How to deal with bad coworkers


When a group of people are put together in the same environment, there’s bound to be confrontations, disagreements, and misunderstandings. This is understandable since every individual has a distinct personality and their own way of doing things. Accepting that you all can’t be the same enables you to create ways to relate and work together in tolerance.

However, there are those cases that go beyond normal diversified relations. There’s always that one team member who seems like their sole purpose in life is to disrupt everything going on around them in the rudest, most inconsiderate ways – a character who you simply cannot tolerate because their habits are not just different, but plain harmful.

Whether their behaviors are highly distracting in the workplace, or they have nasty ways of interacting with coworkers, having such a coworker can prove detrimental to your productivity at work. They ruin the work environment, and the thought of dealing with them on a daily basis each week simply drains the energy out of you. Taking control of the situation can improve the experience for you. There are many ways to deal with bad coworkers, and below are some tips.

Acknowledge personal differences

As mentioned, different people operate in different ways. In that case, the first thing you need to do is accept the fact that some people are going to behave in ways that are not necessarily pleasing to you. This way, you can then seek to understand why they do things how they do them and come up with ways to be tolerant. If you find that you cannot understand them or that their choices clash with your work, then it’s better to keep a distance to avoid personality conflicts as much as possible.

Stay calm

People who cause confrontations thrive on conflict. Do not play into their game. Instead, avoid engaging them in negative exchanges and choose to walk away. It is normal to want to lash out and fight back, but this will only fuel the conflict and bring you down to their level. When you stay calm and still relate to them with politeness, they’ll soon run out of their mean steam. On the contrary, reacting to them will make them feel powerful and they’ll keep at it.

Talk to them

Approaching them with your concerns is also a good way to go. Some might not be aware of the impact their actions have on those around them. If this is the case, they’ll most likely change their behaviors once they understand. This might not work with coworkers who have bad intentions, however. It’s still worth a try, and this is something you should give a shot before resorting to other means.

Avoid them

Sometimes, the best way to deal with a situation is to go around it. Not every problem can be solved, and a bad coworker’s habits is one of them. When their personality gets too much, create some physical distance from them. You can move desks or switch cubicles, rearrange your schedule to avoid running into them in common areas at the office, or simply pretend that they don’t exist. The less you see, hear or interact with them, the better.

Having a bad coworker results in a toxic work environment. Do whatever you can to rectify the situation to keep from daily frustrations.