4 Ways to Coexist With People You Dislike

At work or at play, once you know the players you know the game!

We have all encountered people we dislike. The setting could be at work or at a party. There are many reasons why we dislike someone: Perhaps they are arrogant, rude, or maybe they have said something to offend you. You may sense that this person is dishonest, or has a disrespectful attitude. However, causing a scene and being confrontational is not going to fix the problem. Civility is your friend in this case.

Regardless of the setting, we have to learn to get along with people we do not like. This is a fact of life. This doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye to dubious behavior. We can know what someone is about and co-exist with them for the sake of our family, friends, and coworkers.

Naturally, people can feel the tension in a room. None of us like being put in the middle of awkward situations. We care about our co-workers and friends so we should make an effort to avoid making them feel uncomfortable.

When you make an effort to keep the peace, people appreciate it. Nothing spoils a gathering like a conflict or passive-aggressive behavior. On the subject of work, behaving aggressively with a coworker can cost you your job. Let’s face it: It’s not worth it.

There are a few ways to interact with people that you do not like and maintain your sanity. I have personally tried these and they work!

  1. What do you have in common?

Although it may be uncomfortable at first, you may start to like this person after spending some time with them. Everyone deserves a second chance. I would ask them some questions, such as: What you like to do for fun? where you are from? You never know, you may find some common ground with this person.

2. Let go of grudges

I covered this subject extensively in my article “Holding grudges and why they hold us back”. If someone has wronged us, sometimes we will hold in these negative feelings and they affect our interactions with this person.

It is a powerful thing to forgive someone. You are setting yourself free. This isn’t for them, it is for you. This will improve your attitude during the times you have to be around this person. It may even ease the anxiety you feel before, after, and during your interactions with them.

3. Practice civility

It’s a mature trait to be civil with someone when you dislike them. It shows maturity when you can put ill feelings aside to work on a project with them or talk with them during a gathering.

“Extending an olive branch” by performing a kind gesture is a good way to break the ice. After the first positive experience, it will get easier to be around this person.

4. Know who you are dealing with

If you understand who this person is and keep them at arm's length, it makes it easier to be civil. If a person is dishonest or gossips about everyone, you know you cannot trust them.

A wise person in my life once said to me, “If you know the players, you know the game”. This really stuck with me. If you understand someone’s motivation, you can be civil, while knowing not to trust them.

If being around this person causes you extreme anxiety, avoid them. Politely smile and say hello, but seek others to mingle with instead.

If it is a co-worker that you have to work closely with, follow the tips above and remember being professional is necessary. Sometimes we have to accept people as they are to get the job done. The chemistry you have may make for a great business partnership.

If you are experiencing any type of abuse or bullying from this person: Document it and report any incidents to your manager.

It is important to realize that you’re not going to like everyone you work or play with. Some people have the ability to get into our heads and under our skin. Regardless, it's important to respect the people around us and try to get along with others.

Dramatic confrontations only alienate the people around us. A deep breath, some distance, and inner reflection can make all the difference in this situation.

Remember, your reputation is more important than having the last say.

Amy Cottreau is a freelance writer who hails from a small city in Atlantic Canada. She enjoys interacting with fellow writers, dreaming of ideas for her next article, and researching a myriad of topics.

Wife, mother, and researcher of a myriad of subjects. I love to write about anything and everything! Writer for The Startup, Better Marketing, & The Ascent👊

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