The problem with working for a living is that there are no perfect jobs out there. No matter what kind of work you do, there’s always something that, if changed, would make it better.
There could be high stress, certain tasks you dislike doing, or benefits you don’t receive. Or, it could be that you work with other people you don’t care for.
Whenever people are the problem in your job it makes going to work each day a little harder. Let’s face it; most of us don’t like co-worker conflicts.
It makes it hard to stay motivated when you can’t stand a co-worker. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make working with them a little easier.
The first thing to do when you can’t stand a co-worker is to ask yourself why you don’t like them. Did they do something awful to you or treat you badly? Or, do they remind you of someone else you dislike?
If your co-worker hasn’t done anything wrong maybe you are the problem. Try to determine what it is that makes you not like them.
Finding out you are the one who needs to change isn’t so bad. It’s far easier to change your own behavior than someone else’s. But if they are the problem you’ll have a harder time working with them.
Be the Bigger Person
When you can’t stand a co-worker, but must work with them anyway, be the bigger person. Regardless of how badly they act, don’t retaliate by acting similarly.
Behaving poorly in reaction to their behavior makes you just as bad as them. Besides, if they are acting inappropriately, a supervisor will likely notice. If corrective action is taken you don’t want it taken against you too.
To stay motivated when dealing with a difficult co-worker, stay calm and focus inward. You can’t change what they do. However, you can change how you react.
Focus on your own work and always deal with them in kindness. Believe it or not, it will make them look bad if they continue with such behavior.
On the other hand, continue to work hard and complete your own work. This will make you look good in the eyes of management and could further your career.
Look for Common Ground
Another method to help you stay motivated when you can’t stand a co-worker is to look for common ground.
For example, find out about their favorite foods, music, hobbies, and other interests. Maybe you can connect in ways not related to work and change the way you interact. At the same time, this may motivate each of you to work better together.
Have a Conversation
This is one of the harder things to do when you can’t stand a co-worker. Still, it may be the fastest way to resolve conflicts and stay motivated at work.
Talk to your co-worker honestly about your interactions. Ask what you can change about yourself to make working together better.
Obviously they could shoot down your attempts to correct the problems between you. But at least you did what you could to fix the situation.
In the end, if nothing you do helps the situation, you must still stay respectful at work. That doesn’t mean going out of your way for them, but it does mean treating them kindly.
Work quietly and don’t interrupt them when they are speaking. Clean up after yourself and don’t overrun their workspace. Be cooperative at all times.
Clearly there is only so much you can do when you can’t stand a co-worker. In the end, all you can do is try to resolve conflicts and keep working hard no matter what.