What to Do When Someone at Work Doesn’t Like You

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No matter where you work, dealing with coworkers — even the ones you don't like — is part of your daily routine. Ideally, we'd all get along with everyone we work with, but unfortunately, that almost never happens. Even if you're lucky, at some point, you're going to run into a coworker who you don't like, or who doesn't like you. No matter how awesome you are, there are going to be people who don't like you; it's just a part of life. But before you quit your job on the spot, there are plenty of ways to cope with the situation, and eventually, you might even be able to fix it.

The workplace is one of those situations where you're forced to share a space with all kinds of different people, some of whom you might not be compatible with, and there will be a lot of things that could cause friction between coworkers that you might be involved in. Time off, the way workload is distributed, the way your boss treats you — these can all be things that might trigger someone's negative feelings towards you. Yes, a lot of it's petty and unnecessary drama, but it does happen, so it's important to know how to deal with it.

“Most coworkers won't overtly show their disdain for you so as not to cause trouble or jeopardize their own careers,” workplace expert Lynn Taylor told INSIDER. “They may make life difficult for you, but they'll probably try to stay under the radar. Still, there are subtle red flags that they're not out for your best interests.”

The fastest way to shut that conflict down? Knowing what those red flags are. If you have a gut feeling that someone isn't your biggest fan, you're probably right, so get to the root of the problem as quickly as possible. If someone always seems to be personally attacking you for things that happen on the job, ask them how they think you might be able to work things out, and let them know you're genuinely interested in getting along. If someone seems to be straight up bullying you, try to be more assertive — it can definitely be an intimidating situation, but not backing down when they try to knock you is important in getting them to stop.

And if the person who's giving you trouble seems to be resentful of you because of a recent raise, promotion, or just because you're getting recognition around the office because you're killing it, there are ways to cope with that situation, too.

“These peers are resentful,” psychologist Amy Cooper Hakim told CNBC. “They want what you have. More than that, they believe they should have what you have.” So what do you do next? She suggests that you shut down the conversation anytime they try to make you feel guilty for your skills, and instead, compliment them on something they've done well recently. Chances are, your success is making them feel insecure about their own performance, so reminding them they're valued might be all they need to get off your back.

If you're getting the feeling that someone doesn't like you but you can't pinpoint the reason, it might be best to limit your interactions with them, and keep the conversations you do have to have short and professional, and only focused on the subject at hand. If they try to antagonize you, don't engage — make an excuse, like you have a lot of work to do, and hightail it out of there.

But if the coworker in question is your boss that you just can't seem to get along with, it might be a sign that you need to find another place to work.

“If you can’t trust your boss, it may be time to get yourself out from under that person,” Harvard Business Professor Linda Hill told Harvard Business Review. It makes sense — someone who has authority over you might make your working life miserable, and if there's no way to mend the situation, the best choice might just be to move on.

If these tactics help you improve your situation at work, awesome. If not — or if your coworker puts you in a situation where you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or unable to work with them — don't be afraid to approach your superior about it. That's what they're there for, and hopefully, you can find a way to keep the peace at work until you can go home to your couch and all the Netflix that's waiting for you after a long day.