In life, there’s always that one person. At work, it can seem worse because you see that person day in and day out. If it’s your boss, or someone you work closely with, the problem is only amplified.
If you’ve never worked with someone you couldn’t stand, consider yourself lucky.
It may be a colleague whose sole purpose in life is to make your life difficult. It could be a boss that loves to micromanage. It could be a personality, a work ethic, or a little bit of everything. Whatever it is exactly, it can result in dreading work—not because of your job, or the work itself, but because of that one person.
Before you jump ship and quit, take a step back and consider the good. If not for that one person, would you enjoy work? If so, don’t give up and walk away. Stay and fight.
Research indicates that good relationships at work equal higher rates of productivity, success, and satisfaction. So, why give up a job you enjoy because one person is holding you back. After all, another version of that person may be waiting for you at a new job. Instead, it’s in your own best interest if you stick it out and learn how to work around the problem. It’s not impossible to deal with that one annoying person at work—here’s how.
Look Beyond the Problem
When someone is abrasive or annoying, etc. you may be tempted to set up a wall and let your anger and frustration build. Instead of distancing yourself, try to get to know the person behind the persona. Chances are, you’ll find a few things in common and it will lead to a greater understanding.
Getting outside your comfort zone a little and getting to know the problem coworker can help your relationship. While it may confirm what you already believe and prove impossible, it may end up surprising you by allowing you to connect on a level that helps you look past the annoyances. At the very least, it will give you a better understanding of the person and what drives them, which will help you to equip yourself psychologically to look beyond their hang ups.
Set Some Boundaries
Another strategy for separating your work from your annoyance is to set boundaries. Distance yourself as much as possible from the negative. Sure, there will be moments that you will have to interact with this person, but it will help to set some rules.
Think about what specific behaviors and/or interactions bother you. Maybe it’s a manager that constantly comes at you with a vague to-do list. No, you can’t avoid your manager, but you can learn how to manage him or her in a way that benefits you. It’s all about communication. Don’t let the anger build, tell him or her what you need and let him know that a specific list of action items is more beneficial than vague panic.
Sometimes there is only so much you can take. Acknowledge that and move past it. Take a break. Step away. Allow yourself to step away from the situation or person that is holding you back. Trying to simply push through it hurts not only you, but your work and essentially everyone.
At the end of the day, you only control you. You have no control over someone else. Letting go of the notion that you can do anything about the person that is bothering you will help you stop a lot of the frustration and anger you feel before it even starts.
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