How to Work with Someone You Don’t Like

Sometimes we have to work with someone we just don’t like. In our personal lives, we have the right not to talk with someone we don’t enjoy, but at work, we are a team, and we have to work past our differences. 

Working alongside someone you don’t see eye-to-eye with isn’t easy, but it’s actually one of the great things about a team: Teams allow individuals to put their differences aside to accomplish something big together. That said, working with someone we don’t get along with can be challenging. 

Here are some tips for dealing with a difficult person at work: 

  • Be respectful: You don’t have to like someone, but you do need to treat them with respect. If you’re having a hard time choosing your words, say something neutral using words that aren’t overly emotional and that stick to the facts.
  • Be the bigger person: You may feel like someone on your team is immature or not as polite as they should be. Although you may feel like giving them a taste of their own medicine, it’s important to be the kind of person who treats everyone respectfully. At the end of the day, your strong and kind actions will earn the respect of those around you. 
  • Accept the situation: You may not enjoy working with another person, but sometimes that’s just a part of life that we need to accept. If this person isn’t violating any laws or workplace rules, move on and put your energy towards the things that will help you succeed and meet your personal goals. 
  • Keep growing: At the end of the day, being successful is all about dealing with tough situations in smart ways. Recognize that being able to handle working with a difficult person makes you, and your team, stronger. At the end of the day, you have the power to ignore distractions, and it is your responsibility to grow and succeed. 


  1. Can you think of someone you struggled to get along with in the past? In what ways could you have handled that situation better? 
  2. Can you think of a time when people put their differences aside to accomplish something important together?