• Difficult coworkers can derail your health, happiness, and success at work
  • Sort out the problem directly and if needed, get help from others
  • Adjust your mindset and stay positive to keep yourself strong
It's not that you hate all your coworkers. Most of them are okay but there are always a few that just get under your skin.

They’re the “pain in the ass” or PITA coworkers that cause you grief.

It’s Dumbass Dave who still can’t figure out basic excel formulas.

Asshole Adam is an uncooperative work jerk from hell.

And Shit-For-Brains Sharon, who’s a manager, still doesn’t know how to work Powerpoint.

You know exactly how things go down when you’re working with these folks. They make your work life harder and more stressful than it needs to be.

Difficult coworkers make your work life a fucking misery. They're a major source of workplace stress, demotivation, and unproductivity. They make managing work stress a never-ending task.

It’s time to do something about this.

Why It’s Important To Deal With PITA Coworkers

Work is hard enough without having to deal with coworkers who make your work life a headache-filled journey through hell.

Addressing issues with your coworkers can make you less stressed and happier at work. You can get in the zone and do your best work when you're not wasting energy on petty bullshit with coworkers.

Resolving problems with your coworkers doesn't just benefit you. Morale, productivity, and work happiness can improve for everyone if you can get on top of the issues. Even if they're not directly affected by a difficult coworker, the negative vibes are far-reaching.

Here’s the silver lining.

Dealing with difficult people is a golden opportunity to flex your conflict resolution skills. And it's easier than you might think, even if you're not someone who embraces confrontation and dealing with arguments.

The main point here is that you need to find ways to manage and deal with these kinds of coworkers because they’re not going away anytime soon. Doing so is not only good for your mental health but also your productivity and career.

The first step is understanding who you’re dealing with here. 

Types Of Difficult PITA Coworkers

Pain-in-the-ass coworkers come in lots of guises but they have one thing in common.

They cause lots of stress, frustration, and anger. And they can cause significant damage to your productivity and credibility. In short, these are the coworkers whose shit you don't want to put up with.

These are some of the most common office assholes you may be unlucky enough to work with.

1) Uncooperative Assholes 

Uncooperative coworkers stop you from hitting your goals. In the long run, they can totally screw up your productivity and ruin your reputation.

It's not always a vindictive move. A lot of times, they’re simply not cooperative and your work just isn't a big priority for them but it all adds up to the same result.

You're struggling to hit your deadlines because you're not getting what you need from them.

2) Lazy Slackers 

Every organization has at least one person who sits on their ass, cyberloafs all fucking day and does nothing to help the team. But when things go well, they’re the first to claim credit even though they didn’t do shit.

Lazy ass coworkers do as little as possible while looking like they’re busy by doing shallow bullshit work. They blow off their main core responsibilities and you have to work harder to cover for their poor performance. It's exhausting and a recipe for burnout.

3) Saboteurs

Saboteurs go out of their way to get one up on their coworkers, often behind your back. They’re called backstabbers for a reason.

They take credit for work they haven’t done and they’re quick to play the blame game too. They may be secretly insecure or just trying to score points by making other people look bad.

But either way, they're only ever thinking about themselves and nobody else, unless it benefits them. 

4) Negative Nancies 

Some coworkers are always a Negative Nancy. They’re always bringing you down when you’re trying to keep a positive attitude at work.

They constantly point out the downsides of every situation and never offer a solution to help fix it. They’re always bitching and moaning about something.

They also bring everyone down with their negativity. If you’ve got a Negative Nancy in your team, it’s super hard to counteract the misery they create.

If you’re dealing with one now, read through this list of 101 reasons to smile for a quick remedy.

5) Ultra Competitive Assholes 

For some coworkers, everything is a winner-take-all competition and it can create a cutthroat work culture that makes it impossible to have fun at work.

They can sabotage by withholding information or taking credit for your work. Or they might shut you down in front of others to make you look bad.

The bottom line? They're not team players and they're constantly trying to one-up and win no matter the costs or consequences.

6) Office Gossipers

The office gossip is always on the lookout for information they can use to their advantage.

They ask innocent-sounding questions like “What did you think of Mandy’s presentation?” in a bid to get you to slip up and give them info they can use later on.

And you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll share anything you reveal about others.

It’s always best to avoid the gossip trap and just focus on being your best.

How To Deal With Pain In The Ass Coworkers

When a PITA coworker makes life unbearable at work, it can leave you feeling like quitting your job rather than taking their shit every day.

But you don't need to resort to this.

No matter what type of pain-in-the-ass coworker you're dealing with, there are strategies that can help make the situation less stressful.

Here's how to do it. 

1) Calm Down & Check Yourself First 

Is it a genuine problem or are you overreacting?

Sometimes, it can simply be a personality clash. You can’t get along with everyone in the world. And not everyone in the world can get along with you.

Take a step back and think about the real intentions behind the actions. In a lot of situations, you jump to conclusions in the heat of the moment. However, when you’ve calmed down, you might have another perspective.

One way to check if you're overreacting is to get other people’s perspectives when they work with this person. If they have similar problems with them, your experiences aren't isolated and you're probably not to blame.

But if other people don't have any issues, you may be blowing things out of proportion or contributing to the situation in some way.

2) Try To Form A Real Connection

Clashes with difficult coworkers can be more likely when you don't have any rapport.

A good rapport won't just happen. It needs to be grown and nurtured. If you got off to a bad start with a coworker, you probably feel like it's too late to turn it around.

But you can still try to make a real connection unless the situation is too far gone to salvage.

