Annoying bad habits of coworkers can start to drive you crazy! I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. These are not major issues—just little things that can become real stumbling blocks to good working relationships. We need to know the best way to respond to a coworker with an annoying habit, and more importantly, make certain we get rid of any of our own annoying habits.

So, here’s the third annoying habit: The coworker who tends to gripe and complain a great deal. This can be terribly annoying and if you’re not careful, they can bring you right down to their level and you’ll find yourself griping and complaining more than you should.

One negative person can poison the atmosphere where you work. It only takes one. If you happen to work with that one person, you must first learn how to tune them out and not allow their negative talk to infiltrate your own mind. Then remember that a person’s attitude is always their choice, and we don’t have the power to change anyone else’s attitude. So, if your coworker chooses to gripe and complain a great deal, your best way to deal with it is to respond in positive ways. Do it nicely, kindly, but firmly—don’t be afraid to be positive in the presence of a person who is negative.

And of course, pray for that person. Underneath that negative exterior is something else that is causing the problem. You may never know exactly what that is; it could be baggage from childhood. But you can still pray that God will help you to respond in kindness, to have sympathy for that person, to show them mercy and grace even when you don’t want to.

It is in these small issues of life that we have the greatest opportunity to demonstrate God’s love. Maybe not in words or by quoting scripture, but simply by remaining joyful and peaceful even when dealing with an annoying negative coworker.

Have you ever thought about your own tendency to be negative? Years ago I finally began to pay attention to my own negative attitude, and realized I was far more negative than I thought I was. I heard myself saying lots of negative junk in any given day, and I began to monitor my own attitude. It’s a very good habit to form—to just make sure you haven’t caught the negative disease yourself.