Quiz: Are You The 'Difficult' Person In The Office?

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon


Most difficult people don't realize quite how difficult others find them to be. They have their own – perhaps quite reasonable – explanations for the things they say and do, and they don't acknowledge how they're affecting other people.

In his excellent book The No A****** Rule (I'm omitting the title not from prudery but from fear of spam-blockers), and also on his blog, Work Matters, Bob Sutton has a quiz to help people recognize if they are a******* - I was inspired to adapt that material for this quiz.

These questions apply to a team putting out a product, to co-workers, to family members gathering for a holiday, or to any group of people who are trying to get along with each other. To be happier, it's very important to know yourself.

  • Do you often find that when you do something nice for people, they do a lot of grumbling? Do they seem ungrateful or uncooperative?
  • When you join a group of people, does the mood often shift? Does a group tend to break apart after you join it?
  • Do you find it hard to get your calls and emails returned?
  • Are you often puzzled when people dramatically over-react to little mistakes, oversights, or casual remarks you make? You bring up some anecdote from last year, and everyone acts upset.
  • Do you often find yourself saying defensively, "It was just a joke!"
  • Do you think it important to express your true feelings and views authentically, even if that means upsetting other people?
  • Do you find that people seem resentful and angry when you offer objective, helpful criticism or advice?
  • Do you find that even when you're trying to be helpful by explaining something or providing information, people don't want to seem to listen to you?
  • Do you feel annoyed because people tend to refuse to acknowledge your greater experience or knowledge in an area, and instead, ignore your suggestions?
  • Do people tend to gang up against you – when you're arguing one side, everyone takes the other side, or when one person criticizes you, everyone else chimes in?
  • Do you find it funny to see other people squirm?
  • If someone asks for your opinion, do you think it's right to tell them frankly what you think?
  • Do you think it's useful to point out people's mistakes, areas of incompetence, or previous track records of failure?
  • Is it fairly common for one person to tell you that he or she will speak to a third person, so that you don't have to? In other words, do people volunteer to act as intermediaries for you, rather than let you do your own talking?

A "yes" may be a red flag that you're a source of unhappiness for others. If you took this quiz, did you find it helpful?

Other posts by Gretchen Rubin
Read Full Story

From Our Partners