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It happens to all of us. No matter how much you love your job, there’s likely at least one person that the majority of the office finds unpleasant to interact with because he or she can be difficult to work with. Any industry you work in can have people with this kind of attitude, so be prepared to deal with them. It may seem impossible to have a coworker you find completely insufferable, but it does happen and it’s likely that they’ll be there for a while. Unless you want to look for a new job for yourself, you’ll need to follow these tips on how to deal with that difficult coworker.

Avoid them as much as you can

If you have a truly difficult coworker that you find it nearly impossible to tolerate, avoid her as much as possible. In many industries, you have limited interactions with coworkers, unless you’re working on a project together. If you don’t have to work with her on a regular basis, just try to avoid her as much as possible so no conflict arises.

Make sure you aren’t the issue

Before taking more active steps to fix the issue, carefully examine your role in the situation. Do other people find this coworker difficult? Have you seen him be difficult to another employee? What exactly makes him a difficult person to work with? Make sure you aren’t the issue or there wasn’t something you did that makes your coworker react to you in a negative way.

Refuse to participate in gossip

People love to talk, but that doesn’t mean you have to participate in gossip. No matter how tempting it may be to vent about your coworker, do not do it. Never complain about coworkers or bosses at work (this should go without saying, but you’d be surprised). If you really need to vent, do so to a close friend or family member who has no other connection to your office.

Prepare yourself for encounters

No matter how much you try to avoid your coworker, you’ll inevitably have to be around her to some degree. If you know what to expect from her when she’s around, prepare yourself. Remind yourself to stay calm, think of something neutral you can say, or plan how you’ll respond. The more prepared you are for the situation, the easier it will be.

Keep your cool

The worst thing you can do is lose your temper, so always try to remain calm. Do not yell at your difficult coworker or stoop to his level with petty and rude comments. Do whatever you can to continue acting mature and avoid conflict.

Consider talking to your coworker

If the difficult behavior continues, consider actually talking to her. Your coworker may not even realize how difficult she’s being, so approaching her in a kind manner could help. Do not attack or accuse her of anything because it’ll only make her defensive. Merely express how her behavior makes you feel and see how she responds, if you feel comfortable taking this step.