How to Work With People You Dislike

How to Work With People You Dislike

You can choose the friends and companions in your personal life, but you probably don’t have a whole lot of say about the people you work with. Since the majority of your week is probably spent at work, coming across someone in the office who you don’t get along with can be a nightmare.

So what can you do if you find yourself in this situation? You could look for a new job, though it would be unwise to quit an otherwise good job over a single individual. Instead, we suggest you look over these five tips for dealing with a coworker you dislike.

  1. Manage your expectations
    Often times, we dislike others because they don’t meet our own expectations. The truth of the matter is that our expectations are not always realistic, especially when it comes to the people we work with. Just because someone doesn’t do or act as we would in certain situations, doesn’t make them a bad person nor is it a reason to dislike them at all. In fact, it’s a great opportunity for you to learn from others and become a better team player.
  2. Are you the problem?
    It’s hard to admit when you’re wrong; it’s easier to deflect your own problems on to others. However, perhaps you need to take a good look to see what your gripe is and if changing your behavior could actually be a solution. For example, is your office nemesis truly nit-picky and negative or have you really been missing those deadlines?
  3. Leave assumptions at the door
    Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. You may take your coworker’s poor attitude as a sign that he/she doesn’t like you, when in fact the person may just be dealing with a tough personal situation.
  4. Be the bigger person
    At some point, you may just need to swallow your pride and get to know your unlikeable office mate. It doesn’t mean you need to be best friends, but a simple “good morning” or “have a nice weekend” can help chip away walls that have formed. And who knows—you may end up having more in common than you think.
  5. Keep the complaints to yourself
    You may desperately want to know that you’re not the only one who finds your coworker utterly annoying, but resist the urge to share your dislike with other coworkers. Its human nature to want confirmation for our own opinions, but doing so in this case will only reflect poorly on your professionalism.

At the end of the day, remember that you can only control your actions. Furthermore, you decide how others make you feel – whether its anger and frustration or happiness. You are in a professional environment, so if nothing else, do your best to be polite and courteous at all times.

Posted on June 22, 2016

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