The “Chatty Cathy”
Whether you encounter this colleague in the hallway or in a formal meeting, you dread those conversations that seem to last an eternity. It is always a chore to try to extricate yourself from their endless chatter. He or she may be a nice person, but they never come up for air! “Some people need to hear the sound of their own voice constantly because they don’t feel heard,” Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW, based in New York City and author of How Does that Make You Feel? True Confessions From Both Sides of the Therapy Couch (2016). “However, their need doesn’t mean you need to be distracted by un-sweet nothings constantly whispered (or shouted) into your ear. Give a sad sigh and say something along the lines of, ‘Sorry Cathy….I really need to get this done. I’m one of those people who can only focus on one thing at a time and for me it has to be work—or else I’ll lose my job.'” Learn the phrase that will stop gossip in its tracks.
The “Constant Complainer”
You’ve been dodging this person all week…you can’t stand to listen to your cranky co-worker who is always wearing a frown and preaching doom and gloom. After all, it’s depressing, not to mention non-motivating for the rest of your office mates. What to do? “The Debbie and Dan Downers of the world like to spread their dissatisfaction with the world with the rest of us,” Amatenstein says. “If they’re unhappy, they’re only satisfied—to a point!—if they take the rest of us down too. To get off this Titanic, say something like,’Gee, things are really tough for you and I’m sorry. But my problem is I get dragged down too easily and at work I need to keep up a happy outlook as much as possible. I hope you understand!'”