In social or academic settings, staying classy when you discover you dislike someone is fairly simple: leave the party or sit on the opposite of the classroom. However, when this person is a co-worker, the situation becomes more complicated. You will need to see this person every day and possibly complete projects together. Doing nothing is not an option—here’s how to deal.
Stop and Think
What specifically bothers you about this person? Do they act this way around everyone, or only with you? With the latter, think back to your interactions with this person: could they have misinterpreted something you said or did?
Even if you can’t pinpoint a specific moment, it’s important to attempt to smooth things over. Try and connect with this person: greet them enthusiastically, start up a conversation, or give them a compliment. Chances are they’ll react positively once they realize what a fabulous lady you really are.
Consider Your Team
If, however, the problematic co-worker is bothersome to others in the office, a more direct approach is needed because this could affect team productivity. Being classy is not keeping your thoughts to yourself in every situation, but knowing when to speak up.
Confront the situation directly by speaking with the person privately. Keep the focus on your thoughts and feelings instead of the behavior in question—the person will be more receptive to this than harsh accusations. Also, stay open-minded; it may all be a misunderstanding.
Keep Up the Good Work
If all else fails, remember the primary reason you’re there—and it isn’t to make friends. You don’t need to be buddy-buddy with this person; you just need to cooperate in order to successfully complete assignments and tasks. Sometimes, you need to just check your ego at the door when entering the workplace. Getting the job done is more important than your personal feelings about a co-worker.