What Do You Do When You Can’t Stand a Co-Worker?

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, there may come a time in your career when you work with someone you simply don’t like. It can be frustrating at best and can lead to uncomfortable confrontations in the future. It can be hard to manage your own temper, especially if the other person can’t contain their own. But can you learn to work with someone you don’t get along with? Before you do something you might regret, here are some tips to help you handle yourself around a coworker you simply do not like.

Always stay professional

The first step to dealing with a co-worker you can’t stand is to stay professional. You’ve always heard phrases like “taking the high road” or “being the bigger person.” That advice absolutely applies when you’re in a position to disagree or have a conflict with another employee. Don’t let the other person bait you into becoming unprofessional. Never make the conversation personal, even if they do. Remain kind, professional, and simply remove yourself from the situation whenever you need to.

Talk to them about the issue

Of course, sometimes you will need to confront the directly. You may need to ask them to stop behaving a certain way around you. Depending on their own personality traits, they may twist your request, but the ownership is on you to keep your cool. Don’t attack them personally. Keep everything related to the specific situation only. If they attack you, redirect the conversation and continue to address the underlying problem.

Take it to a manager

Finally, if you are unable to ignore your coworker or the situation escalates, it is time to talk to a manager. Don’t think about the schoolyard phrases about snitches or stitches. This isn’t about talking behind someone’s back. It is important that situations affecting your performance or the performance of those around you are addressed in a positive and constructive manner. Your manager is equipped to help you with this process.

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