Career Advice

6 Ways To Avoid Unethical Colleagues At Work

Let’s face it, there are unethical people everywhere. Whether it’s at social gatherings, informal meetings or at your workplace, you’re going to come across both the good and bad kind of people. Unethical colleagues are even more difficult to deal with, simply because you cannot avoid seeing them every day. It can be quite a task, knowing you have to face the same person/people each day, fully aware of how much they annoy you and still, unable to avoid them.

The problem here is that you tend to feel obligated towards the people you work with.

unethical colleagues

“What if I say something rude?”

“I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.”

“Things might get awkward if I confront him/her.”

“What if he/she complains to the boss?”

These and many more questions tend to stop you from finding a more viable solution to avoid unethical colleagues and not let them bother you.

So, instead of panicking or getting your mind into a fix, here are a few tips to better deal with your situation:

1. Set your boundaries

unethical colleagues

It’s always best to not let anyone get too comfortable around you, your things or your work. Set a certain boundary line that you make sure everyone knows you don’t want anyone to cross. This way, you’re marking your threshold and also preventing any mishaps from happening.

Go ahead and be brave enough to say “Hey, I hope you understand but I’m not okay with…” and make sure you’re clear about your dislikes and why they affect you. This is easier to do because no one can actually call you out on having your own preferences!


2. Secrets are secrets

You may be the kind who likes to open up to people and share things with the. Nothing wrong with that. However, you’ve got to remember that not everyone means it when they promise to keep things to themselves. Hence, it’s always better to rethink what you share with someone and who you’re sharing it with.

Remember that, at a workplace especially, you can never be fully sure of the people sitting next to you. Of course, this does not mean that you have to be cynical about everyone around you. It simply means that you need to know what is best kept locked in your closet.


3. Don’t stress

unethical colleagues

If not dealt with appropriately and on time, stress can be your worst enemy. Stressing about something and getting your mind worked up can make you vulnerable and gullible at the same time. Here are 4 Ways to Battle Work Stress.

When you’re calm and have your head in place, unethical colleagues and co-workers cannot take advantage of your situation and/or make things worse for you. A happy mind can always think clearer and better.

You must definitely watch this video which will help you unwind your stress:


3. Ideas are crucial

If you’ve struck a gold mine and come up with an idea that you know will bump you up a few notches at work, it’s best to keep it to yourself until you’ve shared it with someone with enough seniority to not plagiarize or copy your idea.

No, this does not make you selfish or a “hoarder”. It’s a competitive world and, let’s face it. Innovation and new ideas can make a huge difference to one’s career. While there might be those few genuine people who would be happy for you, you never know when someone else might try to push off your idea as theirs. Hence, keep your ideas in your mind safe and open it only when necessary.


4. Avoid any drama

unethical colleagues

Yes, gossiping can be hard to resist, but it’s always best to stick to your business and not get involved with any gossip you hear, simply because it’s a waste of  your time and there are always those who wait for an opportunity to make life difficult for others. So, steer clear of such a situation.

When you are caught in an unnecessary verbal rut with unethical colleagues, or are dragged into an argument that would make absolutely no difference to you, you’re effectively wasting precious time that you could be using to do something more worthwhile and productive. So, no matter how much the devil may tempt you, say no to gossip and save your boat!


6. Steer clear of bullies

Image result for workplace comic

Bullies are everywhere, unfortunately. Even grown ups and so-called adults can tend to behave immature and bully their way out of situations and into opportunities. Truth is, when you’re visibly scared or bothered by a bully, he/she is even more motivated to bother and annoy you. So, deny them any such sadistic pleasure and simply ignore their advances. Of course, if things still get out of hand, inform the respective authorities and makes sure to protect yourself.

The best advice would be to mind your own business, be wary of your things and your surroundings and know what to say to whom. And not let the herd mentality push you into feeling obligated or helpless. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry! And, like they say, “Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it, but right is right even if no one is doing it.”

PS: Want more tips to deal with situations at work? Subscribe to the Jobspire Blog.

Ashna Arif

The author Ashna Arif

21 year old writer, singer, dancer, avid reader, liberalist and optimist who believes in radical thinking, equality and appreciates the importance and freedom of art in all its forms. Also the author at which features articles on self help, self actualisation and touches on important and thriving social causes, all with a message and meaning for all. "They say that life is short but, if you do it right, it's more than enough."