Dealing with difficult people in the workplace

It is a situation we arguably, unfortunately, are all familiar with; there is a certain individual with who we share a workplace that makes the work itself rather unpleasant, simply because of their presence.

I, too, have familiarity with this situation, and in different jobs over the years. I can’t say I have a guaranteed means to make the workplace durable while having to deal with a shitty person, but I do have some tips and tricks that have benefitted me, personally.

First and foremost, if your work has an HR department, report this individual you’re having problems with to HR. Internal conflict in the workplace is quite literally HR’s department, and as tempting as it can be to take matters into your own hands to address and improve the situation, there is a chance it could backfire or make the situation worse.

If after going to HR, the situation hasn’t been rectified, then it may be appropriate to deal with the situation yourself.

When I say deal with the situation, I’m not implying putting eye drops in their water to give them horrific diarrhea. Is the thought an enticing one? Perhaps, but it probably won’t be worth it. Rather, I’m meaning to try talking to this problematic person and working out what the issue is, or speaking to a superior about it if HR’s efforts failed or are non-existent.

Avoiding the person is another tactic, but this isn’t always possible depending on the type of work you do. In this case, it may be worthwhile to develop some coping mechanisms to prevent this person from getting on your last nerve.

If, after trying some of these things or other strategies, the person is still an issue, there is the option of leaving the job. This may seem extreme, but at the end of the day, your happiness is not inferior to your job, nor is it inferior to a shitty coworker.


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