I guess its the most natural of all feelings, some people we like, others we dont. But at work, wanting to be professional and to the advantage of the business, I believe collaboration is best when you like each other. So when you feel you don't like somebody but you want to work well together, how can you (perhaps maybe even force yourself to) like this person?

Are there any strategies or skills I can learn to better deal with this?

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    Sorry, but VTC as there's no set answer to this - it's very opinion based. You'll likely have to work with people you don't like effectively at many times in your career, it's a necessary personal skill to develop IMHO. – berry120 May 17 '19 at 8:41
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    @berry120 I disagree. I don't have an answer either but it's not opinion based. It can't be, because it's a necessary personal skill as you said, and therefore there must be strategies for developing it. – rath May 17 '19 at 8:43
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    @rath The question isn't "how can I develop strategies for working with someone I don't like", it's very specifically "how can you (force yourself to) like somebody who you don't like". The first of those two is a necessary skill to develop, the second is not (and I don't believe it's wise to force yourself to like someone even if you could, but I digress.) – berry120 May 17 '19 at 8:50
  • @berry120 Fair enough. I made an edit, hopefully this is better. – rath May 17 '19 at 9:10
  • @TMOTTM - are you asking about people that you don't know very well or people that you have already got to know and don't like? The current question is quite broad and you will get better answers if you are more specific. – P. Hopkinson May 17 '19 at 9:20

One point I'd recommend: Stop focusing on the "person" and start focusing on the "job" or "post" or "role".

This means, you do not need to like someone as a person, you just need to make sure you can communicate and work with them - basically to be in sync with the work they do.

If you do not like someone - no one is forcing you. When you need to work with them, ask yourself

"Why do I need to meet / talk to / work with them?"

The answer is your objective - focus on getting that achieved. Do not force yourself in trying to "like" (or dislike) someone - it's not needed and not worth of. You need to communicate to them in a professional environment and in a professional capacity - that's about it.


Talk to them. Work with them.

The more time you spend with someone the more you will share in common. Over time you will be exposed to some of their more positive (and negative) aspects which will usually change your opinion of them for the better.

If, after a certain amount of time, you find that you really don't like the person then ask yourself why. Sometimes it will be for silly reasons, in which case you are the problem and you should work on solving it (hard to comment without knowing specifics). More often, though, it will be because you don't trust the person. In this latter case I would suggest that it is dangerous to "force yourself to like the person" because there is a reason that you don't trust them and ignoring it could make you more vulnerable.


I think you are getting something very wrong here.

You don't have to like the person, you have to be able to tolerate the person and collaborate with the person.

I believe collaboration is best when you like each other.

Yes and no...Collaboration is best when you have a common goal, if your friend worked with you, your common goal would be to complete project X in time. You may be motivated to help because you like your friend and you want him to succeed. You don't have to have the same interests, but you do need to have the same goal.

If the person you dislike and you have to work in a project together, if they are unwilling to help or simply don't want to work on the project, it doesn't matter if they are your Nemesis or your lover, you're not getting that project done.

I have worked with someone who I despised before, I can't put into words how much his personality was just...intolerable for me. I trained this person many times and worked night shifts and weekend shifts on my own him, we still performed above expectations.

Sometimes you go to work and make friends, you love the work environment, the job, the salary.

Sometimes one of this fails, but the others are true. If too many of them fail, you need a new job. You can work somewhere, where you love your work, the work environment is great, the salary is great but you have no friends, just colleagues. That is completely fine as well!

Don't fret about it, just be professional and make sure you treat them the same way you treat others.

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