Tips on dealing with difficult coworkers

I’ve been suffering a bit with the dreaded writer’s block this week. I think it happens to us all at some point, but it can be so frustrating when you feel like you are constantly hitting a brick wall with your thoughts. Today’s post is something that I’ve contemplated writing for a while, because I think it is something anyone who has ever had any kind of job can relate to. I’m talking of course about work colleagues who make your work life harder than it needs to be because of lies or nastiness fuelled by their own delusions of grandeur. I, like a lot of people, have had jobs in the past where this has been the case. And it can be hard to cope with this effectively when all you want is to do your job without the drama. But, it’s true that as you get older, you get wiser, and learn the best way to approach these types of situations. My Mam always says, “you’re going to meet a lot of arseholes in this life, so it is essential to learn how to handle them”. And, of course, she’s right. So, here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way, that I think are worth keeping in mind when dealing with problem people in any work place, and keeping your sanity at the same time.


Remember why you are there

Ask yourself this: Why are you really working here? Likely the answer will be earning a living or affording stuff for your own personal entertainment outside of work hours. But, maybe there is more to it. Perhaps you are just in a part-time job that is ultimately a means to an end until you get to where you want to be. Or are even at the top of your game and love the job you are in. In either case, if a co-worker is making thinks difficult, it’s important to remind yourself that you won’t be there forever, or, that an annoying person is a small price to pay for a good wage and job satisfaction. Focusing on yourself rather than their negativity is the way to go.

Don’t sit back and accept the lies

One of the worst things that can happen in any walk of life is having somebody spread lies about you. Especially when you’ve done nothing at all to deserve it. I’ve experienced this in the past unfortunately, but the best way to respond is to nip it in the bud straight away. Nine times out of ten, a liar will back down when you confront them, in much the same way that the bully in school will keep picking on you unless you fight back. Keep your cool, and rest easy in the knowledge that you know the truth, and others will see it to.

Don’t get mad, get even

When somebody frustrates you beyond belief, it can be hard to keep your emotions in check when dealing with them. I’m somebody that can take a lot, but once I’m pushed over the edge, anger can take over sometimes. This is bad, because it can hinder your ability to think rationally and end up saying the wrong thing. Keeping a level head is key when dealing with workplace injustice. Biding your time is essential as well. Because it may not be today, tomorrow or six months from now, but that person causing the misery WILL slip up, and then you can revel in getting even. This may seem a bit evil, but just remember, that if they didn’t bring the trouble to your door in the first place, you wouldn’t feel this way now.

Have a nice, big rant every now and again

Find somebody you trust. Whether that’s another co-worker, a friend or a family member. And just let it all out. Often, there can be a build-up of tension and rather than letting it all out at work, its best to let off some steam elsewhere. And talking to somebody else might lead to a new perspective on a situation. Be sparing with these rants however. You don’t want to depress the person you’re ranting to, and have them dread the sight of you.


I remember reading something a couple of years ago that Tom Hanks said: “I think 80 percent of the population are really great, caring people who will help you and tell you the truth. That’s just the way it is. And I think 20 percent of the population are crooks and liars. It’s just a fact”. You know, I think this is true. Especially when you apply it to work as well. You could focus on that on 20 percent, but really what you should focus on is the 80 percent that are good, decent people.


As Kris Kristofferson once sang: “Don’t let the Bastards get you down” 😄

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