Not everyone you work with is going to like you

Ouch. That’s a bit of an exaggeration. It’s certainly an exercise in honesty. And in insecurity. “How can you not like me?” Brian asks Quagmire. Who cares? Do you really want to who dislikes you and why? You really don’t want that answer. It’s a surefire way to bring yourself down and it’s pointless.

You want to stay focused in your work life and your personal life. Surrounding yourself with positive people is a great way to do that. But no matter how positive and gracious you are there will always be people who just don’t like you. Period. It’s true of all of us. Sometimes we don’t understand it and the understandable reaction is “how can you not like me?” It’s hurtful when people don’t get you.

That’s the problem with caring what people think about you. Sometimes you need to know. When you interact with your family you should care about your behaviour and how you make them feel. That’s a given. Same with your friends or they become your enemies. But at work and in life in general you can’t please all the people all time (you’ve heard that one before). At work it only matters that you try to get along with your team and your boss. Everyone else can stick it. Yeah, I said it.

In fact there are currently people on your team who don’t like you – you just don’t know it and that’s a good thing. You don’t want to or need to know what people think about you as a person. You only need to work well together and achieve results. Besides, there must be one person you aren’t crazy about in your circle of colleagues. Or at least her approach to you at work, whether she intends to be rude or not.

If it’s causing you problems at work with your work performance, that’s different. Then you need to sit down with that person and sort out your differences but that’s not the same thing as asking “how can you not like me?” Maybe it’s not so much that she doesn’t like you as she doesn’t like working with you. That still sucks but like it or not you have to work together and there’s no way around it. So you have to work out your differences as much as possible then get on with it.

There may be no complete resolution because that’s life. There seldom is a 100% guarantee that working out differences with a person means you will now officially be friends and it’s all sunshine and lollipops from there. That’s probably never going to happen. What matters is that you work well together when you have to and do your work together as best as you can.

When a former vice-principal at my school I shall call Karl worked with my current principal I shall call Leonard there was a lot of animosity between them. They didn’t like each other or even respect each other. But they did run the school very well and most of us couldn’t tell they had significant differences of opinion about how a school should be run. In fact, when I mentioned I thought they both worked very well together, Karl told me “that’s an illusion.” I thought that was cool. Illusion or not they did a great job as a team.

That’s the best you can hope for sometimes. So make it work and live with it.

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