School, college, home or office – difficult people exist and cannot be avoided. From our birth to death bed, we encounter them everywhere and in every phase of our life. No matter where we are, we are bound to deal with at least one difficult person. I’ve encountered such personalities throughout my career. Regardless where you work, I’m certain that you’ll inevitably find yourself one day looking at a colleague and wondering “Did you come from Mars? How did you manage to find your way here?” Whenever I used to face such a person, there were usually two things I preferred to do: Either confront the person head-on, leading to escalating hostility, or else avoid dealing with them and leave the problem to worsen. Neither of the solution proved to be effective for me. Leaving the job was not going to help, by doing so, I was only setting myself up for the next big disappointment. Later I realized that dealing with them is an art that is quite challenging, yet rewarding. Eventually, I mastered the art following few essential steps to deal with colleagues I can’t stand.
According to research from the Association for Psychological Type International, up to 80 percent of all difficulties in organizations stem from strained employee relationships. Toxic behavior is contagious and can spread from worker to worker. All you need to do is keep an eye for someone who’s more concerned about standing out among others in the workplace, rather than the success of their whole team.
One of the signs of such a person is that they rarely take responsibility of their own actions, instead they blame others and make excuses. The best way to deal with them is to hold them responsible for their own actions.
If the person crosses the annoying line and becomes abusive or inappropriate for a professional environment, make complain to HR department or your reporting authority. Don’t get personal and keep it professional and brief.
There’s a sad truth about life; it’s not always fair. You might have to work alongside unbearable colleagues throughout your career. All you can do is to mentally move past their toxic behavior because they don’t really deserve your attention and they shouldn’t be the reason to keep you awake overnight.