You know the one: Every time this co-worker starts talking, you start screaming inside your head.
You see this person at the company coffee pot and are tempted to swear off caffeine. It’s your office nemesis, but there are ways to make working with this person more bearable.
In an ideal world you’d get along famously with everyone you interact with at your office: day in and day out, week after week, year after year.
In the real world, you probably have that one person who just rubs you the wrong way … all the time. Maybe it’s the head of IT, your company’s sales manager or even another member of your Finance team.
You can’t necessarily avoid your office “nemesis.”
But you can consider utilizing a couple of different strategies to make dealing with this person easier.
To make your interactions with this individual less of a headache, try donning one of these hats.
Hat #1: Psychologist
Touchy-feely but true: Sometimes the people that irk us most do so because we see traits in them we don’t like in ourselves.
Maybe your nemesis tends to talk over people or is quick to judge — things you’re working on yourself. So when you see that reflected in another person, it makes it tougher to swallow.
Or the converse may be true: Maybe in some ways you resent this person because he or she has mastered the traits you’re after, whether it’s patience or an easy-going management style that makes people flock to them. So the green-eyed monster may be at work.
In either case, if you can recognize that, you may have an easier time relating to this co-worker.
Hat #2: Superhero
Then again, maybe this person is just a jerk, and there will never be a meeting of the minds.
That’s fine, too.
But you’ll still have to work with him or her. Why not find a way to channel those interactions to stay sharp?
Think of Superman and Lex Luther or Batman and The Riddler. These superheroes knew their adversaries would always be there — so they used them to stay on top of their game.
Use your own work nemesis to force you to think of smarter answers and more creative solutions when you must work together.
He or she will end up making you look better!