How to deal with a co worker you dislike

 1.  As a human, you have a tendency to like people who are like you.

It’s a psychological occurrence called the mere exposure effect.

The fact that your workmate is different than you may alone be feeding into your dislike.

Force yourself out of your comfort zone and reach out to your co-worker.

The more you get to know someone, the more you may recognize similarities between you.  You may have way more in common than you think.

2.  It’s not you, it’s me

What it is you don’t like about the person? Is there something specific that sets you off? Is it that they are just different than you? Do they remind you of your father? Do you wish you had their job? Jealousy and other negative emotions can cause us to wrongly assess and then judge others

The more different someone is from us, the more likely we are to have a negative reaction to them.

Focus on the behaviors, not the traits, that upset you; this will help you discern stereotypes from true dislike.

Start with the mindset that, while your co worker may be doing things that drive you nuts, they are generally a good person.

3.  Don’t Take the Behaviour Personally

Co workers can do and say things that seem like they are directed specifically to you.  More times than not, it has nothing to do with you.  They may be having a bad day, bad week, bad year, bad life, but it has nothing to do with you.

Once you decide not to take things so personally, you may find your dislike meter drop like it’s hot. 

You may even find yourself feeling sorry or wanting to help.  Stranger things have happened.

4.  Manage your reaction, you can only control you

Your response to your dreaded co-worker may range from slight discomfort to outright hostility. The first step is to manage it. Don’t think about how the person acts, think about how you react.

It’s far more productive to focus on your own behavior because you can control it.

You have zero control over what the other person says or does.  You have 100% control over how you react to that person.

5.  Adopt an  “I don’t care” attitude

In situations where you are truly stuck and can’t do anything about it, it’s time to practice “emotional detachment” or the fine art of “not giving a shit”.

By ignoring the irritating behaviors, you neutralize the effect on you.

If your co worker is being a pain but you don’t feel the pain, then there is no problem!  I know, it is easier said than done.

So what did we learn today class?


• Manage your own reaction to the behavior first

• Practice the “I don’t care” attitude, so the person’s behaviors don’t bother you

• Spend time trying to get to know the person and better understand what motivates them


• Assume that it is all about the other person — you likely play some part

• Try to rally other people against them.  That only ends up making you look like a jerk and a bully

• Get in their face about it unless you can focus on work issues and can avoid a personal conflict

Make sure you share this with someone you love 😀 (Not the coworker you dislike).

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