Dislike Your Coworkers? How to Carry On

Although you automatically have something in common with your coworkers (the work itself), you may have wildly differing personalities. Every worksite has its share of negative people, from constant complainers to spotlight stealers. And some people will simply rub you the wrong way, even if they aren’t doing anything objectively “wrong.” Fortunately, you don’t have to like people to work well with them. Here’s how to carry on with your work, no matter how much you dislike your coworkers.

Check Your Reactions

Emotional self-regulation is an important part of being an adult. Pay less attention to what your coworker actually does or says, and more attention to how you react. Find ways to control your emotions, from taking a few deep breaths to ending an unproductive conversation.

Bite Your Tongue

Misery loves company, so your first reaction may be to complain to others. But this will only escalate the situation. Getting involved in office drama never ends well, and it can end up blowing back on you. Keep your mouth shut until you get home, and then vent your emotions to a trusted loved one.

Consider Your Triggers

A few people are genuinely insufferable. But most of the time, when you dislike your coworkers, it’s because they push your buttons. Does that annoying manager sound like your hypercritical father? Do you feel like the new shift supervisor is less qualified than you? Figure out what triggers are being set off, and you may be able to overcome them.

Get to Know Them

Ever heard the expression, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”? Working closely together can help you get to know the people you dislike in a more personal way. Maybe there is an issue that deserves compassion, such as a health challenge or trouble at home. Or maybe the person is just a jerk—but working closely will help you get better at predicting their next moves.

Practice Emotional Detachment

If you really dislike your coworkers, and nothing you do seems to help, it may be time to learn the art of emotional detachment. This practice helps you disengage your feelings from the situation. You’ll be able to carry on serenely, unaffected by the drama around you.

Of course, no one wants to stay in a toxic situation. Maybe your unpleasant coworkers are the catalyst you need to start searching for a new role.

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