7 Ways to Deal with Emotionally Dependent Coworkers


Emotionally dependent coworkers can cause you to lose focus on your tasks since they make you feel bad for not being able to help them.

Even if you're friends with them, hearing about their marital issues or job worries may be too much to handle when paired with your professional difficulties, like meeting deadlines or meeting your supervisor's expectations.

Dr. Job is here to help you deal with your emotionally dependent coworker.

1- Establish Defined Limits

Even though being friends with your coworkers is appropriate, it might go too far if they begin to consider you as a buddy.

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Keep work, and personal connections separate to avoid coworkers from distracting you from your work by annoying you with their issues.

To let your coworkers know that you prefer to keep office conversations focused on business-related topics, try to keep the conversation away from the most personal and intimate details of your life.

When they see you working hard, they'll be less likely to ask for your help.

If a coworker comes to you with a personal issue that you don't feel qualified to discuss or think is too sensitive for the workplace, you should decline to discuss it.

Tell them that you don't feel comfortable discussing the issue while at work.

2- Prompt the Other Person To Find a Solution

A coworker who constantly asks for assistance becomes tiresome. This can be especially true if your coworker's concern involves a work-related issue and you're working on a project together or respect each other's friendship.

 Some people have a natural aptitude for solving problems.

Employees in need of emotional support, as well as their supervisors, turn to them for guidance.

Before approaching you for help, encourage your coworker to research and brainstorm ideas on their own before approaching you.

Because they are now responsible for finding a solution, they learn that they cannot rely on others to get them out of difficulties.

3- Encourage Individualism

Instead of encouraging your coworker's clingy behavior, say "no" nicely.

Most of the time, anxious coworkers merely need the resources to boost their self-esteem and self-confidence in how they perform their professional duties.

When they come to you with an issue, please look at what they bring to the table—creating a plan to assist them in learning the abilities they need to perform their job obligations on their own if there are similarities.

A refresher on how the company's computer system works, or a lack of familiarity with one area of his job, could be the problem.

Help them develop the skills they lack so that they won't need your assistance in the future.

4- Suggest Hiring a Medical Professional

Refrain from feeling guilty about your total aid to this troubled coworker, and instead, let him know how much you care about the issues he's facing.

Mention any available employee counseling or help programs if it's a personal issue, such as an unsatisfactory family situation.

You should tell them to seek help from their supervisor or someone with authority to address the problem.

What if you are an employer?

5- Determine the level of awareness of the subject

People who are very dependent on other people's emotions don't always see how much of a burden they are on those around them.

 The fact that others have distinct emotional boundaries may go unnoticed by those whose emotionality is the norm.

Schedule a one-on-one meeting with the employee at issue. Be sure to ask them questions and find out whether or not their behavior is affecting others.

If your employee reacts with astonishment to your feedback, it's probably something they've never heard before.

In this scenario, be prescriptive, creating apparent differences between suitable and inappropriate emotional expressions and requirements, and why.

On the other hand, if the individual admits to the issue, they may not realize the extent to which their actions harm those around them.

If this is the case, it may be advisable to take a more direct approach.

6- Be honest with yourself about your emotional limits

Try again if things don't go according to plan in your initial meeting.

Emotionally dependent employees are sometimes incorrectly restricted by their bosses. Although they reduce your emotional exhaustion briefly, time limitations are a band-aid solution.

If you don't take care of your employees, they'll find other ways to satisfy their requirements.

Setting limitations on how much emotional support a person can take from their team can be done more efficiently.

Set clear emotional boundaries

with your team member in a one-on-one dialogue.

As a result of setting limits, you make the other person think about when and if they should seek emotional support.

You can rein them in if they keep straying from the agreed-upon parameters.

People in need should be treated as powerful rather than vulnerable.

Try to discern between being fragile and being overly sensitive. The difference between the two is significant. They are more inclined to lose control of their emotions and have difficulty regaining it.

Stressful situations, such as looming deadlines or a never-ending list of things to do, might set them off.

People who are too sensitive, on the other hand, seek out partnerships that offer them validation.

They frequently try to control people's emotions to influence their actions.

Tell the employee who has difficulty in a private talk that you want to create a team environment where people can ask for what they require.


that it's natural to require emotional support from time to time but that everyone is unique and limits how much they can handle.

Show them how their behavior has made your life more complex, and push them to find a better approach to meet their demands.

In other cases, they may seek aid from a mental health professional or friends outside the job to help them process their feelings.

Whatever you say, make it clear that you value your connection with this person.

It will show them that you're on their side while also setting an example for the kinds of mature interactions they need to learn from.

7- Don't let rumors spread about a team member who needs help

Those in need feel more alone and dependent on others the more people talk about them instead of talking to them.

When someone is emotionally sensitive, they pay close attention to how others respond to their attention-seeking behaviors.

 In all likelihood, they've seen this behavior before in others who were trying to get their attention.

Rest confident that the needy employee is aware of your or your team's frustrations when they communicate them to you or each other.

Inside jokes or knowing glances amongst team members are sometimes directed at those in need.

This cooperation must be stopped immediately, and you must not participate in or condone it.

The best way to deal with gossip or actual issues is to send them back to the person who needs to be dealt with immediately.

Please encourage them to practice giving feedback

by providing instruction.

It's your role as a leader to get to know your team's emotional makeup and develop specific methods for each member's needs.

If someone is struggling to meet their own needs, you do not have to supply them with unending emotional support.

 It's important to realize that ignoring a problem is never the answer.

Helping emotionally dependent team members understand and address their own needs is the most excellent strategy.

In doing so, you will support this person and those around them.