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I have a colleague who sings under their breath while working. It's quite disturbing, even with headphones on. How can I assertively request that they stop doing it without coming across as controlling?

marked as duplicate by David K, Draken, gnat, Dukeling, Joe Strazzere Jan 17 '18 at 18:53

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Every suggestion here seems to be jokingly passive aggressive. I'm not sure that's really warranted and the singer may be doing it unconsciously or thinks he is unheard. As a hummer myself, I would prefer someone simply says to me:

"Hey Forklift, sorry to interrupt you, but that singing is a little bit distracting for me. Do you think you could listen to music on your headphones instead?"


Sing back, slightly off-key

And hope they get the message.

Or just come right out with it and say that it's a little distracting.

But either way, don't press it too much, there's worse things in life to cope with.

  • 3
    And time to time tap your desktop with the rhythm, either they get the message or ask you to stop... and then you replay back the same :) – William-H-M Jan 17 '18 at 15:02
  • If you happen to have ADHD like me, things like these can completely hinder your ability to work and build up a lot of stress. Don't underestimate this only because you react differently. And, no reason to start a "singing war", the colleague must stop or if he can't help it, the team leader should find arrangements like moving places or whatever. – Czar Apr 4 '18 at 15:50

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