There is a general consensus that we simply need to avoid being in the same room with people we don’t like. While it sounds easy, what if the said person happens to be a coworker and we need to work with them? Things might be challenging, but if you keep a few things in mind, you can actually work with just anyone. Be it your supervisor or a fellow team member, here are some points worth remembering so you can deal with coworkers you don’t like and work efficiently.
Feeling of Dislike Can Go Both Ways
You may not like some of your coworkers, but there is a chance that they may dislike you too. Feeling of dislike can go both ways and you need to be aware of this. No matter how crappy these coworkers appear to be in your eyes, it may not be their fault. In this case, self-reflect on how you could be contributing to the matter. Disliking someone does not make you a horrible person, and it does not make the other person a bad person either. Just remember: your coworkers are not perfect, just as how you are not perfect too.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Maybe your unhappy coworkers are unpleasant because they are going through a difficult period at home. Perhaps they can no longer give their all due to weariness and overwork. There might be a variety of reasons; nevertheless, you probably don’t know, and you won’t be able to settle your issues if you do not even make an attempt to understand the larger perspective and the story behind. Learning more about someone may not change them, but it will help you to see things from their point of view. If you were in their shoes, would it be pleasant to learn that someone dislikes you for no apparent reason? Although doing this may not instantly turn you into liking them, it is still better to not let anger consume you.
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Manchester United (MU), your favorite football team, lost a game against Manchester City (MC), and one of your coworkers who is a fan of MC made fun of you for being an MU fan. Now, this example can be a personal reason why you don’t like a particular coworker, but highlight the term personal here. You are entitled to like or dislike someone personally, but it is important to know how to stay professional around them. This means that your feelings towards them should not impede any of your work or the overall business operation. If you do not like your fellow team member for a personal reason, never give them a negative peer review for their professional performance. Remember; personal dislike is not an excuse to give professional pressure to your coworkers.
Don’t Add Fuel to the Fire
If you think that you need to have an ally who supports you in disliking a certain co-worker, stop right there and hold that thought. At times, you may dislike someone to the point that you think about finding another friend in the office who also dislikes the said person. While you may perceive this as a supporting act, this is actually childish. Being professional requires one to not speak behind a coworker’s back. It may be extremely tempting and overwhelming to talk about someone you dislike, especially with coworkers who share similar feelings. However, it should be noted that the only thing gossip does is enrage you even more and harm your view on another person.
The most efficient way to deal with the feeling of dislike is to actually deal with the issue, which is to resolve it. This may appear to be easier said than done, but since there is no getting away from this coworker, take courage and just be honest about it. Invite this person for coffee or lunch and begin by revealing that you are not on good terms and ask whether he or she feels the same. Since you must work collaboratively in the office, you should both analyze what is impeding progress and propose steps or agreements to overcome it. This scenario can be awkward for both of you. But, remember it is not about you or the other person; it is about how the two of you can lessen the tension that may have appeared or possibly do in the near future.
Never let your dislike for someone in the workplace make you hesitant to conduct your daily tasks. Instead, direct your attention inside. Reflect for a moment; perhaps what you dislike in another person is something you struggle with yourself. Keep in mind that you have complete power over yourself and your mental state. Don’t let your anger control you; control your anger.