Ugh, I just can’t stand working with that person.
Do you ever find yourself saying that?
And I hate it.
I am generally a people pleaser, so I like it when everyone is happy around me. It’s easy for me to take it personally when someone is not happy. There has to be a way I can MAKE that person be a good and happy person, right?
You often hear me refer to “Emilie’s Happy Place” that my friends and family like to accuse me of living in. I make no excuses for expecting people to be good hearted, honest, and genuinely nice people. Unfortunately, the reality is not everyone is good hearted, some people lie, and there are some really mean people out there! Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true.
Being a person who is always willing to learn and grow, I used to try to figure out what I had to change so that those angry, manipulative, not-nice people would become happy, pleasant, honest people. Have you tried to do that? It’s exhausting! And it can make you miserable in the process. NOT worth it.
I once worked somewhere where I dreaded talking to my manager. He was very inconsistent (should be read as manipulative), and was super cool one day and would stab you in the back the next. He would give you compliments to your face, and throw you under the bus when you walked away. You’d ask for help and only get enough to get you by, but never really get ahead. After a few months of that emotional roller coaster, I just didn’t even want to talk to him any more. I would hope and wish every day that he’d be out of the office so I wouldn’t have to see him. It was awful!
It turns out, that working relationship was toxic and was never going to work out. No matter what I tried to do to turn him into an honest and consistent person, he just wouldn’t come around. You can’t change who people are!
Unfortunately, there are times when the person you have to work with isn’t a nice and happy person. That’s all part of human nature. But that doesn’t mean you have to dread every conversation with them either.
So what do you do when you just can’t stand working with someone?
Here are a few tips on how to be more comfortable.
- Find the good in the other person and focus on that. Don’t focus on the bad habits or annoying things they do. There has to be something good to focus on.
- Limit your conversations to just what is necessary to get the job done. Try not to get pulled into negative or unproductive conversations. They will just frustrate you more.
- Don’t make a scene, but keep your distance as much as possible. If you don’t have to talk to the person, then don’t! But don’t stick up your nose and draw attention to the fact you aren’t talking to them.
- Know your strengths. Sometimes the other person makes us feel inferior. Have confidence in who you are.
- Grab my free mini-course on how to connect with Difficult People for more ideas! You can get it here.
I hope that you don’t need this information too often. It is very hard when you can’t stand working with someone. But there are ways to make it tolerable!