Working with people you dislike is a harsh reality many people have to face daily. It is not easy putting up with people you are not in good terms with but given the complexity of human relationships, this is a dynamic that exists in almost every workplace on earth. The feeling of “not liking” someone is bad enough. Imagine having to put up with that every day of the week or being on the same team or subordinate to someone whose personality you despise. How can you deal with that and still manage to put your differences aside and work together to achieve the goals of the company? Here is how to handle these disagreements.
It might not feel good admitting to yourself or to someone else that you don’t like them. But it is a step in the right direction towards ending your relationship or establishing common ground to put your animosity aside to achieve a common goal.
This is a highly effective but largely impractical way to relate with people you don’t like. You can simply find ways to avoid the person as much as possible. Sometimes, pretending that you are not affected by someone’s bad behavior can get him or her to stop. This may be difficult if you have to work on the same team with the person or he/she is your direct boss. But in situations where this is practical, it is a viable approach you can take.
This is difficult advice, but one that can save you the trouble of following any of the deflective attitudes that we may recommend. Instead of learning to live with the colleague you hate, you can simply try to change your mind about them. For instance, rather than focus on those qualities that cause friction between you, why not focus on the person’s good qualities. With this, you may be able to grow out of disliking the person. Even if you don’t end up as BFFs, things should be good enough to make your work relationship great.
Again we are assuming you are the good person in this relationship gone sour. Sometimes, rather than let things slide or trying to circumvent the problem, you can confront it head-on. Sometimes people unintentionally do things that hurt their relationship with others. Letting them know where they have erred you can help mend your relationship and get things working again.
This is a final resort that you should only go for when all else fails. If there is a higher authority to report the situation. Be careful with this though. You can be labeled a tattletale and the situation may degenerate even worse when you report. But if someone is behaving badly towards you and you have tried unsuccessfully to make them stop, reporting to someone higher up is not a bad idea.
At the end of the day, you can’t control how people behave. You can only adjust how you react and find ways to work around workplace issues so it does not affect your productivity and performance. What are your tips for tolerating a disagreement in the workplace? Tweet us and share your tips! For more helpful content, check out our blog.