Common Destructive Behavior Patterns That Can Drive You NUTS, at Work, at Home, Everywhere (and what to do about them)

Destructive Behavior Patterns

Dear Dr. Sylvia.

I hate to complain, but my boss is driving me totally crazy. He is smart and knows the science behind what we do, however, as a leader he is just plain awful.

For example, He is always telling us how great he is. He brags about how many awards he has won, and how much people adore him. 

Consequently, when it comes to making decisions about big picture future endeavors, he shoots from the hip. He never bases his responses on any of the stats that are right in front of him. He does not ask for feedback, and without using these words, says “my way or the highway.”

You can run but you can’t hide.

Therefore, I’m ready to leave.

For instance: the problem is, I love the products we have and I love making people healthy and happy. I left out the type of products our company manufactures since we are such a known brand. 

In addition, my guess is, that these braggart leaders who ignore the facts are a dime a dozen.

The big question is: what can I do before I give up and get out?


Still Hopeful

Why leaders stay stuck.

Dear Still Hopeful,

Think about your business leader and would you vote for her or him if you had the choice to choose?

Of course not.

Most importantly, let’s look at the man you just discussed.  You just said he is annoying and always talking about how great he is. Yet, he’s not willing to use data to drive decisions.

Certainly, these are behaviors that can become super frustrating. I can see how they make you want to run and hide, or worse, leave a company you love.

Further, this man sounds like a combination of a super achiever and a denier. That’s a combination sadly full of destructive possibilities.

Habitual patterns can destroy relationships.

Moreover, I bet he’s the type of person who drives the fastest race car on a winding road without guardrails.

That’s a way of behaving that could lead to an ugly crash. I see why you don’t want to continue in the speeding auto with him.

Where are all the normal, healthy people, you ask?

Yes, you say he was good at his prior job. However, as a leader he sucks.

In the same vein, that happens all too often.

Many executives succeed in one vertical area. Yet, they cannot manage the next level of leadership.

I hear your wish.

 If he would only accept feedback and look the facts in the face. Then, maybe there is a chance he would change.  

As a result, the bad news is: 

Work is where you either grow or you gotta go.

Every workplace has disappointments. There is often someone like your boss or some version of him. 

Consequently, there is the leader who never stops complaining. Or there is the hotshot newbie who is always talking about her past successes. Perhaps there is the guy with the bad jokes who uses up so much air time at meetings.

In fact, I bet you find that different personality characteristics drive you nuts at one time or another? These frustrations are understandable. The big question, however, is why do some people behave in ways that hit your hot buttons? And what can be done about it?

In the same vein, there are times to look in your own mirror and ask yourself, this important question. “Why do I always respond to braggarts or whiners in such a negative way?”

There are 13 major annoying patterns at work.

Above all, here are the 13 most annoying and common patterns that show up at work, at home, everywhere. You may see your boss or direct report here. Or maybe the woman who just joined who never shuts up about her ideas. You may even see your mother-in-law who judges everything or your sister who was always attempting to make you look foolish. And, maybe, you will see a part of yourself.

The good news is: 

These patterns of behavior are real. This is good news?  Yes, once you recognize them you can do something about them. You can transform them to flip to the other side, the positive side. You can begin to change how you respond. Maybe even help someone else change how they look at what is really going on beyond superficial reactions

Most importantly, the first order of business is to observe them:

  1. Super Achiever – must win at all costs
  2. Rebel – can’t accept any authority
  3. Procrastinator – won’t finish anything
  4. Clown – reduces everything to a joke
  5. Persecutor – bullies people into misery
  6. Victim – too scared to take any action
  7. Rescuer – demands to be the big hero
  8. Drama Queen/King – makes emotional scenes
  9. Martyr – does everyone else’s work
  10. Pleaser – says what folks want to hear
  11. Avoider – dodges work and responsibility
  12. Denier – won’t face problems directly
  13. Splitter – secretly sets up the conflict

In addition, there are ways to cope with people who fit these patterns. Better yet, there are ways to go beyond coping and help them transform into more productive ways of responding.

Further, I don’t want you to think this is an instant fix. It is not. 

Changing behavior is a major worthwhile investment.

Changing behavior in anything beyond a superficial way requires discipline, time, and commitment. However, it is possible to make change happen once you look back at where the patterns started.

After that, when you do, the rewards are amazing. There is more honest communication, better relationships, optimized teamwork, better financial results. In the same vein, there is the deep fulfillment that comes with living a more authentic life.

In conclusion, emotional intelligence is important, and becoming pattern aware is the next layer of 21st Century leadership development.

I suggest you set up a strategy session. Contact us and talk with one of our Pattern Breakthrough Coaches before you give up and get out.

Here’s to your success,


P.S. You would also benefit from reading my award-winning book “Don’t Bring It to Work.”  Here you get more information and ways to make change happen effectively

P.S.S You may also want to consider signing up for my online program Stress Busters. This 4 module program goes into detail about the patterns. Here you can move from chaotic to calm. It’s a great place to de-stress and stay above the turmoil.

Creative Energy Options

Sylvia Lafair

Creative Energy Options