How to deal with a co-worker you don’t like
Find yourself releasing a huge sigh at the thought of seeing ‘that’ co-worker first thing on a Monday morning? We’ve all been there at some point in our lives.
Unfortunately, wherever you work there is a good chance you’re going to clash with at least one person. We could give you advice on how to avoid someone completely but that is definitely not going to solve the problem.
Here are some tips on how to deal with a co-worker you don’t like;
1. Explore the possibility that you’re the problem
Everyone knows how hard it is to admit that you are wrong sometimes but if you’re heading in to work with a bad attitude, chances are you’re going to take it out on the co-worker that you get on with or know the least.
If you’re starting to snap at someone who didn’t say or do anything to offend you, try to remove yourself from the situation in order to get to the root cause of your bad mood. Otherwise, you will make your working environment ten times worse and make that co-worker you took it out on dislike you. As soon as you find the root cause, whether it’s the person who cut you up in traffic this morning or simply waking up on the wrong side of the bed, you’ll realise that the person you’re taking it out on isn’t to blame.
2. Don’t talk about them to the rest of the office
This is probably the most important tip. You may have people you can trust in your workplace but gossiping about the person you dislike is only going to make your work friends think you are untrustworthy. Keep your opinions to yourself or tell a loved one at home if you want to vent but try to hold back on ranting in work and releasing your negativity into the office.
3. Kill with kindness
Don’t give that persistently annoying co-worker any reason to antagonise you. As long as you kill them with kindness and pleasantries, you’ll always look like the bigger person. Professionalism is key in the workplace and will get you a long way in life as you’ll learn to let the small things go over your head.
4. Confront them politely
If you really think the problem is hindering your work, try hashing it out over a casual coffee during your break. This way, there isn’t too much pressure on either person and it will still feel like a casual chat. Make your feelings clear and ask if they feel the same or whether they have a different issue with you. You may have done something to offend them that you’re unaware of and by hashing it out you can assure them that whatever it was that offended them, won’t happen again.
5. Try to learn more about that person
If you don’t know someone, you’re more likely to give them the cold shoulder than the time of day. Learning about someone you don’t know helps put yourself in their shoes and learn where their attitude with you is coming from. Empathy is a good trait to have especially when you find yourself getting annoyed with something you know can’t be helped. This will help you learn to understand and maybe even like the co-worker you don’t think you like.
6. Try not to take it personally
If you have assessed the situation and decided you haven’t done anything to offend them, perhaps they just don’t like you. Not everyone you meet is going to have the same interests and beliefs as you and that’s okay. You don’t have to like everyone and everyone doesn’t have to like you, as soon as you realise this you’ll be on your way to a happier life. You’ll learn that whatever issue they have is theirs to deal with so you can carry on working hard and getting where you need to be in life.