How to handle difficult co-workers

If you work alongside someone who is “loud” or “aggressive,” you might think that it’s time to quit your job and find employment elsewhere. Unfortunately, you probably aren’t willing to give up a job just because of that one co-worker with “the big personality” in the office.

But here are some tips to cope with a difficult colleague.

  • Try to put yourself in their shoes – It’s not easy to do this with that person that most annoys you from 9 to 5. But as hard as it may be, making the effort to genuinely recognise this person’s humanity will make you understand him/her better, making it easier to get along. And that’s a good thing. You’ll come to recognise that this person is not just that annoying co-worker, but as a person just like yourself that pays rent, has a family, and fears and aspirations of their own.
  • Pinpoint what makes you both incompatible – It’s extremely easy to develop an opinion of a person instead of learning about this person. Once you learn from this person, (rather than ignoring them all day), you’ll consequently come to learn and better understand what it is about that person that irritates you. What good does that provide? Well it will help you understand clearly why that irritates you, and how you can solve that problem effectively.
  • Good always comes from productive dialogue – You can try initiating a constructive conversation with the person and express your feelings in an honest, inoffensive manner. This isn’t easy and can take insane courage so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But it’s much healthier to discuss these things rather than concealing them. It will make you feel better and it will give the other person an opportunity to take your thoughts into consideration, something they can’t do if you don’t talk about it. If you do this, you might even learn that from their perspective, you’re the “big personality” in the office. Then you can both work together to create a more friendly workplace.


In conclusion, there is always a way to deal with these sort of situations without having to quit your job. Sometimes it’s just knowing the difference between what you think the problem is, and actually knowing what’s the real cause of the problem to try and sort it out in the best way possible. And don’t forget, treat others how you like to be treated, regardless of who they are.


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