Choose to Be Kind to Someone Who Annoys You

When someone you work with annoys you all the time, chances are you assume the worst about them — and that mindset shows up in your behavior. But it’s important to be civil, and even compassionate, to colleagues, both because so much work is collaborative and because that coworker probably isn’t annoying you on purpose. Try to short-circuit your reactions toward them by making yourself do or say something nice.

For example, you could compliment them on an idea they raised in a meeting, or offer to help out with a project. Or say your colleague arrives late — yet again — to the weekly team standup. Don’t complain or roll your eyes, and don’t be passive-aggressive with a comment like, “Nice of you to join us.” (That may be your instinct, but fight it.) Instead, say something like, “Welcome. Grab a cup of coffee and we’ll get you up to speed.” This type of generosity of spirit is good for you and your colleague.

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