It doesn’t matter what environment you work in. Whether it’s an office, warehouse or building site, the relationship you have with your co-workers is always important. After all, you spend all day, every day with these people, so building a good relationship with them is critical to maintaining a healthy working environment.
So what happens if you don’t get on with that one co-worker? No matter how hard you try to build a rapport with them, they seem to be able to resist what is usually that irresistible charm of yours. It doesn’t matter what you say or do to win them over, they either react insulted, bored or with just plain cheek. It really isn’t fair.
At the end of the day, a bad relationship in the workplace is going to make everyday life that little extra difficult and in some cases can make you dread the thought of going into work. Working alongside someone who is rude, obnoxious or simply unhelpful towards you will affect both your productivity and your self-esteem.
So what can you do about it?
Well, the first thing you could try is to lose your rag with them and scream “WHY DON’T YOU LIKE ME?!” into their smug, unimpressed face. But that probably wouldn’t help and you might not be able to look them in the face again. The best way to go about it is to treat that person like everyone else in the workplace: with consideration and friendliness.
Don’t react to a co-worker who is clearly being rude with hostility, and do your best to get along. That way, at the end of the day if you still aren’t getting along with them, then at least you know that you’ve tried your best with them, and whatever the problem is, it’s theirs and not yours. It’s never a good idea to be confrontational, no matter how much you think the other person seems to deserve it. Remain calm and rational and you will be the bigger person for it. This might not be the advice you want to hear, but it really is the best way to react.
Co-worker problems don’t have to arise from someone who simply doesn’t like you though. There are all kinds of problems everyone faces at some point from a co-worker, whether they like you or not. Working with a close friend, for example, while not quite as stressful, could be as equally distracting.
It could be a scenario whereby a co-worker is just really chatty and keeping you from achieving a day’s standard. It could also stem from laziness, whereby one co-worker’s sloppy work could end up with more work being piled on top of you.
A particularly frustrating way a co-worker can bother you is by flirting. It happens, and it can be pretty annoying if it gets in the way of work, and especially if you aren’t interested.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be sexual harassment per se, but it’s a step in that kind of direction, and if you don’t stop it in its tracks by making yourself clear that you aren’t interested, then the person doing it is all the more likely to continue. Just make sure you don’t damage the person’s ego in the process or you’re probably going to be treading lightly around that person for the rest of your co-working days!
Whatever the reason, do your best to get along with co-workers that may be alienating you, whether it be intentional or otherwise. If you aren’t doing it back, then you can relax with the knowledge that you aren’t alienating other co-workers yourself.
However, if you are having more serious problems with a co-worker, do not hesitate to tell either your boss or someone else who can help the situation.