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The How-To Lounge: Coping With Co-Workers You Dislike

I think it's impossible to like everyone, especially if you work for a large company with many employees, so here are some tips to help cope with your dislike of fellow co-workers.

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  • Remember that it takes more energy to dislike someone than it does to just accept him or her for who they are
  • If you can, avoid the people you dislike. Don't sit next to them in meetings, don't eat lunch at the same time in the kitchen, etc.
  • Keep your relationship strictly work related and don't ask unnecessary questions. Be sure you have all the pertinent information before approaching a disliked colleague
  • If you can, stick to phone and e-mail correspondences versus face to face interaction
  • Kill them with kindness. Keep the relationship formal and distant so it doesn't invite personal banter
  • The best and most important tip I can offer is to keep in mind that you're at work to do your job, not to necessarily make best friends. Keep your focus on the job at hand and give it all you've got

If you need to get out some frustration, make sure you have a trusted colleague/friend to vent to, and remember, company e-mail is not private property!


Join The Conversation
Dylanman27 Dylanman27 9 years
confront them and kik ther ass
smp7328 smp7328 9 years
Amen Greggie!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I am reading a book right now called "The No A**hole Rule;Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't " by Robert Sutton. Review: This meticulously researched book, which grew from a much buzzed-about article in the Harvard Business Review, puts into plain language an undeniable fact: the modern workplace is beset with a**holes. Sutton a professor of management science at Stanford University, argues that a**holes—those who deliberately make co-workers feel bad about themselves and who focus their aggression on the less powerful—poison the work environment, decrease productivity, induce qualified employees to quit and therefore are detrimental to businesses, regardless of their individual effectiveness. He also makes the solution plain: they have to go. Direct and punchy, Sutton uses accessible language and a bevy of examples to make his case, providing tests to determine if you are an a**hole (and if so, advice for how to self-correct), a how-to guide to surviving environments where a**holes freely roam and a carefully calibrated measure, the "Total Cost of A**holes," by which corporations can assess the damage. Bob Sutton's List of The Dirty Dozen Common Everyday Actions That A**holes Use 1. Personal insults 2. Invading one's personal territory 3. Uninvited personal contact 4. Threats and intimidation, both verbal and non-verbal 5. Sarcastic jokes and teasing used as insult delivery systems 6. Withering email flames 7. Status slaps intended to humiliate their victims 8. Public shaming or status degradation rituals 9. Rude interruptions 10. Two-faced attacks 11. Dirty looks 12. Treating people as if they are invisible
amybdk amybdk 9 years
HA -- Greggie! This was perfect timing because one of my co-workers made a really obnoxious statement to me about the way I walk. It made me really mad! And now I keep saying to myself "like water off a duck's back. like water off a duck's back."
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I don't embrace "it takes more energy to dislike someone than it does to just accept him or her for who they are." Screw that. Being pissy about her picking on every little stupid detail is what gets me through my day without punching her in the throat and running off laughing like a hyena.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Aw man...I have a few in my office... But I try my best to be nice to them because honestly, I don't need that extra stress at work!
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
The best tip is the last one. Work is's not personal. I have to say that over and over again in my head every day!
Marci Marci 9 years
Excellent post with good, good advice. We get to choose our jobs but not the people we'll work with, so we're all in the same boat. Establish your 'office persona' with these guidelines, and it'll make the office an easier place to navigate.
Vannuccia Vannuccia 9 years
Good tips! "Remember that it takes more energy to dislike someone than it does to just accept him or her for who they are"- Very true, I always try and remember this, but it's easier said than done sometimes! ;p
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