How to Deal with Difficult Coworkers

Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

Do you love your job, but just not your coworkers? If this is how you can describe your feelings about your job, you may want to continue reading on.

In every industry and workplace there is always that colleague who is very hard to get along with. That colleague who irritates everybody. This is because of group dynamics. Some people are not easy to deal with.

Unfortunately, when placed in a similar position, one that involves difficult or unruly coworkers, many individuals assume that their only option is to resign from their current position. Of course, it is more than possible for you to do so, but did you know that you do have other options?

Sometimes, they can hamper your effectiveness if their irritations get to you most of the time. So how do you handle such cases and keep your cool?

It is important to remember that circumstances should be taken into consideration. A small conflict may be one that you can handle on your own. Yet, more serious problems may call for more serious actions. With that in mind, one of the first things that you should do, when looking to deal with a difficult coworker, is speaking with them privately.

When speaking with a coworker that you have a problem with, you will want to be careful. When this conversation takes place, should it ever, you will want to be as pleasant and as friendly as possible.

Many individuals do not realize that even a slight attitude can make a problem with a coworker much worse. The trick in dealing with difficult people is to reduce contact with them. Try to limit you contact and conversations with them to work.

If you are frustrated with a coworker who can never seem to get a project completed on time, you may want to offer to help them create a schedule. If you have a problem with a perfume or cologne that a coworker may be wearing, you may first want to explain any health complications that you may be having due to the scent.

Sometimes you may consider making a clean getaway. This may be the only sane thing to do. In cases where the difficult one is the employer who then creates a very unhealthy environment, it maybe best to get away from the whole thing.

It is important to remember that there are extenuating circumstances that should be taken into consideration. For instance, if you feel that a coworker of yours is harassing you, in a sexual way or not, you may want to refrain from speaking to them.

In certain situations like these, those who are unstable feed off of contact from you and others in your situation. To protect yourself from any harm, you may want to consider contacting your supervisor right away.

Speaking of contacting your supervisor, if you have discussed your problems with a coworker personally and you have not seen any positive changes, you may want to consider bringing your supervisor in on the issue.

When doing this, you will want to use your best judgment. If you regularly find yourself performing the duties and tasks for your coworker or if they mishandled important company documents, you should approach your supervisor without any question.


Teboho Polanka
Teboho is a Social Worker, Writer and Inspirational Speaker. He is in pursuit of MSc. in Managerial Psychology. Graduates are able to apply psychological principles and methods to tackle challenges in the work environment and provide effective practical solutions. Acting as industrial-organizational psychologists.