So you genuinely enjoy your job. You come into work every morning and look forward to the projects and tasks that await you. You even eagerly await chatting to your colleagues. Life is good. And then it begins... "Did you hear the story Tom was telling earlier? He is soo funny." Or, "Oh, have you heard about this morning’s meeting? Jess completely smashed it, but then again, when doesn’t she? She is so talented." It’s right at this moment that you grit your teeth and suppress the urge to scream. If this sounds familiar, then you know exactly how annoying it can be when everyone at work is obsessed with that one coworker you simply can’t stand. Keep reading for our guide on how to deal with this sour situation and make the best of your working relationship.
See Also: How to Deal with Sarcastic Coworkers
1. Make the Effort
The first step in handling that coworker who you just can’t stand may seem like the hardest step of all, and that is to just... try. Everyone else seems to see something appealing in this idiot, and they do say if you can’t beat them join them. So for the sake of your sanity and to help make the atmosphere of your workplace a little more cheerful, it could be worth trying to get to know your coworker. Think about what it is that really irritates you about this person, is it really so terrible that it can’t be overlooked? Strike up a casual conversation with your colleagues about him or her and subtly try to find out what it is that they are so obsessed with. Ask the offending person out for a quick bite to eat during your lunch break, or even a drink after work if you can stand it. Try getting to know your nemesis and see if you can learn to love them like everyone else. If after all this effort you still can’t stand them, then keep on reading.
2. Avoid Them at All Costs
The decision is final, you work with the most unbearable person in the world and there is absolutely no salvaging your working relationship. Not only do you have to handle the person you dislike, but you are forced to deal with everyone else singing their praises on a regular basis. At this point, the best thing to do is to avoid them. So, when you see them coming, simply steer clear. When a conversation starts about how hilarious or talented they are at their job, politely withdraw from that group. Limit your interaction with them as much as possible and keep all necessary communication cordial and minimal.
3. Kill Them With Kindness
If you are unfortunate enough to have to work alongside your coworker in a work project, or made to set up shop next to them, then avoiding them is no longer an option. In these situations, it’s essential to remember that for some reason everyone else loves this person. By being excessively kind and friendly to your coworker, you will make yourself look positively angelic. This method is especially useful if the colleague who leaves a bad taste in your mouth happens to be the office bitch. The fact is, nobody really likes an overly gossipy coworker, and it’s highly likely that the true reason everyone fawns over them is that they don’t want to fall victim to the next work rumour. There are plenty of ways to kill a colleague with kindness. If your nemesis is messy, then don’t, under any circumstances, tell them off or leave passive aggressive notes round the kitchen. Instead, do their dishes for them. Don’t even mention it, just time your task perfectly to coincide with when they just so happen to be in the vicinity. You could also deliberately strike up a conversation with them within earshot of your other coworkers. This way, you can be seen to be making the effort, and as they drone on, you can plan what to have for dinner later.
4. Stand Up to Them
A lot of the time, big personality equals big popularity. It’s highly likely that your arch enemy at work is a larger than life, dominant character. If this is the case, then you have probably had to bite your tongue on more than one occasion as they told you exactly how to do your job. If you’re faced with this situation at work, then the best way to deal with it can often be to politely put them in their place. The most outspoken workplace delegators can go for years without ever being confronted. It often just takes one person standing up to their antics, for them to be taken down a peg or two and silenced permanently. Also, once the word gets round about your new found confidence and assertiveness, you’re sure to find that you are the new workplace sweetheart and that everyone will soon be obsessed with you instead.
5. Turn the Tides
So you’ve tried forcing some sort of friendship, you’ve tried putting them back in their place and you’ve even tried to win the spin war by being seen to be ridiculously nice to them -despite your better judgement if you may add. If none of it has worked so far, then it might be time to get down to real cunning tactics and turn the crowds of admirers against this person. They must have a flaw that nobody else at work seems to be able to see. Are they messy? A procrastinator? Maybe they are the sort of person who loves to claim credit for themselves? Whatever it might be, try to very tactfully bring others attention to it. No need to come across as bitchy, just say "Oh no, who’s left that mess in the kitchen" when everyone knows full well who the last person to make a coffee was. With the right amount of artfulness you can help sway the crowd. If you can’t deal with this person, it will at least take the edge off when everyone else at work falls out of love with them.
6. Get a New Job
When all else fails, it’s time to turn to the very last resort. If you have tried and failed at all of the above options, then it might be time to admit there is just no way of dealing with the hell of working alongside this person. Throw in the towel. Your leaving party is the perfect time and place to announce your true feelings and to tell your now former coworker exactly how you feel about them. Throwing yourself into the uncertainty of unemployment will surely be worth it once you finally get it off your chest. This could even be a blessing in disguise, if you’re not enjoying your job as much as you should be, maybe you could use some shaking up and find somewhere new.
See Also: How to Deal With Sexist Colleagues
Follow this guide on how to deal with that one unbearable coworker and you’re certain to turn things around somehow. Whether it’s learning how to keep your interaction with them to a complete minimum, working the crowd at work by stealing their thunder or simply getting a whole heap of resentment off your chest by telling them how you feel. It’s important to enjoy your work environment as much as possible. Just because everyone else loves that person doesn’t mean that you should ever have to put up with pretending to like someone who you just can’t stand.