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How to get along with your office enemy

Unless you’re willing to switch jobs, you’re stuck working with your office enemy. These strategies will help you deal with making the most out of your working relationship.

Office enemies

You cringe the moment you hear her voice, or even the sound of her walking past your cubicle: We’re talking about your office enemy. From your first day on the job, you two simply have not gotten along. But, given that you work together, you realize that it’s in your best interest to make nice with her. You don’t have to become besties, but finding ways to get along is important. Here are a few ways you can cope so you can grin and make the best of the situation.

Recruit some allies

You must be discreet about this, but you’ll feel a sense of relief if you can find someone with whom to share your frustrations about this office enemy. Look for someone who has the same work ethic and values as you do and start paying attention. Do you catch a subtle roll of the eyes when the enemy takes credit for a project she only briefly worked on? Does this coworker also seem to avoid opportunities to work on things the enemy is involved in? This person may be someone to confide in.

Resist badmouthing

With the option of privately letting off some steam with the ally you’ve just recruited (see above), it should be easier to resist snapping your enemy with a smart comeback in the middle of a meeting. Everyone will see through your off-the-cuff remark, so it’s best to keep your mouth shut. Just bite your tongue and take a deep breath. The same goes for sharing your feelings with your boss; when it comes down to it, to your supervisor (and to companies in general) it only matters that employees are performing. Personality clashes you’re having with a colleague are low on their priority list.

Brush-off run-ins

When you let their passive-aggressive comments ruin your day, your enemy wins. So don’t harp on their behaviour and let it bring you down. Instead, let it roll off your back, and focus on doing the best job you can. Your M.O. should be to smile, thank them for their input and then put your head down and get the job done.

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