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10 Tips For dealing With A Difficult Co-Worker

A working environment is one of the most competitive environments, and it breeds unpleasant personalities. Difficult people do exist at work. They come in every variety and no workplace is without them. How difficult a person is for you to deal with depends on your self-esteem, your self-confidence and your professional courage.

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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.

6. Maintain Your Character

No matter how tempting it may be, avoid complaining to others on a regular basis. Otherwise you risk earning a reputation as a whiner, and higher-ups may question why you’re unable to fight your own battles (even if they should be fighting them for you, or at least leading the charge). By constantly complaining, you might be branded as a troublemaker, and you could even be blamed for other office conflicts.

7. Keep It Confidential

Don’t go public with your grievances. More important, don’t engage with the problem person in front of coworkers, your boss, or clients. Keeping your issues with the person private will make it easier to leave the conflict behind you once it’s been resolved.

8. Approach them first

Take the initiative in repairing your relationship with the toxic coworker. Think positively, and act as if they are as enthusiastic about resolving the conflict as you are. Start the discussion by saying something like, “I may be wrong about this,” or “I apologize for doing anything that might have hurt you.”

9.Handle Aggression Assertively

If someone is being highly aggressive with you, either verbally or physically, then regardless of who they are it’s OK to walk away or say that you are going to put the phone down – and that you will return when they have calmed down. No one at work has the right to compromise your sense of personal safety and well being through engendering physical or psychological fear.

10. Be Mindful Of Psychological Health Issues

When an individual continually behaves in a way that is problematic or destructive, then the roots often lie deeper than whatever is happening at work.

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