It's important to build good relationships at work, but there are a lot of characters you should watch out for. Here are six people you should avoid.

The Gossip

A little chit-chat is fine, but watch out when people start spreading gossip about co-workers. "It's important to avoid the gossipers and the talkers in general," says Stephanie Lindquist of the Love Your Job Project. "Don't get caught up in the noise. Avoid these people at all costs. Sometimes that may mean interrupting them and letting them know you have to jump on another call or head into a meeting. However you handle it, steer clear!"

The Party Animal

They may be a blast to be with, but Party Animals can damage your reputation at work. Their bad behavior and loose lips can bring you down. "This person might be fun to hang out with but she is also prone to let info slip every now and then — something that should be avoided when you're making a name for yourself at a company," says Andrea Berkman Donlon, founder of The Constant Professional, a personal branding and reputation management company.

The Ego Booster

This one may be hard to spot, because after all, they like to tell you about all the credit you should be getting and how important you are to the company. But at the same time, they're suggesting that nobody around you really appreciates what you do for them, says career coach Lisa Meece. "This creates two problems: it creates a distance between you and the team of people around you, and encourages you to focus on getting the credit instead of doing the work," she says.

Getting credit in healthy organizations is not a zero-sum game, she says, and suggests focusing on doing good work and bringing up the whole team.

The Downer 

Someone who is always looking at the bad side of things or negative aspects of any situation is someone to watch out for, says Abby Locke, executive brand coach. Whether the company wants to add a new policy or the boss starts a new initiative, this person will always complain and every conversation is a negative experience, she says.

The Backstabber

The Backstabbers are the people who will do anything to advance their careers and are always throwing others under the bus to help their reputations, Locke says. They always have ulterior motives and the real intention to get over on someone, not to help people.

The Complainer

"No matter what is going on in their life, the complainer always has something to whine about," says Erik Episcopo of Resume Genius. "Of course, everyone has problems and at times needs to get things off their chest, but when it comes to the complainer there is no end."

Whether it's at work or at home, they always seem to be the victim, Episcopo says. "At first you may feel sorry for them and want to help. As time goes on, you will start to notice that there is no pleasing the complainer and that the time spent listening to them wastes valuable time."

Episcopo suggests trying to change the conversation to focus on solutions — or simply saying you're on a short deadline and need to get back to work.


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