Have a Difficult Co-Worker? Here’s How to Deal with Them

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You’ve gotten the job of your dreams and everything is going well! You have an amazing Manager, you are highly motivated and you are given creative freedom! You were given a task which requires you going to a co-worker then all hell breaks loose! This person is mean, bitter and downright rude.

If you have ever been in this type of situation and need some help on the matter, Don’t worry- I’ve got you sis! I’ve been there before and today I will be sharing tips on how to deal with a difficult co-worker. If this is something that interests you, keep reading!

First off, let us describe the various types of “difficult co-workers”.

Types of Difficult Co-Workers

Old and Bitter Fran: This is a woman in her 50s – 60s who has suffered a severe heart break or loss and as a results hates everything or everyone and never talks to you, but at you. She has been at the company for years and hates the fact that young people are coming in to “take over” and she has to not only work with them, but take instruction from them.

Negative Nancy : There is no silver lining for this person. She never sees things on the bright side and all her answers are negative words like “no” or “not” and of course “can’t”. If you are not careful, her negativity can rub off on you and you will start to feel like you can’t accomplish or do anything at all.

Chatty Chatty Tina: This is the office gossip. She knows everybody’s business and is always within an ear reach listening to each and every conversation and can never keep a secret. For this co-worker, you keep things strictly professional and never tell her any issues you are having as the entire office will know.

How to deal with a difficult co worker

The Gatekeeper: This is the CEO’s or Manager’s right hand person who serves as the eyes or ears of the business. This type of person is there as a barrier between a boss who is deemed as “too nice” and needs somebody tough. This person  makes your life at work extremely difficult for no good reason at all and makes simple decisions take longer since it has to go through them first.

The “Hear and Teller”: This is one the most dangerous co-workers. I completely made up that term, but the type of person is real! They listen to the problems you have with the company and other co-workers and pretend to care and be interested. As soon as you turn your back they tell everything you said back to the person which causes a weird tension in the office.

I am going to be 100% honest with you, as a 34 year old woman, I have learned emotional intelligence. This pretty much means I have the capacity to know that not everything is to be taken personally, and sometimes it’s best to take the high road. There are times however when given the situation and person, you have to get a little “urban” and mek a gal know, you and her are not the same. 

The situation

I recently started a new job and was introduced to a young lady from one of the other brands that falls under the same company. She is deemed as a Store Associate and is there to help with customer queries. She is not a decision maker but instead takes directions and instructions from those in a management position (me). I visit the location, ask to see the items and her response is “Why are you looking on that, that is not what you are supposed to look at”. I smile and say “please show me the items I’m supposed to look at”. Her response ” they hired you, you should know”. I smile again and keep it moving. There were several interactions that went on like this unil she became rude. I then decided to pull her aside and asked her what is the problem. Here is how the interaction went:

Me: “I noticed the energy has changed since I first met you, is there a problem?”

Her: Well, since YOU came, there has been changes, these changes were never there until YOU came.

Me : Can you explain what these changes are?

Her: The place stricter and we can’t use phone and we always have to be on point. I feel you told THEM something.

Me:  Thanks for the feedback, but you have to understand, I had nothing to do with those changes. This is a business and systems have to be put in place for there to be positive results, I had nothing to do with that and just came when it happened”

Her: OH!

Have a Difficult Co-Worker? Here’s How to Deal with Them

How to deal with a difficult co worker

Give it Time: Never act on a situation when it or you is heated, it will never end well. When we act on emotion, we tend to be irrational in our decisions and always do things that we regret later or right away. I would say, watch the situation and see how things play out and act on the 3rd time it happens.

Choose your Battles Wisely:  We’ve heard this so many times, but do we actually do it? The short answer is no. More often than not, we want to give people a piece of our minds and we completely go off on every little thing all the time. This is not good, and no good can ever come of it.

Stand up for yourself: This is the opposite of the point above, but they go hand-in-hand. Here’s the thing, if you are that person who lets everything slide, people will think you are a push over. The key here is to know the right time to stand up for yourself and how to do it. Always try to be the bigger person in a respectful manner and try to be as firm and decisive in your speech as possible.

Never Embarrass the Person:  Always try to diffuse a situation by pulling the person away from the crowd or the noise. Public humiliation is the worst and it can have far-reaching effects. Pulling the person aside, shows that you care and your intentions are pure other than doing it in a public manner as if you have something to prove.

Limit Your Interactions: If you do not have to talk to this person or be in their space, don’t. I am not saying to malice the person, but this is for you own good.  Seeing the person on a consistent basis might get you upset where you will keep experiencing the same emotions which leaves you trapped and scared. 

Life happens and we have to work with individuals from a number of backgrounds with different personalities and issues. If we are honest with ourselves and them, we can easily learn how to navigate situations to find solutions for dealing with even the most difficult of co-workers. It is always important to remember, the people are work are no your friends! No matter how long you’ve know them or how well you think you might get along with them.

Do you have a difficult co-worker you have to work with? Comment below how you’ve been dealing with that situation.

#Have a Difficult Co-Worker? Here’s How to Deal with Them

#Have a Difficult Co-Worker? Here’s How to Deal with Them

#Have a Difficult Co-Worker? Here’s How to Deal with Them

#Have a Difficult Co-Worker? Here’s How to Deal with Them

#Have a Difficult Co-Worker? Here’s How to Deal with Them

#Have a Difficult Co-Worker? Here’s How to Deal with Them


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