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Dealing with People We Don’t Like at Work

New York, NY – There is no reason to deny that we are all human with our own personality. We have likes and dislikes, good traits and bad, and whether we like each other at work or not, the truth is we still have to work together. But what happens when coworkers don’t get along? This is an interesting question.

The fact remains that personalities clash. Another fact is not everyone gets along. There are times when we butt heads. However, not all cases are extreme. Most are simple cases of people who do not get along. The trick is to function at work without useless arguments that ruin the workday. We want to stay away from gossip and character assassinations. Or, the last thing we want to be involved with are tattle-tale events that take place on the job.

It is easy to say, “be the bigger person.” It is easy to suggest that we should accept people for who they are. However, in a sense of fairness and honesty, it’s not always easy to accept people for who they are, and it’s not always easy to be the bigger person. So, what do we do?

First and foremost, be professional. Remember, this is work. This is our livelihood. This is how we pay our bills and feed our families. It is important to understand that workplace arguments can lead to disciplinary evaluations or even termination. Secondly, do not feed into arguments. Remember, it takes two. Therefore, in a laissez-faire sense, or “left alone” mindset, do not engage or argue.  Set boundaries and keep three things in mind:

  •       Does this need to be said?
  •       Does this need to be said by me?
  •       Does this need to be said by me now?

In the case of hostile work environments, nepotism, bullying or otherwise, document everything, but above all, understand that your attitude, performance and behavior are a reflection of you. Any action or reaction can and will be noticed.

In all fairness, sometimes the hardest thing to do is not respond. Even when justified, it’s hard for a person to hold their tongue — and let’s face it, we’re all human.  We have good days and bad. No one is perfect but, nevertheless, we still have a job to do.

As I close for this week, there are a few undeniable facts that remain. The first, is that we spend more time at work than we do at home or with our loved ones. The next, is a bad day at work can often lead to a bad night at home. And nobody wants that. But lastly, sometimes we think the problem is someone else and not us. But this isn’t always true. So, fess up when you mess up. Keep your side of the street clean and above all else, focus on yourself and the work in front of you. The rest is none of your business.

Ben Kimmel is a proud member of the IUOE Local 94, as well as an Author, Writer on thewrittenaddiction.com, Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Wellbeing and DEI Content Provider Certified Addiction and Recovery Coach, Certified Professional Life Coach, and Peer & Wellness Advocate.  Ben can be reached at bennyk1972@gmail.com

 

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