Be A Lover, Not A Fighter

In life, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to work with a person you don’t like, let alone hate.

Karen Cohen
Jan 3 · 2 min read
Photo by Frank Busch on Unsplash

You could always leave, but how many times will you leave a good paying job, an awesome team or a role that could jumpstart your career when things become uncomfortable with one person?

(This isn’t to say that you should suffer toxic behavior at work, there’s no excuse for that.)

Given you want to stay, let’s talk about some tools to help you deal in this situation.

Clean Slate

Most often, when people work on themselves, they keep it to themselves. Change happens slowly, whereas first impressions happen very quickly.

Once you’ve made up your mind about a person it’s very hard to break the picture you have about them. As the popular saying goes “a first impression takes seconds to form and years to break”.

Your challenge is to start a clean slate with this person. Assume they’re doing the work to better themselves a little every single day, and allow them a proper chance to repair their relationship with you. Disregard old experiences and try working with them again. Give them room to be likable and assume good intentions.

Look Twice

“I do not like this man. I must get to know him better” — Abraham Lincoln

Things are never black and white, our world is not composed of villains and superheroes. That person you hate has people who love and admire them, they have boons. Make a list of the things you admire about them, look at this list before you see them next.

Little by little you make an effort to build rapport with them. Say hello and good morning. Initiate short conversations regarding good experiences you know they’ve had recently, ask open ended questions you’re sure will lead to positive answers.

Here to Work

Repeat after me “I’m here to work”.

Whatever they’re dealing with is not your problem. You came here to work.

Put aside their behavior and keep your distance when possible, focus on the work and check out this hack to make your day brighter by focusing on the people you enjoy working with.

But Even Though

There are some people that make us cringe. Whether we’ve suffered some trauma related to them or they simply rub us the wrong way. Given you’ve decided to keep working within their vicinity, you should keep trying. So that your work environment remains pleasant, and your advancement stays on path.

Not for them, for you.

Karen Cohen

Written by

Product + Architecture + Management + Code | I help systems and people work better together |

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