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What is the best way to deal with unfriendly co-workers?

18 Answers
Last Updated: 12/20/2021 at 12:29pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lindsay Scheinerman, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

My work with clients is to help them recognize and build on their strengths to find solutions for the conflicts presented in their lives.

Top Rated Answers
- Expert in Work Stress
December 20th, 2014 4:41am
The way I deal with unfriendly coworkers, is to keep being friendly, and not reflect their behaviour back to them. I also don't go out of my way to talk and socialise with them either, I focus more on myself and those I do get along with. Lastly, I try to remind myself that at the end of the day, I can go home, and they don't come with me. Outside of this building, they do not exist.
December 9th, 2014 5:22am
Kill 'em with kindness. Try to find out why they're so unhappy and show them you care. Sometimes rudeness isn't really the result of malice, but poor social and interpersonal skills. There is always one rude/difficult/annoying coworker in every office, so you can't escape it. If their unfriendliness interferes with how you do your job, that can be a bigger problem. Either way, you still have to deal with them, so try to make the best of it, rather than the worst. Remember, they aren't your family, they aren't your friends, they're just the people you have to tolerate from 9-5, and then they're out of your life. Don't allow them to take up any more mental or emotional space than that.
December 3rd, 2014 2:07am
For me, it's helped in the past to treat them with the same respect and friendliness as I would anyone else, and often they will become warmer as they get to know you better. I also think it's important not to let their perception of you affect your confidence in a negative way.
- Expert in Work Stress
April 25th, 2016 2:07am
Be yourself but keep a distance. Try to cooperate and when u need to work with them and keep away from them when u done. Make your relationship with them purely business only.
January 8th, 2015 7:15am
The best way to deal with unfriendly co-workers is to just ignore them. Your aim is to just work with peacefully. :)
May 22nd, 2015 7:34am
Always say "Good Morning", be professional, no matter how you may be feeling towards them. Keep a calm, polite distance.
November 25th, 2014 1:22am
Honestly it depends on the situation, but my best advice is to do what you can to ignore them. I know it sounds a bit cliche, but if they're bothering you to get some sort of rise out of you or to cause stress for their gain it's probably the best thing to do. If they're violent or abusing you sexually or verbally, though, you should report it. I know it can be scary to make those sort of waves sometimes, but there were people before you and there will be people after you that face this same sort of situation. It's not right and the fact that it's still happening continuously means it hasn't been properly addressed. Set an example and put an end to this person's harassment. You deserve to live in a friendly, civil workplace. You should feel safe and sound of mind enough to get your work done. If you're not, that's an issue and it needs to be corrected.
January 25th, 2016 7:27pm
Fighting and challenging never gelps. So first I would try to talk friendly to them, to understand their reasons for bein unfriendly. Maybe they had a bad day or something and it was nothing personal. By the way, for me, best Thing is to accept People just the way they are. It´s not up to me to change or judge anyone.
November 25th, 2014 6:21am
It will be helpful to find out if they're unfriendly because you're doing something wrong or if they're just not keen on being friendly. If it's the former, maybe you need to work on what you're doing wrong. If you figure out that you're not being friendly enough, you could smile at them, try to make small talk ("How are you today?", 'How's work been today?" etc). If you feel like you're not doing anything wrong, and that they're just unfriendly people, there's not much you can do about it except just go about your work and not be bothered by them.
May 27th, 2015 9:07pm
Since you cannot control their attitude, be friendly and helpful regardless of their attitude - your office will take note.
August 4th, 2015 7:37am
This may be a tough situation if you have to work with them closely. However, if you can and its avoidable, do your best to stay in your own element. Avoid areas where they will be or avoid situation that might bring you two together. Its not always going to be avoidable, but if you can manage the situation by doing those things and just stay the course while doing your own job, it will work itself out.
November 25th, 2014 4:01pm
The best way to deal with unfriendly co-workers is to find a way of effectively communicating without trying to force a friendship. You don't have to be close friends with your coworker, but if you can communicate in a healthy way with this person, you can continue to work without incident. If their unfriendliness makes productivity impossible, I would talk to my HR department about possible solutions.
May 27th, 2015 3:37am
Kill them with kindness! Be nice to them as much as you can. They have nothing to be unfriendly about if you are being friendly to them.
November 26th, 2014 10:42pm
Working in a workplace with unappreciative coworkers is tough. There are several way in which you can deal with this: you could approach the coworker personally and talk about what it bothering you, so you can both come up with something that resolves the tension. If the problem is bigger than what you have thought, you can talk to your employer about your situation, and have a third party resolve it. Coworkers can be unfriendly often when they feel intimidated or shy. Identify which one, and you can work the problem from there on.
June 28th, 2016 1:12pm
The best way to deal with unfriendly co-workers is to just maintain a good vibe and positive aura. Focus on your work and do not let those worries distract from doing something you are good at. Eventually, they will notice you and start making friends.
November 30th, 2014 5:26am
I typically imagine that they may be going through a hard time. On the surface, it's hard to ascertain what's going on in their lives - much like people may not talk to others in real life about their problems, they, too, may be coping with something they don't want to share publicly. Their unfriendliness may come from these hidden issues, so I try to stay friendly to not ruin their day.
December 20th, 2021 12:29pm
We don't get to pick our coworkers. Sometimes we end up with a coworker we don't like. Be upfront about it. You might want to try saying, "We are not getting along that great, what can we do? Let's try to figure out what is getting in our way." See if you can find a pattern. Are there topics or problems that trigger you both? See if they will meet you halfway. In the end, it's about how you can fix this together. If the other person is not willing, let it be. You know that you made an effort.
June 21st, 2021 7:55pm
First acknowledge that it's them with a problem, which doesn't necessarily have anything to do with you. Trying to avoid their toxicity if possible, but don't hesitate to stand up for yourself. Some people feel like they need to energy leech off of others, pretending to feel empowered. But theres a deep and dark void inside of them which they can't face on their own. It's a cry for help, and noone is answering.