How-To Get Along With Difficult People

How-To Get Along With Difficult People

We've all been there.

You’re at work, and that one person walks in, and you are immediately angry. Everything they do just grinds your gears. Every good idea you have, they tear it down. You feel like you just can’t get anywhere with this person. It can feel like you’re in no-man’s land when you can’t get along with difficult people.,

Having one person on a team that doesn’t quite fit can be grossly detrimental, like a clog in an other-wise well oiled machine. This is something we talk about constantly, but we hardly look at their point-of-view, because we like to think we are subtle when we dislike someone, but this is hardly the case. This can trigger a domino effect – how would you feel going to work every day knowing your teammates dislike you? You’d likely retaliate, always be angry towards others, or just be avoidant altogether.

It turns out that some people are just incompatible – you can certainly make the best of the situation with certain implementations to make your team more efficient. But this will never fix the morale for everyone.

This is truly where most disagreements lie. There’s a disconnect in the way people work for the same goal, or some people completely disconnect from the mission all together.


It's easy to disagree with someone if you have no mutual vision.

Here's what to know when you can't get along with someone you work with:

  1. You must give them the same respect and courtesies that you give everyone else. Buying everyone in the morning meeting a coffee except them is a sure-fire way to start off the day on a bad foot.
  2. The silent treatment does not work – more isolation, more resentment.
  3. Don’t be afraid of a confrontation, if it stays respectful, confronting the issue head on will often lessen the length of the problem, and may even put out a fire before one even starts.
  4. There is a lesson to be learned from everyone – I try to learn at least one thing from every person I’ve not gotten along with. This can either be something they’ve taught you not to do, or something they have a quality that you lack.
  5. No matter HOW different you are as people, there has to be at least one thing in common – try to focus in on this instead of what differentiates you.

*Keep in mind that some things are actually unacceptable at a place of work (harassment, degradation, etc. ), please don’t try to make this relationship work, report it to HR or your supervisor!

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