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.


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?

Here are five tips to help you deal with the difficult co-workers in your life.

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 other colleagues.

2. Keep A Positive Attitude

Woman smiles at a difficult co-worker

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. Or maybe you have a real opportunity to grow your career at this particular company, and dealing with a couple difficult co-workers is worth it to achieve career success down the road.

3. Ignore The Person

Woman annoying her co-worker

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.

it's important not to be rude. Just try not to engage in more conversation than you need to.

4. Take Action

Professional man deals with a difficult co-worker

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

Woman tries to handle a difficult co-worker

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 okay.

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 ever act like them.

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We've all known the pain of dealing with a difficult co-worker. With these tips, we hope you can handle all the difficult co-workers you'll come across in your career in a professional and effective way.


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This post was originally published at an earlier date.