How to Deal with Difficult Co-Workers


Tired of having a hard time in the office because of you workmates? Unfortunately, your chances of getting away from these people are pretty slim. If these co-workers are simply annoying and doesn’t really have any bearing on your work, you’ll probably just have to ignore them. However, if you have to work with these problem officemates on a regular basis, it is time to take some precautionary actions.


  1. Identify the “Toxic” Co-workers

Problematic people in an organization show a variety of symptoms; some are dodge blamers, while others are plain slackers who almost always fail to meet deadlines on time, no matter how much leeway is given to them. Then there’s also the toxic one who just never have something nice to say about your performance. Toxic co-workers come in different forms—your first line of defence is to identify them.

  1. Evaluate Your Situation

On your first encounter with a problem workmate, your first reaction may be shock because you expect others to treat you professionally when at work. In a lot of cases, it’s difficult to determine whether these people are mood busters or are already acting in a hostile manner. Allow some time to let your shock wear off and then evaluate what’s really going on.

  1. Make the Right Move

If you are working with a difficult person, especially one who undermines you, you probably need to take precautionary actions. Let the offending person know that you’re aware of what he is doing to you and that you are willing to take the situation to someone higher in the chain of command, if things get worse.


  1. Maintain a Diplomatic Character

No matter how tempting it is to share and complain to others about any friction between you and a toxic co-worker, try your best not to do so. If you do, some people in your office, which may include your supervisor, may brand you as a whiner or think that you’re not a team player, which may cause people to blame you for other office conflicts.

  1. Keep It Private

As previously stated, avoid letting others know about your grievances, but most importantly don’t engage with the offending person in front of your boss, clients, and co-workers. Keeping the problem with the problem person private makes it much easier to leave the conflict behind once it’s resolved.

  1. Learn From It

You and the other person may never agree with each other at some points. However, even though you don’t like this situation, take this opportunity as a way to learn how to handle such circumstances professionally. You may not like them, but use your experience with them to understand more about where they are coming from.

Dealing with difficult co-workers on a daily basis can be annoying and can greatly affect your performance in the long run. While you may be the smartest employee in the office, if you can’t get along with everyone, it’s likely you won’t get too far in your chosen career path.


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