10 Signs Of Unstable Coworker to Learn – How To Help

Written By Shahzaib Arshad

A considerable number of people suffer from mental health conditions during their lifetime. So can be the case with your coworkers or someone at your workplace.

10 Subtle Signs Of Unstable Coworker

You must be thinking about why you should learn about this. The answer is one should be aware of the mental health of coworkers so that they contribute to workplace wellness and they are not mentally unstable coworker.

An unstable coworker can cause damage to the overall productivity of the company and lowers morale.

You should understand the signs of an unstable employee to help him become stable and play his part.

It’d be a good favour to everyone around if you do this being a responsible worker. So let’s take a look at the signs of an unstable coworker and how to deal with him.

1. They’re Slowly Becoming Loner:

The coworker who used to be the life of the party is turning into a strange loner. He used to be very outgoing and loved participating in every event, but now things are changing.

Unstable Coworker Prefers To Stay Alone
They’re Slowly Becoming Loner

His unstable condition isn’t allowing him to be an extrovert anymore. He prefers to stay alone so that no one knows what’s going on in his life.

All the time, he’s sitting in his cabin and struggling to focus on his work. If anyone goes to see him, he either shouts or excuses to leave him alone. This is one of the signs of an unstable employee.

2. Signs Of Unstable Coworker – Can’t Get The Work Done On Time:

Your coworker is unable to meet the work deadlines and has so many excuses for not doing so.

He Is Unable To Meet Deadlines
Signs Of Unstable Coworker – Cant Get The Work Done On Time

His mental condition is so bad that his projects aren’t delivered on time even after trying hard.

All the plans to get work done on time go fail, and he’s frustrated at the end of the day.

He becomes even more depressed for not being able to do everyday tasks at work. This frustration is visible, and you can see them being anxious.

3. Takes Early Leave Or Doesn’t Come To Work:

It’s a visible sign that your coworker is mentally disturbed if he takes an early without reason. Sometimes, they won’t come to work at all because the work pressure is unbearable for them.

It’s becoming hard to manage their personal life problems and workload side by side, so they’re losing at it.

So when your coworker is absent from work without a said reason, then there’s something wrong.

4. The Coworker Is Sweating Without A Reason:

Your coworker is mentally going through something if he’s sweating and goes out of breath often.

Signs Of Unstable Coworker
The Coworker Is Sweating Without A Reason

You see him sweating in his cabin even if the air conditioner is on, but that’s not helping his mental instability.

He comes to work in a hurry and is wheezing like he’s sick; it’s a visible sign there’s something wrong.

So next time you see your coworker sweating and palpitating at work, he’s probably unstable.

5. Random Anger Outbursts Never Seen Before:

Your unstable coworker wasn’t like this from the beginning; he’s slowly turning into a strange person.

He used to be very jolly and active all day; everyone loved him for his friendly nature.

Your Coworker Is Unable To Manage Emotions
Random Anger Outbursts Never Seen Before

But now, his anger comes out of nowhere; he’s throwing anger and fire at others for trivial matters.

He’s failing to keep things in their place, and everything seems to be going out of his hands. To make things worse, he uses bad and offensive language with everyone at work.

6. Visible Changes In Personality – Signs Of Unstable Coworker:

It’s visible that your coworker is becoming someone that he wasn’t before; his personality is changing.

He doesn’t care about the dressing or decorum of the workplace; he even looks like a sick person.

Your coworker’s mental health is disturbed, the changes are affecting his personality.

He’s losing the charm and aura he had before this condition and seems like he doesn’t care about anything.

7. Their Career Is Getting Pushed Back:

My coworker is mentally unstable. The coworker’s career is deteriorating because of his bad performance, and the boss isn’t happy with him.

But he has other things to worry about, and he’s careless regarding his performance.

Signs Of Unstable Coworker
Their Career Is Getting Pushed Back

In some cases, people with unstable mental conditions get demoted and even get fired from their jobs.

That’s because no one wants to keep employees who are unable to focus and do their work on time.

8. They Can’t Even Answer Properly:

A person who isn’t in a stable condition can’t comprehend what the other person is saying. It’ll be very difficult for them to answer when you ask them something, and you can see their tongue slipping.

