- Control yourself: It’s easy to get angry or frustrated. Try to keep calm and not take things personally.
- Keep your lips sealed: Don’t complain, especially to your co-workers. If you need to vent, find a close friend or family member who isn’t in the same field as you are.
- Look within: Maybe there’s something that you do that sets the other person off. See if there are some changes you can make.
- Get to know them: I know that you hate them and don’t want to spend any more time than necessary with them, but if you get to know them as a person, you can find out if there’s some reason they act the way they do. Maybe they had a death in the family or are going through a divorce. Getting to know them personally will allow you to empathize with them.
- Confront them: Sometimes people might not intentionally try to set you off. It might just be their personality or sarcastic attitude. Talking to them directly might make them change. If follow what they say in relationships, to say “I feel ____, when you do _____” you’re just using facts to express your feelings. You could also ask them if there’s something that you do that bothers them. It can be a tough pill to swallow, but they might feel that you’re out to get them.
- Rise above them: Don’t sink to their level. If you do it’ll just make you look immature. Rise above it and colleagues will notice.
- Give them reasons: Explain why things have to be done by using because. For example, you could say, “Could you please email me the report by 5pm because our boss needs it on his desk first thing tomorrow?” And mind your Ps and Qs; saying please and thank you always help.
- Kill them with kindness: Compliment them. When they offer a snarky opinion, tell them that that’s an interesting perspective. You could also compliment their hard work and effort.
- Remember that relationships are 50/50: It’s all about give and take. Each person adds something to the relationship; rarely is it all one person’s fault.
- Be aloof: Don’t take anything personally. Sometimes people say something because they expect a certain reaction. If you keep your cool and pretend not to care they might stop egging you on.
- Find a mediator: If nothing works, you might have to take things to another level and get someone else involved. Do this only if nothing else works. As adults, you should be able to manage most work conflicts without mediation.
Check out these links.
- The Bully at Work
- Coping with Difficult People
- The Coward's Guide to Conflict
- Dealing with People You Can't Stand
- How To Reduce Workplace Conflict And Stress
- In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People
- The No Asshole Rule
- Perfect Phrases for Dealing with Difficult People
- Secrets to Winning at Office Politics
- Toxic Coworkers: How to Deal with Dysfunctional People on the Job
- Working With You is Killing Me
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