How to Work With Someone Who Hates You
Interacting with others is inevitable in most work places. Unfortunately, you will occasionally come across a co-worker who rubs you the wrong way. It's important to know how to work with someone on a professional level, even if your personal relationship with that person is strained. Through learning to navigate the office to coping with the situation emotionally, there are a variety of ways to deal with working with someone you just do not get along with.
Navigating the Office
Try to limit interactions.While it's not always possible to completely avoid a co-worker, you can strive to keep interactions as infrequent as possible. Simply avoiding interaction is probably the easiest way to cope.
- Some interactions are probably unavoidable, especially if you two work together directly. However, you can avoid chatting with this co-worker in the break room or during downtime. If you notice your co-worker come in, politely excuse yourself by saying something like, "Well, got to get back to work. Nice seeing you."
- When you do have to interact with the co-worker, keep things professional. Avoid bringing up personal matters or things irrelevant to the task at hand as, when dealing with someone who dislikes you, this is an invitation for negative interaction.
Be nice to the offending person.Many psychological studies indicate that it's very difficult to dislike someone who likes you. If your co-worker feels you respect and like him or her, some of the dislike he or she may have towards you might fade.
- Tell someone else in the office that you like and respect the problem co-worker. That information may get repeated secondhand. When such a message does not come directly from you, your co-worker may be more likely to believe it.
- Show a genuine interest in your co-worker's input. People tend to like people who pay attention and engage with them. While you should still stick to avoiding this person when possible, during the times you do have to interact listen to what he or she says actively. This might make your co-worker's dislike you less.
- Small, friendly interactions can help as well. Something as simple as "good morning" can go a long way.
Separate your work life from your personal life.If you have trouble interacting with a particular colleague, try to separate your work life from your personal life. You do not have to socialize with colleagues outside of work. If the co-worker who dislikes you is frequently part of Friday night happy hours, forego these events and seeing the friends you know from outside work.
Report the situation if it gets out of hand.You do not want to report behavior unnecessarily. However, you should certainly report any behavior that's interfering with your ability to do your job. Talk to Human Resources if the situation gets out of hand.
- Management can help negotiate situations if your ability to do your job is threatened. You should keep a record of your interactions for a week or so if you plan to report just so you have solid information to show to officials.
- Make sure you focus on how your co-worker's behavior affects the company. Speak in objective terms and explain about how productivity and morale are damaged by your co-worker's attitude.
- Remember, this is a last resort. You do not want to get labeled the office tattletale. You should only report your co-worker if you feel he or she is harassing you, attacking you personally, and is persistent in his or her actions despite your attempts to avoid or rectify the situation.
Keep a healthy perspective.Emotionally, keeping a healthy perspective is one of the best ways to cope with a negative co-worker. Stay focused on your larger dreams and career goals. Avoid getting caught up in petty workplace drama.
- When you get frustrated, consider where you want to be in the next year or the next five years. How much does this co-worker really matter when it comes to your longterm goals? How long will you actually be working together? It's more than likely your troublesome co-worker will not be part of your career for the long run.
- Can you learn from the situation? Try to see the situation as a lesson in how to treat others. If your co-worker's dislike is making work difficult, do not replicate that kind of behavior in any future interactions.
Detach from the situation emotionally.While it's easier said than done, sometimes the best way to deal with a negative situation is to find a way to remove yourself emotionally. Try to simply ignore the behavior by refusing to react to it.
- It can help to engage in relaxation techniques throughout the day. You can try steadying your thoughts by hyper focusing on the present moment. Take stock of your body, your breathing, your surroundings. This will stop you from becoming upset by your co-worker's actions by placing focusing on the physical alone.
Find a support system outside of work.Whatever you do, do not bad talk your co-worker to other people in the office. This will not only reflect poorly on you, it can easily get back to your co-worker and make the situation worse.
- Everyone needs to vent sometimes. It's okay if you want to get your frustrations off your chest. However, keep your venting outside the office. Talk to friends and family members you know from outside work rather than acquaintances from the office.
Analyzing the Situation
Consider your co-worker's perspective.While it might be difficult to accept, there could be something you're doing to make your co-worker dislike you. Try to consider your co-worker's perspective to see if there's been any bad behavior on your part.
- Jealousy often fuels dislike. Your co-worker could see you as more successful or see traits in you that he or she lacks. While you can't necessarily eliminate your co-worker's jealousy, consider whether you've been overly smug or boastful about your success. If so, this may be fueling the dislike.
