6 ways to deal with a colleague you absolutely HATE

Office etiquette would never allow it, but you are allowed to hate the people you work with. As long as you don’t act on it or let it affect your performance, you don’t even need a good reason. It’s a perfectly natural part of having to spend time with people you didn’t choose to work with.

You might be thinking: “I actually don’t hate anyone” and that’s cool but stop lying to yourself. Hate is an umbrella term for feeling annoyed and we all feel annoyed at work. We’ve talked in the past about what to do when your boss hates you guts but we’re shifting the spotlight.

Here are six ways to deal with that colleague who is rising your blood pressure week-on-week.

(Side note: these are going to positive suggestions not ‘how to get away with arson’)

1. Air out your problems

This isn’t us advising you storm over to your nemesis’ desk, sweeping the surface and putting them on blast. This is us saying that you just need to clear the air with the hated person in question. You need to communicate so you can both just get on with your lives.


2. Figure out if they hate you

They might be purposefully making your life harder because they hated you first. The game now is to figure out why and when they started hating you or even if they actually do. You might just be a paranoid, hateful weirdo.

3. Check your expectations

FastCompany suggest this tactic by saying: “people have ingrained personality traits that are going to largely determine how they react. Expecting others to do as you would do is setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration.”

4. Reassess without assumptions

Most of the time you hate people you don’t know very well. It’s very rare that you get to know someone intimately and then decide “you know what, I hate them”. Clear yourself of some assumption you’ve created around this person and then decide if you actually hate them.


5. Recognise your triggers

Again, your hate might be your fault. You can’t be angry all the time so figure out what it is about this particular colleague that makes you flare so hard. You might be able to numb yourself to your triggers so much that the hate subsides.

6. Accept your hate

Let the hateful feeling wash over you. You’ll never be able to like everyone, no matter how hard you try. Chalk this one up as a loss and try to avoid lashing out at their stupid, smug face.