Dealing With Difficult Co-Workers

5 Tips For Dealing With Difficult Coworkers


The average full-time employee spends more time at work with co-workers than at home with friends and family. This can make for an unpleasant situation when we have one or more co-workers that we dislike. However, it’s in everyone’s best interest to try to reach some common ground and make the work environment at least tolerable.  So, how can you deal with difficult co-workers?

5 Tips For Dealing With Difficult Coworkers

Here are some tips to help you deal with a problem work associate:

1. Be The Better Person

If you find that a co-worker is always breaking bad on other employees and has a proclivity for office politics and gossip, try to distance yourself from that person. If you happen to share an office with the scandalmonger, try to only talk about work-related topics that are not personal attacks on others in the office.

2. Keep A Positive Attitude

No one wants to be around someone who’s always negative and in a bad mood, so even if your difficult co-workers try to bring you down think about the positives in your job. If you’re struggling to see the silver lining think about what this job allows you to do outside of work. Perhaps your income provides you with a few discretionary dollars that can be spent on a favorite hobby.

3. Ignore The Person

We’re at work to do a job, so focus on the tasks that must be accomplished and network with other people at your workplace who aren’t quite so difficult to be around.

4. Take Action

Sometimes people don’t realize that they are perceived as being negative or being a gossip. In a non-confrontational way, pull the person aside in private and tell them that you’re really trying to be positive at work and could use their help. This tactic might be subtle enough to invoke a change in their behavior.

5. Make The Most Of It

There’s no rule that we have to be best friends with our co-workers. You may find that you work with someone who you just can’t grow to like and that’s OK. However, come to the realization that you do need to try to be professional and treat the difficult person with respect and civility. Continue to focus on your work and see if there’s something that you can learn from the difficult person, even if it’s just the fact that you don’t want to act like him.

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  1. dealing with a coworker who runs to the clincial director on a daily/hourly basis to let her know the goings on within our small dept. Just learned of this yesterday. So, apparently every one of us has to guard whatever we say since we’re being tattled on. She’s an elderly woman who has NO FRIENDS TO SPEAK OF OUTSIDE OF WORK, AND INSIDE FOR THAT MATTER. Our jobs are very detailed, and mistakes are not to be taken lightly since we’re in healthcare environment. I’ve tried looking into other employment,to no avail. I need this job, but, still not thrilled with having to work here for another 10yrs,until I retire. Meanwhile, I keep plugging away. Any suggestions as to how to handle this cancer to our dept. .. I’ve tried the “kill her with kindness method, and it doesn’t work !!”

  2. I work with an extremely difficult person, who really pushes all my buttons for how to work with someone difficult. A notoriously difficult person for many people to work with, not just me. I made a goal to really take the high road and go out of my way every day to get along and improve the relationship. It’s still difficult, but it’s 10 times easier than being in an antagonistic role against this person who is the hardest person I’ve worked with. Ignoring does not work when they’re in your direct team–they are a major barrier. This person should have been canned long ago–they also are a non-performer but someone they pull thru and make it everyone else’s problem. It’s better for me the way I’ve worked it–a major milestone I’ve achieved in my book. These people at making anyone looking bad who gets in their way, and some people–this one–are very devious at making you into the bad guy to others if they can, and pawning off work and blame. It’s been a good thing for ME to change the things in MY control, not try to change the other person or ignore them (I still avoid them as much as is reasonble to go unnoticed).

  3. 6. Talk to your “problem” coworker about an interest of theirs. Sometimes just showing an interest in wanting to know more about the person can improve the relationship. Ask them about an interest, their kids’ interests, or their favorite movie/TV show.

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