An unstable coworker is unaware of how to handle a particular situation and what should he say.

That’s all because of the disturbing mental health that’s causing him to blabber nonsensical things.

9. Says Everything’s Fine When You Ask:

Your unstable coworker doesn’t want to lose his job. He thinks if he reveals his condition or someone knows about it, the boss will fire him.

The Coworker Nevers Shares About His Life
Says Everythings Fine When You Ask

So when you ask him if there’s something wrong as a concerned friend, he says everything’s fine.

He won’t share anything with anyone because of the fear of being kicked out of this job. So when you see him worried, still he doesn’t share anything, he might be mentally unstable.

10. Lost In Their Thoughts – Signs of Unstable Coworker:

If you see a person zoned out into their own world and not focusing on work, he’s probably unstable.

When someone is not mentally fine, they are always thinking about their problems.

They can’t help it, and it becomes a habit to get lost in thoughts after a while. If your coworker is showing these symptoms, he’s surely unstable.

How Do You Deal With An Unstable Coworker

Emotionally unstable coworkers can be a hard deal to tackle for anyone, as they’re already drained. So one must deal with them with care and caution for not to hurt their sentiments anymore!

Here are the tips for dealing with an unstable coworker.

1. Learn Their Past – What Makes Them Suffer:

Your unstable coworker has some emotional drama ongoing in their life; that keeps them worried.

Try To Know The Reason Behind This Instability
Learn Their Past – What Makes Them Suffer

He can’t focus on his work because his mind is busy processing so many other thoughts. You must try to know the reason behind their behaviour.

Have a talk with your coworker or do your research to know about their worries.

2. Beware Of Their Triggers:

Once you know what’s making your coworker unstable, refrain from repeating such things.

Signs Of Unstable Coworker
Beware Of Their Triggers

There’d be probably some triggers that make him anxious, and he loses focus. Know these triggers and avoid repeating such emotional things in front of your coworker.

3. Show Empathy – Signs Of Unstable Coworker:

Be empathetic towards your unstable coworker and ensure them that you’re there for them. If they lose focus during work and are unable to keep it to work for the rest of the day, share their workload.

You can suggest to them a good doctor if you know one, or cover up their absence when they aren’t well.

4. Have Some Coffee Together:

You can do your unstable coworker a favour by being a good listener to them. Take some time out to have a coffee with him and listen to his past stories.

Invite Them To A Coffee For A Discussion
Have Some Coffee Together

Ask him how you can help him and what’ his plan is regarding this problem.

It can be very helpful for the unstable coworker to know that at least someone is by his side.

5. Keep In Touch With Them:

After you ensure your coworker that you’re there for them, stay informed until they’re doing good.

Have an eye on him from a distance; if he’s not fine, offer your help. However, if the coworker is getting better towards a stable mental condition, then that’s good.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Know If An Employee Is Mentally Ill?

If someone at work is mentally unstable, they’ll show excessive worry or anxiety. They’ll have difficulty concentrating on work. Such people also show detachment and irritability when someone tries to get near them.

What Are The Signs Of A Mentally Unstable Person?

Such people feel sad and down all the time. You can spot a mentally unstable coworker by their confused and irritating behaviour. There will be extreme mood changes of highs and lows. They’ll also avoid any friends gathering or meetups.

How Do You Handle An Unstable Employee?

You can read their emotional signals from their behaviour and keep that in mind. Also, empathizing with them would be helpful. Give these employees some space and don’t hurt their dignity. Also, try to anticipate their fears.

How Do You Deal With An Attention-Seeking Coworker?

The best way to deal with attention-seeking is to withhold your attention. If you listen and respond to them, it will only initiate drama. So next time your attention-seeking coworker begins the drama, excuse yourself for work.


You must familiarize yourself with signs of mental instability so that not only you can save yourself but help others as well.

Talk to your team and educate them on this topic, so everyone is a helping hand for one unstable coworker.

You should know how to help someone with mental illness, but you shouldn’t force them to open up to you.

However, it’d be a good idea to keep the doors open for a conversation if they want this later on.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Last Updated on 2 months by

Shahzaib Arshad
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