Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that you’ve come into contact with someone that you don’t like at the workplace. The tension, negativity, and overall lousy atmosphere can have you dreading going to work. While you might tell yourself that things are going to be easier if you just ignore them and that there’s no reason for you to make any effort; that’s the wrong approach. There are plenty of reports that indicate that positive and friendly workplace relationships promote productivity and success. So, here are some suggestions for dealing with a co-worker that you don’t like.
As a person, you have a psychological tendency to be drawn to people who are like you and share similar interests. If your unlikable colleague is different than you, that simple notion can turn you away from making an effort to developing a relationship with them. It’s recommended that you take down the walls you’ve built and reach out to your colleague. Spend some time getting to know him or her more personally. You might recognize a few similarities that are going to make it easier to change your mind about them.
Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally
It’s important to remember not to take poor behavior personally, especially if it’s toxic. While you might start to think that your co-worker hates you, or they are doing things to frustrate you or irritate you on purpose, this isn’t usually the case. According to experts, more often than not, poor workplace behavior stems from past issues, unsupportive role models in previous workplaces, insecurities and a lack of confidence. It’s typically more about them than it is about you.
Unlikeable people can come with unlikable behavior, so as it’s important not to take their behavior personally, it’s also just as vital that you learn to distance yourself from it. It’s important to understand how to make boundaries and communicate them to the colleague during an interaction with them. Ensure that you don’t allow your anger and frustration to build up by communicating the limitations to the co-worker, so they know what’s crossing the line.
Attempt the Little Things
People say that it’s always the little things that matter, and that’s something that you can try. Attempt to keep your relationship with your colleague positive by offering them a simple “Good morning,” or “Enjoy your weekend!” If you are heading out on a coffee run, ask them if they want anything. It’s not possible to change a person, though you can change the energy that you expel on them. It might take a while, but the small, feel-good actions might have you feeling slightly more positive about the one who irritates you.
Take a Break
Sometimes, no matter what you’ve tried, you just need to take a step back and take a break from negative people, or those who aren’t allowing you to be the best version of yourself. There is no need to force yourself to stay in a situation where you’re surrounded by a co-worker who leaves you feeling negative. Give yourself time away from them so that you can return with a clear head.
You’re not going to love everyone that you work with, especially if you work for a large company. In fact, for each person that you do like, there’s undoubtedly going to be another that you have nothing in common with and just don’t like. Guess what? That’s okay. You don’t have to like everyone that you work with, though you do need to remain professional. You’re going to find more success, positivity, support, and satisfaction in your work if you put forth the effort to make the relationship something that’s at least tolerable.