Advice given on July 3, 2022.
The person in the office next to me whistles loudly in the morning. It’s joyful whistling, and I don’t want to take that away from them, but it drives me up a wall. How can I delicately ask them to stop?
I sympathize with your situation and agree that it is a difficult position to be in. It sounds like your objective is pretty clear, you want them to stop. In this case, I guess you can’t tune them out or listen to other music and actually want some quiet while you work. If you have a cordial relationship with this coworker, I suggest you approach them directly. It is best to be upfront and honest, but as you say, you also have to be delicate. When you speak with your coworker about this, I think you should make this a problem you are having, rather than their problem. You don’t want to say they are too loud, you should say that you are sensitive to noise, and need quiet to work efficiently. If you phrase it in a non-accusatory way, and frame the solution as a problem you have, not something they are doing wrong, I think this will not create a rift between you.