How should I deal with a needy coworker?

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This question comes up with regularity. Most recently, I was asked how to handle a “sexy banter” problem. Again. Humans are so… human all the time. Anyhoo, this was a top post of 2018 and it’s helpful, too!!


There is a broad spectrum of needy, so first you’ll need to determine where this person falls on the um, spectrum.

Depending on the degree of need, your reaction could range from getting their stomach pumped to ignoring them completely. Some things can be your responsibility just by being a human in the same room, but most things are not.

The other consideration is the placement of their need. If you find yourself exasperated by all their questions and requests for time off, you may be alarmed to learn that you are, in fact, their manager and no one told you.

In that case, their need for answers about their duties is placed with you, as it should be. Be a kind manager and leave a door open for them. (Or the porthole, if applicable).

If they have a need for sexy banter and you are not a sexy banter operator, that…

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