfully knows how to arouse guilt. Because of you, he gets scolded by his superiors (because lunch with you took too much time). Because of you, the report turned out to be erroneous (you distracted it at the most important moment). Because of you, they did not raise him (you did not help him with the project). The wording of the charges may be more sophisticated, but the essence does not change.

Each trait described above is toxic. Do not follow these colleagues, because they not only spoil your mood, but also undermine your self-esteem.

Based on “The Code of Trust. An American Counterintelligence Expert's Five Rules to Lead and Succeed” by Robin Dreeke and Cameron Stauth

< >

Thursday, May 16th 2024 - 03:10 HSBC starts looking for new CEO