Three Ways to Handle a Colleague You Loathe

We’ve all been there, right? One colleague completely rubs you the wrong way in the newsroom and as much as you want to put your best foot forward and wear that faux smile, it gets draining (not to mention old).

Thanks to the Harvard Business Review there are three strategies to deal with that irritable colleague without telling him or her to talk to the hand.

For starters, you can focus on the things you can change, not the things you can’t. You can’t change their behavior or thoughts but you can certainly change your own.

Second, it may be tempting to confide in your editor, your colleague in the photo department or a friend in graphics. Don’t do it. According to HBR, “emotions are contagious, so complaining about a co-worker can bring everyone down.” Not only that, talking poorly about someone else may inevitably be a poor reflection on you. Take it out at the gym instead. Find a positive outlet to let off some steam that doesn’t involve giving into the negativity.

Lastly, and in a surprising move, the last tip involves working together. Sure, it may go against the grain of your automatic reaction to avoid the person altogether but the piece points out you may become more empathetic as a result. “You might discover reasons for his behavior: Stress at home, pressure from boss, etc.”