Deal With Difficult People in the Workplace

Whatever you do in life, there will always be difficult people in the workplace. Learning to work alongside them, or finding ways to be civil while maintaining your distance, offers the best chance of dealing with difficult co-workers. Here are some suggestions to help you.

Watch out for control freaks. Often, the best way of dealing with control freaks is to avoid them altogether if possible. However, if for any reason, you find it is not possible to do so, you need to assess your situation and your options taking into account your priorities at the time. For example, you have a colleague who is a control freak but the job is absolutely essential to you then, you may have to find other ways of dealing with him/her while you buy time looking for another job/change in your circumstances.

Always be conscious of the negative impact that a difficult co-worker can have on you. Ultimately it's your responsibility to look after yourself and not give in to his/her tactics.

Develop a supportive network both in and out of work which may help vent your frustrations.

Use humor. Defusing any uncomfortable situation with humor can be a very good defense mechanism.

Most difficult co-workers act that way because they can. They either don't care about the consequences, or there aren't any. If they are making money for the company, the boss will overlook their bad behavior.


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