Coping with a Coworker You Simply Hate
If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on it’s that you don’t have the luxury of choosing your coworkers, which in many cases can make your work life more difficult than you ever imagined. Although there may be a few people in the office that you enjoy chatting around the water cooler with, there are most likely one or two people you’d prefer to stay away from.
Dealing with the everyday office politics is hard enough as it is, let alone if you’re responsible for working with the same people you hate every single day of your career. Luckily, you don’t have to like everyone in the office but at times, you’ll have to pretend that you do. To help you get through the toughest part of waking up in the morning, consider these great tips for coping with a coworker you hate.
Survival Tip 1: Figure Out What the Issue Is
The first, and most important, thing you need to do is to figure out what the problem is between you and the person in question. Can you pinpoint your feelings to a specific situation where they made you look stupid in front of the office? Alternatively, perhaps you simply made these assumptions about them on your own with little to no evidence. It’s okay, we won’t judge, especially since it’s human nature to potentially get bad vibes from certain people.
The important thing to remember is that if you don’t have a legitimate reason for the hate, why even waste your time? The amount of effort it takes to dislike someone is far more than what it takes to get along peacefully. It doesn’t mean you have to be best friends, but civil coworkers are a great start.
Survival Tip 2: Limit Your Interactions
Even in situations where it might seem impossible to avoid a terrible person at work, it surely is. You can even limit your interactions without having to go over their head and complain to a supervisor or manager. All you have to do is manage how you act around them and they’ll be more likely to leave you alone.
For example, if someone is simply toxic to the work environment because of his or her consistent inner office gossiping, when you pass them in the morning say a brief hello and stay as far away as the conversation as possible. Once they realize you’re not interested in what they have to say, they’re more likely to latch onto other people.
Survival Tip 3: Create a Personal Favorable Outcome
No matter what you think, your managers and supervisors will clearly be aware of the negative energy these people bring to the office. If you’re noticing it, you can be sure that other people are as well. With that being said, if you affiliate yourself with that group of people you might also be lumped into the same category as them.
Instead, separate yourself from the Negative Nancy’s and create a personal favorable outcome. This is an incredible learning opportunity where you can grow your professionalism and become a better-rounded employee. Your supervisors and managers will surely see that you’re taking the more corporate-approved approach and commend you for your maturity.
Survival Tip 4: Have an Enlightening Conversation
If you’re the type of person that knows they can have a fulfilling conversation (not confrontation), then this is surely the survival tip for you. Remember, there are some things you’ll never be able to change, such as the way a person develops, but there are things you can change to make your work life better.
Consider setting some time apart to have a direct conversation in a private location where you can address all of your issues head on. It’s likely that if you have problems with someone, they might have some with you as well and it’s best to get everything out on the table.
The most important thing to remember about an enlightening conversation is to make your dissatisfactions clear without being too critical. Turn your advice into suggestions on how they could improve and then open the floor for any feedback they may have in return.
Survival Tip 5: Move Up the Ladder
If you’ve tried all of the other survival tips and seemingly nothing has worked, or things have gotten worse, it might be time to escalate the issue up the ladder to your boss. It’s very important that you first develop a clear and concise way to have a formal discussion with your employer about the person and the negative ways they affect the office.
This is something that should only be done if the person’s behavior is negatively influenced your performance and the performance of other people in the company. Be sure to be professional and thoroughly explain the situation. Your boss will surely appreciate you dealing with the problem directly and showing them the truth behind how certain actions are creating a terrible environment for everyone.
Survival Tip 6: Look For a New Job
You’d never know it, but sometimes the Devil is in the details and a coworker you hate might be a blessing in disguise. Depending on how involved you are in your current position and your level of seniority, this may not even be an option. In addition, in most cases, we wouldn’t suggest just leaving your job because of someone else, but if you’re in an incredibly dire situation where your coworkers are getting worse without being reprimanded, it might be time to get out.
Remember, everything that you go through in the workplace gives you valuable experience that you can use to know what you’re looking for in future opportunities. It gives you a solid foundation to know what you’re worth so the next time, you can find a more valuable opportunity.
You’re not alone – people deal with terrible coworkers all of the time and if you’re tired of a toxic environment, there are things you can do to make it better. With the help of this survival guide, making a difference in your office isn’t only something you’ll thank yourself for, but everyone else will thank you as well.