How to work with someone you don’t like

Posted by on Jan 31, 2014 in Work Relationships | 2 comments

Raise your hand if you’ve had to work with someone you dislike. Your hand is up, right? We’ve all been there- chances are we’ve all suffered through a particularly unpleasant experience working with someone we dislike.

Today I talked to a co-worker who was feeling particularly frustrated with another co-worker. His frustration has grown until it was making him unhappy at work and home.

When your dislike of another person is causing YOU unhappiness, well, that’s a problem! You’re not going to put up with that, are you?

I shared some ideas with my co-worker about how to overcome his unhappiness. Since our conversation I thought back on my past experiences working with someone I didn’t like, and I’ve had plenty of them.

Not letting my feelings get the best of me wasn’t always easy. Whatever the reason for disliking someone I was working with, it was important to me to find a way to be productive and happy in my work- regardless of my feelings about another person.

I’ve successfully used these tips to shift my focus and adjust my attitude so I can enjoy every bit of happiness I can muster up. Life’s too short to be unhappy any more than absolutely necessary!

working with someone you dislikePhoto by Geoff Livingston

How to work with someone you don’t like

Be full of love

Too touchy-feeling for you? Stay with me for just a moment while I explain what I mean. When I am frustrated, annoyed, I feel unhappy. I can’t feel annoyed and happy at the same time. However, when I feel loving I feel great, I feel happy, I feel awesome!

If the idea of love still bothers you then you can use joyful- you get the idea.

Approach everyone you meet, including the person you don’t like, with an attitude of love. Ask yourself, “how can I be loving/joyful to this person today?” Are your thoughts, words, and actions loving/joyful? You’ll be happier for it!

Be complimentary

There’s something good in every one. Yep, it’s true. It may not feel true to you right now but I promise you it IS true.

Think about the person’s good qualities and you can take it a step further and compliment them! It will absolutely change how you interact with them and how they interact with you. Everyone is easier to get along with immediately after you’ve given them a genuine compliment. Try it, it works!

Be a cheerleader

Ask a mutual friend or acquaintance what they like about this person. Start a conversation about his or her best skills. Give them a positive recommendation or reference.

The key here is to stop complaining about them and start cheering them on. The more you complain, the more aware you become of your complaints, legitimate as they might be. On the other hand, the more you cheer, the more you appreciate others (and the more they appreciate you!)

Besides, there’s always a chance you might help them get promoted or moved to another area where you won’t have to work with them. Ha!

And for the sake of your own reputation, do not gossip about this person. You’re too awesome for that.

Share and share alike

Instead of focusing on what you don’t like about someone, focus on a shared goal. Make progress on your shared goal. Celebrate your progress together! Enjoy your shared accomplishments!

Congratulations, you did it together. Nicely done.

Be your best

There’s only one way to be your best- do your best and forget the rest! What does your awesomeness have to do with your obnoxious co-worker? Exactly nothing!

You can’t be at your best when you’re preoccupied with someone else’s behavior. Redirect your attention from other people to you and be as awesome as you can be.



  1. Hey Chrysta,

    I’m so glad you chose to use the word ‘Love’. People can be afraid of that word. For instance how do you love someone that isn’t lovable?

    Being complimentary, cheerful and kind to people we don’t like takes effort but we don’t typically put effort towards things or people we don’t like, so we get selfish.

    Becoming a loving person is practicing love, i.e. being complimentary, responding to other with kindness and giving of ourselves, then we become selfless and that’s when we become loving people and of course that makes working with people we’re not especially fond of, so much easier.

    Great post :-)


  2. I am not sure if I have experienced this (well, I have disliked certain characteristics of other folks….but I don’t think I have such a problem now).

    Probably because I don’t interact with others much (Well, I do…but most of it is associated with blogging). With college, well, it’s like going to work. Go to class and come back, not much time for socialization and stuff (I suppose it’s good for me, as I prefer to work alone…plus, this gives me more time to blog :D).

    But, I have disliked certain traits of other people…nowadays, if such a situation arises, I think about myself. There are a few things I don’t like about myself…but I still do it, since part of my mind disagrees with me. So, I think about them not liking some of my characteristics…they are putting up with me, right? They are ignoring it, right? They are remembering me for who I really am..and I should do the same for them 😀

    Anyways, thank you for the tips, Chrysta :) Appreciate it!

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