- People can mistake shyness as rudeness. If you simply do not interact with your co-worker frequently, he or she might think you're cold. Trying to be a bit friendlier can help.
- Do other people in the office seem to like you? If not, you may be inadvertently engaging in behavior others find off-putting. Try talking to a co-worker you're close to and ask him for objective feedback on your behavior. See if there's anything you're doing that could be off putting to others.
Review past interactions with the co-worker.Carefully review any past interactions you've had with your co-worker. Sometimes, people dislike others for a single bad interaction. There may have been something you said or did that's fueling the dislike.
- It could be something simple, like you not holding the elevator by mistake one day. You could have also accidentally said something insensitive, like a comment on your co-worker's outfit he or she took the wrong way.
- If you identify any past mistakes on your part, offer your co-worker a sincere apology. If the dislike stems from a simple misunderstanding, it can probably be cleared up with a quick conversation.
Evaluate your stress level.Be honest with yourself about how much the situation is bothering you. If you're unable to separate your work life from your private life, it may be time to look for another job. Be aware, however, that difficult people exist in every profession. If difficult co-workers really get to you, it might be a good idea to see a therapist about managing your overall stress.
QuestionI do everything on time, I help my coworkers with work-related and even personal problems, but they do not help me at all. They all hate me, even my boss! What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou are giving too much of yourself and you need to pull back and respect yourself by setting some boundaries. If they come to you for help it's unlikely they hate you. If you need help, ask for it, but do not continue to stay late or meet your deadlines if you do not get the help you need. I know it's not what you want to hear but they are taking advantage of you. You seem to be a decent person and you want to please and help others. Not everyone in this world is as nice as you. Sad but true.Thanks!
QuestionI just started a new job. I have a coworker that initially acted like she wanted to be my friend, then all of a sudden she changed drastically. Now she bad-mouths me to others in the office. I find her very disrespectful. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe mature thing to do here would be to ask her. Just say something like, "Did I do something to offend you or make you angry?" If she's talking about you to others, bring it up to your boss or the HR department, this could be considered a "hostile work environment."Thanks!
QuestionHow do I deal with someone who hates me at work?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDeal with that person on a professional level, nothing more. Your co-workers don't have to be your friend. If they are, that's icing on the cake; if not, carry on with your job and your life.Thanks!
QuestionThe person who dislikes me at my work place is the human resources head. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAvoid that person, and don't speak to him/her as much as possible.Thanks!
QuestionI always find myself being disliked by my coworkers, but relate well with my bosses. I really cannot tell why, and am careful not to offend anyone. What could be the problem?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUsually when coworkers don't like you, it is because they feel threatened by you. If you're an excellent employee, they may see you as someone who "sucks up" to the bosses to get what you want, namely, their job. To prove them wrong, go out of your way to be kind, and ask them for work-related advice now and then. It will make them feel much more comfortable around you.Thanks!
QuestionA person who dislikes me started rumors about me. Why should I be nice to him? Shouldn't he have to be nice to me when I did nothing to him?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt would be great if he would be nice to you, but the world is not always a fair place and people do not always behave the way they should behave. You can't control him, you can only control your response to him. Either be a better person and be nice, or just ignore him. If he dislikes you, he's probably trying to make you upset. Don't show him it's working.Thanks!
QuestionI am ostracized and disliked at work. How do I deal with this?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGo along with those who are ready to work with you and ignore those that don't like you. If you really want to solve the issue, consider talking to HR or a superior about the problem(s). They may be able to do some kind of intervention between you and the other employees to prevent them from continuing to ostracize and disrespect you. If the problem persists, I would recommend trying to find a new job.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I handle a situation with my co-worker being angry with me, but not telling me why? We work closely together and now it has become an awkward situation.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf the person isn't going to explain why and leaves you feeling this way, then that's their problem. If you feel that you've done nothing wrong, ignore therm and focus on your job.Thanks!
QuestionSomeone I work with ignores me but is very friendly with other people. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerLet it go and move on or work harder to get to know this coworker so you can forge a connection.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I rekindle work relationships when I screwed things up?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBe honest about your shortcomings. Apologize. Ask for forgiveness and try to start over. Mean it. Be nice and considerate. Buy coffee, sweets etc. Include the person in conversations. Make an effort, actions speak louder.Thanks!
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