how can I get my coworker to stop talking to me all the time?

A reader writes:

I recently joined a new company and got to know a colleague of mine, who happened to come on board on the same day as me. According to her, it’s for this reason that she confides a lot of her personal and professional matters to me during office hours. I even got a text message from her over the weekend, complaining about how she can’t stand our boss. Though I played smart by not dispensing any opinions on that, I feel that she has crossed the line of not knowing when to stop “harassing” her fellow colleagues about her personal / work-related issues.

How can I break it to her in a firm and yet polite way that I would very much prefer if she keeps her whinging to herself at a moderate level, and also not send me relentless e-mails (via our office email) to “chat with me” when I have specifically asked her not to talk to me while I’m trying to focus on my work here. She just doesn’t seem to get my drift. What should I do and say?

I answer this question over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.

how can I get my coworker to stop talking to me all the time? was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.


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December 2, 2016 at 03:07AM