How to Make Sure None of Your Colleagues Like You

Disrupting work culture in all the wrong ways

Blue sky thinking on how best to stifle the workplace.


I hope the title got you to click. That said…

This is not modeled off of any one individual I know, have or continue to work with. But you work anywhere long enough and you start to see people at their best and worst. Dwell on the negative and it can torment the day-to-day, but dissect it and you can pivot into better practices that benefit all. Some of the behaviors, in fact, came to light after a hard look in the mirror. We’re all a little broken, but our sum is greater than its parts.


  1. Talk at a volume that exhibits your expertise. The louder you speak, the more likely coworkers are to trust your authority on a subject.

2. Never listen. Listening is for people willing to learn, and if you have something to learn, you’re clearly not top of the class.

3. Casually late is the new early. Drive it home with a full cup of Starbucks. Nothing drives respect like: “I couldn’t make it here on time, but I did have time to stop and grab this Venti that I’m about to drink all meeting long.”

4. Reply all. Because who doesn’t like a little detour from that project that’s demanding total focus?

5. Focus all energy on what you can’t do, not what you can try. It’s super helpful to strictly highlight obstacles. Solutions are so last year.

6. Say things like, “that’ll never work.” The last thing the office needs is another visionary or someone who wants to tinker.

7. Demand that someone else takes notes. You need all the energy you can muster to point out things that are too hard.

8. Keep things interesting by delivering at the last minute possible. It’s like a fun little surprise that keeps everyone guessing.

9. Trust that someone else will handle it. Whether it’s picking up that dirty plate or giving the project a final scan, somebody will come through. You’ve got enough important stuff to worry about. Don’t sweat the little things.

10. Hold strong to the old ways. It’s super lame to embrace change. Be that die-hard who hold their ground.

11. Point out differences. Unity and equality are such buzzwords these days. You gotta zig when everyone else zags.

12. Remember failures. This helps keep your peers in check. Don’t let their heads get too big with curiosity or excitement. In fact, bring up all the times things didn’t go as planned so they stay level-headed.

13. Microwave fish. Or broccoli.

14. Call out with a stomach bug. But post pictures from the bar last night.

15. Talk shit about the competition. The world is wayyy bigger than it seems. Chances are totally slim to none that you’ll ever encounter that person at an event. And it’s practically guaranteed you’ll never apply somewhere they have influence.

16. Take credit for everything. Someone has to step up, right?

17. Go dark. Coworkers absolutely love this advanced version of hide-and-seek.

18. Talk about politics. Be sure that people know your views.

19. Finish that text. Multitasking is a sign of maturity. You can scroll and listen at the same time, and they get that.

20. Start rumors. A little joke never hurt anyone.

21. State the obvious. Make sure everyone is on the same page.

22. Hijack the floor. Interruption = Dominance. Dominance = Respect.

23. Headphones are for rookies. You know the best tunes. Everyone loves your tunes. Crank it to 11.

24. Inspire side conversations. The more dialogue that happens at once, the more is accomplished. Everyone knows that.

25. Champion the Minimum Viable Product. Don’t let innovation and strategic thinking compromise the bare minimum.

26. Broadcast how much money you make. It’s a badge of honor.

27. When in doubt, blame it out. Never own a mistake that can be pinned on someone else.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many tried and true ways to stand out for all the wrong reasons. I challenge you to investigate your own character and consider its impact on the world around you. Perhaps there’s a thing or two that could make it on the list.

But keep heart, a little effort goes a long way. Who knows? Maybe with a little effort, one day at a time, you might make the shift from negative disruptor to company leader, advocate, ally or visionary.

Choice is yours,

Tyler Kurbat

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