If you’ve become the ear for an office complainer, you might want to turn the volume up for this advice from CNN’s Kathryn Vasel.  Here are four tips she offers that may help you manage this type of co-worker.  

  • Look for a pattern. Why are they complaining?  Do they complain at the same time every day, about the same thing?  If complaining is their coping mechanism, see if you can find the root cause and help alleviate it.  
  • Withdraw your attention.  Don’t give them the space to unload on you.  Change the subject, or say you have to get back to work. 
  • Set boundaries.  Announce that you’re giving them a limited amount of your time, or request their help on your personal resolution to complain less.  If they pop in by surprise, simply stand up.  
  • Approach delicately.  Tell them that you need to discuss something that is a little touchy and ask if they’re up to it.  This gives them time to mentally prepare for your direct, respectfully stated intervention.