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How To Handle Difficult People At Work?

5 min read
Last Updated on
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How does it feel working alongside somebody who you'd rather avoid? Don't you sometimes get crazy at work because of the action and attitude of your coworker?

Well, let's be honest. In every organization, we encounter a fair share of difficult people. And we all find it challenging to deal with difficult people at work. But that skill is worth rewarding.

Difficult people at work comes in different forms. Like, say, some keeping talking but is never ready to listen. Some others are terrible criticizers and dishonest to their own responsibilities. Again, there are bullies, negativity spreaders, demanding bosses, gossipmongers, and terrible team players with uncompromising employee habits. Other than these, some common behaviors of difficult people at work include-

  • Mobile phone addicts
  • Taking credit for other people's jobs
  • Double standard personalities
  • Shouting at others
  • Blaming others constantly
  • Showing off how deeply worried they are about work
  • Stealing ideas and thoughts and showing them as your own

Trust me; if you let these people and their issues go unaddressed, your work-life gets worse. How? Read on.

Why You Must Deal With Difficult People At Workplace

Once you realize that you are facing difficulty from a coworker, you generally tend to ignore them. As days pass, you try to console yourselves that relationships get better with time. Sooner or later, the day will come when you will feel miserable going to your workplace. You will feel angry; you will feel pained. All your efforts to not address your difficulties will seem unjustified.

Rather than endure such problems, it's easier to communicate frankly with the other person and discuss your dilemmas Thus, choosing to live long-term with a difficult situation isn't a choice. If you are convinced, here are some best ways to help you deal with difficult people at work.

Seven Ways To Handle Difficult People At Work

1. Stop over-reacting and ask yourself.

Always begin with self-examination to assess it's the difficult person's activities that are troubling you. Make sure that you are not over-reacting. Ask yourself if you always experience difficulty while dealing with similar people. Do you know if your trouble is short or long-termed? Do you know how to deal with the same for a quicker resolution?

2. Don't react, if you know that works.

People always try to get a reaction out of you. If you react, they get the chance to repeat themselves. So the next time a coworker says something provocative, try not to react that soon. You can either ignore them or respond in a way that would depict that you are not concerned about their comments. It would put the conversation to rest.

3. Let the difficult person know how you feel.

If you see that, without reactions, things get bitter, let them know how you feel. Be smart and clearly walk up to your coworker or boss and inform them that you do not like how they are treating you.

Try not to burst into your office, asking for answers. Instead, you can do it in a private mode of conversation. Attempt your best not to explode while you are conversing with them. Disclose to them precisely what they are doing and how it is causing you to feel.

It is also important to be pleasing and agreeable as you talk with the other individual. They may not know about the effect of their words or activities on you and accept their mistake. Again, some people might deny it or attempt to clarify your concerns. To keep it balanced, you must try to reach an agreement about positive and supportive actions going forward.

4. Follow up.

Do you see any signs of improvement on the other side? Or you see it getting worse? Decide if a subsequent follow-up conversation is required. Decide if it will have any effect on your image?

Choose if you need to keep on going up against the troublesome individual without anyone’s help. Decide if you still want to confront the annoying individual all alone by yourself. Try to know if other colleagues are in your support or not.

If you find that you still want to make peace, hold another discussion. If not, move on to the next idea of involving your manager.

5. Talk with your manager/boss.

It may sound like a radical move to take, but often a message from those further up the chain is what they need to reform their ways. Note that, to have a difficult conversation with your boss, you need to prepare accordingly. You should be careful with your approach, and predetermine what works with your boss.

Be sure that you are calm when communicating to explain what is troubling you, how it impacts your job, and how you wish it to be addressed. Take notes with you, if required.

It can be a good practice to record your colleague's disrespectful behavior, which you can provide as proof when you speak to your manager. You can talk to the other employees who might have an issue with the difficult person-carefully. It is because group approaches often persuade the manager that the behavior's effect is broader and deeper.

6. Don't take it personally.

At the point when somebody is continuously discourteous and rude to us, we can start to think about it literally and feel like we have accomplished something incorrectly. It might be there is something in particular about you that the individual doesn't care for.

Such employee behaviors may be originating from that individual's thoughts and beliefs; however, that doesn't mean you have done something wrong. Keeping this in mind will help you to confront the person, confidently.

If all these approaches fail, you can try to limit your access to a difficult person. Also, if possible, you can request to get transferred to a different department within the organization. If you do that, you may never have to deal with the rough coworker again. And then there is the most drastic move that we usually reserve for extreme times- quitting the job.

7. Find a new job.

Sometimes, irrespective of how hard we seek to fix a problem, a person can never alter his or her way. But their behavior should not come in the way of your happiness and success. You have to know whether the positive qualities in your present circumstance outweigh your troubles or vice versa.

It will be best to move on and start looking for other opportunities if it doesn't seem to be changing. Even though leaving your recognizable work environment may be upsetting, when you sink into another condition away from that negative conduct, you're sure to feel much better.

This article is written by Susmita Sarma, a digital marketer at Vantage Circle. She was involved with media relations before shifting her interest in research and creative writing. Apart from being a classical music buff, she keeps a keen interest in anchoring and cooking. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com