What to do if you hate your co-workers

Feb 13 2009 by Print This Article

Your boss isn't the only thing that can make work a living hell. In a modern office, the cubicle situation generally means you practically sit on top of each other. This can be a bad situation if you really hate the people who work around you.

So what do you do if your co-workers are driving you nuts? CNN.com has some suggestions for dealing with just such a situation.

The article cites April Callis, a woman out of Michigan who works as a trainer and facilitator. She says there are several ways to deal with the co-worker who smells bad, talks too loud, is always a "downer" or any of the other situations that can ultimately affect your own working environment.

The first step is to demand some kind of resolution. You can always go to your boss, or you can try to deal directly with the co-worker and their offending behavior. Be careful on this one, however, and try not to make the situation worse.

Secondly, if you have a co-worker who loves to spread every rumor that comes their way, no matter how ridiculous, you can play the "doubter" and demand the facts. You can use this for negative statements made by the "downer" as well.

Third, you can try using humor to diffuse a situation. A well-times joke or comment can ease tensions immediately and bring attention to things without necessarily offending people.

Finally, whatever you do, use tact. Don't turn vicious and embarrass anyone. That will just inflame hurt feelings and make things worse.

Dealing with workers on either side of you is tough. However, if you are careful and strategize, you can resolve the issue without making things worse.


Older Comments

This artical does not help those who are embroiled in deep seeded jealousy and competition witin the workplace. Political environments where competitions for power and position can be complicated and treacherous. This requires more than humor and talking with the boss.

Michael Jones

Thanks for addressing such an important topic. It's also just as tricky a situation for the boss who has to deal with employees who don't get along, and they should take care to be just as tactful - and objective - when dealing with the situation, otherwise, they're at risk of adding fuel to the fire. I recently posted about this same topic on TheHiringSite.com. You should check it out - I'd love your thoughts.

Mary Chicago

Well, my coworkers is one of those overachievers who steps out of his parameters and delves into my work - trying to do things that are over his head -- what is worse is that he won't tell me when he is doing something, and i have to find out on my own, confront him, and then he goes to the boss saying he is concerned about my tone with him....it's impossible to settle....i need help with this one....

Elizabeth Los Angeles, CA

If you are that miserable at work then find a new job! Life is too short to miserable 40 hours a week. Remember it's just a job, it isn't your family. I tell myself everyday that work isn't personal, just get in, do good work, go home. I have lots of egos and coworders that have to be right all the time, and power hungy people around me, so I let them worry about that stuff. I just focus on the work and the clients, not the coworkers. These people are not my friends, they are here to get the work done to, but guess what? I am the hardest worker here and I get the raises, and you know why? I mind my own business and work! Get some perspective people.


The type of position that I hold requires me to deal with so many different personalities and I do get along with 95 percent of the people in my office. However, there is one co-worker that I absolutely dislike. While I was polite to this individual and acknowledged them when they spoke and even provided assistance when they needed it, they felt that my business only approach towards them while I may have been a little more warm to others was indication that I did not like them. They were correct. My job is to go to work, make the paper and pay my bills not to form friendships with everyone in the company. In my opinion it takes too much energy to try and force yourself to like someone. I tried over nine years to like this co-worker and even find things to like about her but it became stressful at times, but now that we discussed this and everything is out in the open I feel relieved.

Val Laurel, Maryland

To the people that just say 'Quit your job' I say, sometimes no matter how miserable you are at your job, there may be many reasons why you may not be able to quit. Probably the biggest reason is is that I dont think I would like to be tired, sick and homeless. Quit your job and you have no money. Have no money, no food no home no medicine etc. Sometimes you just have to get used to the idea that you are going to be miserable 40 hours/week.

Randy Q