Reaching out to a pain-in-the-ass coworker can help reduce some of the tension between you.

Grab lunch together and get to know them better as a person. You might find you have common ground that can help diffuse future problems. Unless they're just a total asshole, of course.

3) See If Others Can Back You Up

If other coworkers are having the same problem with the PITA coworker, talk to them about your experiences with them.

You need to know if you're right to feel pissed off and what you can do to turn things around. Sharing your thoughts and emotions with other people can tell you if they dread working with this person too.

Plus, they might have advice on how to deal with them and keep your sanity when you’re about to lose your shit with them.

You can potentially approach HR together as a group if a difficult coworker is affecting performance and productivity across the team.

One thing to think about here is to check in with your boss before getting HR involved. Some bosses prefer to handle it themselves before escalating to HR.

4) Work It Out One-To-One 

If you’re the only one having problems with a difficult coworker, meet with them directly to talk about it before you even think about going to management.

Just don't do it when you're feeling angry.

It’s so tempting to fire back when a coworker fucking pisses you off but don’t do it. You need a clear head or you risk making things worse and escalating the situation from a small skirmish to a full-on war.

Schedule a discussion for when you’re feeling calmer (even happy) and it’ll result in a much better outcome.

You probably feel like asshole coworkers are going out of their way to make your life a misery but they may genuinely have no idea how their attitude or behavior is affecting you.

Filling them in on how they're impacting you and others in the organization can open their eyes and sometimes, it's enough to bring change.

Get their side of the story too. There might be things that are fueling their behavior that you just don’t know about. It could be that they’re going through a bad divorce, financial problems, health issues etc.

This 5 minute video below outlines a good example that you've probably been through or are going through now.

VIDEO: How To Deal With A Nasty Coworker
YOUTUBE: Live More Now
LENGTH: 5:13
Summary points:
  • Be in a calm and cool state when meeting the coworker
  • Change your perspective to gain more understanding
  • Learn to adapt and accept to the let it go

5) Get Management Involved 

If you've tried to appeal to their better nature and nothing is changing, it's time to bring in the big guns.

Ask your superiors for advice on how to deal with them. You can show you've already tried to resolve the situation and you're not just running to them with minor childish problems.

It’s about being an adult at work, not like an immature quibbling kid.

The key thing here is to make it obvious that you’ve done your part to attempt to fix the problem and that your coworker's behavior needs to be nipped in the bud to prevent further ongoing issues for you and your coworkers.

You'll get further if you go into the meeting with solutions rather than just pointing fingers and expecting someone else to fix it.

6) Get HR Involved 

If your boss isn't stepping up to help, arrange a meeting with HR. They can offer extra help and support on how to deal with a difficult coworker.

Document your concerns and show that you’ve tried to sort things out yourself beforehand so you don't look like you’re just complaining about someone’s lack of cubicle etiquette or looking petty and vindictive.

You don't need to name names to start with. You can frame it as a request for general advice and only get specific when you need to.

However, if you’re at the end of the rope, you just may have to be more direct about it and call them out.

7) Be Prepared To Adapt

Clashing with your coworkers can sometimes be because your work styles are too different. Adapting your style to minimize problems can help iron out these types of problems.

Being flexible is the key here.

If you need resources or collaboration from a difficult coworker to meet deadlines, get your requests in as early as possible. That way, they can’t claim you hit them with the request too late for them to cooperate.

Use key cc tactics on emails when it makes sense. It automatically reduces the impact that a saboteur or uncooperative coworker could have over you since they'll find it harder to undermine you behind your back.

When it all gets too much, give yourself a timeout to cool down when they piss you off.

When you’re not responding in the heat of the moment, you won't run the risk of tanking your reputation and personal brand because you’re cool and calm. 

8) Focus On Positivity

Pain in the ass coworkers might be destroying your work happiness but there are still some things that you like about your job.

Whether that's your work BFF or the office donuts, hang onto the positive things. Take inventory of what’s good at work - no matter how small or insignificant it is. They'll get you through when you have to deal with a shitty coworker.

Having gratitude is the secret trick to triggering happiness at work.

Finding meaning in your work helps too.

When you feel like coworkers are out to get you, it's hard to get fired up about what you do. Finding your purpose is the key to making your job more fulfilling and awesomer and bringing a positive attitude to the party.

Another trick is to use visualization to help you feel more positive. This can begin from the moment you wake up.

Start the day with a positive run-through of how you want the day to go. Imagine yourself having a great day and feeling happy and productive. And crucially, not being derailed by shitty coworkers.

You can even do simple “I am” affirmations during your commute.

The point of all of this is to train your mind to keep a positive attitude at work.

PITA Coworkers Don’t Have Anything On You

Dealing with difficult coworkers can feel impossible but there's a lot you can do to resolve the situation.

First, you need to be sure that there really is a problem that needs fixing.

If you’re not sure even after taking a big step back from the situation, ask other coworkers how they get on with the person. If they confirm you’re not overreacting, you’ve got grounds to take action.

Working it out in private can help but if this isn't effective, don't be afraid to escalate things, especially if you know a pain-in-the-ass coworker is causing bigger problems for the company's success.

You might need to adjust how you work to stop difficult coworkers from affecting your success but it’s totally worth it.

You’re not conceding ground here. You’re doing what you need to do to make work a happier place to be.

And when you’re able to do this effectively, Dumbass Dave, Asshole Adam and Shit-For-Brains Sharon won’t get you riled up anymore. They’ll just be small annoyances that you’ll brush off as you’re kicking ass at work.

Feel Better,

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