How to Deal with Someone at Work who Hates You
What if someone at work hates you? Has anyone had this experience? I hear some laugh, nervous laughter. If someone at work doesn't like you, ignoring the situation does not make it go away, and life is too short to go through a day at work wondering, "Does this person hate me," or living in fear of this person, or just feeling on your heels because this person has made you feel uncomfortable. Life is too short to go through it like that so the answer cannot be and should not be just ignore them, and they'll go away. Because by the way, if you're losing sleep over it, or you're thinking about it, that's too much, okay? So what I wanna prescribe if someone at work hates you, here's what you need to do. And I did this picture because the truth is, it takes a little bit of work. It's not a slide where you just get to go down, and this is fun. You gotta do some work to solve this problem, okay? So the four things you need to do, you've gotta be honest. You've gotta talk to people, you gotta...
talk to HR, and I know you didn't wanna read this. I know you're all shaking your head. You have to talk to your hater, there's no way around it. It's not going away if you don't talk about it, but there's a few steps before that. And the first step is figure out why they hate you. Okay, now this takes an honest assessment of the situation. It's not always that the person hates you for no reason. You need to reflect on things and ask yourself honestly, "Is there anything that I could've done "to make this person hate me?" Is there anything, any situation that they could've construed where I might've taken a shortcut, or I might've done something that turned them off? And the success of this project is dependent on your own ability to actually reflect on that and admit it because the best solution is if you know what you did, this is easy to fix. Now, if you do an entire self evaluation, go, "I have no idea, I think this person just woke up one day, "and they don't like me." Okay, I'll stick with you, maybe, but if that's your excuse for every single person, there's something wrong. But sometimes, that's the case, so what do you do? You actually do go around, maybe you have someone that you trust at work. You usually have someone that's like your confidant, or someone that you rely on, and you go to them. And you say, "Hey, I wanted "to ask you something really quietly. "I'm thinking about my relationship with Brian, "and I honestly can't figure out why he doesn't like me. "Do you have any ideas?" And just solicit that as a question and find out what comes back to you. Maybe the person will be like, "He doesn't like you "'cause three weeks ago, you spilt water on his shoes, "and you didn't even notice, you just walked away." You're like, "What, I didn't know I, "what are you talking about?" "Yeah, that's why he doesn't like you." Or, "You know what, you always cut him off "when he's talking, I don't know "if you realize you're doing it or not, "but he really resents that 'cause he tries really hard." Listen to what other people tell you, and if one person goes, "I have no idea," then maybe check in with one or two more. Now, I'm not asking you to go around to every single person on your team, and be like, "Hey, everyone, why does Brian hate me?" You know, that's not gonna work 'cause then you're grandstanding, right? You gotta quietly go to the one or two people, and by the way, if they all come back, and everyone's like, "I have no idea," usually what's happening, even when you're doing that, you're claiming the moral high ground. Because what you're doing is you're going to people at work, and you're going, "Hey, I'm trying to solve something. "I don't wanna be in a relationship with Brian "where he doesn't like me, I'm trying to figure it out." And people are gonna look at that, and they're gonna admire that. 'Cause then, you're a probably solver. Then, you're trying to get to the bottom of something. So that's what you need to do, talk to people, find out what's going on. Then, the next thing you need to do, go talk to HR and check in with them. They're your backstop, so if you really can't figure it out, you can go to HR and be like, "Hey, I don't know how to bring this up. "I'm looking for advice." And again, everyone responds well to flattery. So to go into HR, and be like, "Hey, I don't know how to solve this. "Can you give me advice," is a way to say, "I'm humbling myself before you. "I'm looking forward to your advice." That works on everybody at every level at all times so put that one in your pocket, okay? But go to HR and say, "Hey, I've got these issues with Brian. "I don't know what to do. "Have you seen anyone else have these issues, "or what should we do?" Listen to what they say. Now, what you're doing in effect, in addition to claiming moral high ground, you're also putting out the word that it seems like Brian doesn't like Justin. And you're not being petty about it. You're just asking, you asking questions. You're asking for advice, and what might happen is maybe only you realize that Brian is being rude to you. Maybe no one else has noticed 'cause everyone else has their own problems, but by having a few people acknowledge that you've talked to them and said, "Hey, I'm trying to solve this with Brian. "I feel like he always cuts me off," you've brought a few people onto your team. And now, when you're in a meeting and Brian cuts you off, now I've got two people who are like, "Oh, wait a minute, "I see it now, I hadn't noticed that before," and maybe those two people will come to your rescue. And maybe HR will give you a good piece of advice, and they'll be like, "You know what, Brian's just like that. "Every new person that comes on the team, "he takes three weeks, and he's really mean to them. "And then, he changes," and you're like, "Okay, that's weird, but okay." And you'll figure that out, but you listen to HR, get that advice, and get them on your team, right? You want HR to be aware of what you're going through. The closer you are to HR, the better. And then, the last piece is you've got to go talk to the hater. Let's say you haven't figured out what the problem or you have. In either case, you gotta go to the hater, and you gotta go, "Hey, do you have two minutes?" Don't ask for 30, don't ask for 10 'cause then they have a reason not to say it, and they also have a reason to be like, "What do you wanna talk about?" Go up to the hater and be like, "Hey, do you have two minutes?" They'll be like, "Yeah, sure," everyone has two minutes. You'll be like, "Can we just talk "in the office really quick, I wanted to ask you something." And you sit down together, and the thing you need to do is you need to look at the hater, and you need to go, "Hey, I just wanted to connect with you "'cause it seems like we're at crossed wires. "And I wanted to resolve the situation." And so, what you're doing is you're not attacking them. The first thing to do is acknowledge it. The second thing to do is take responsibility. If you know what it is, you can say, "Hey, listen, you know what, I actually realized "I think I spilt the water on you, "and I just was running down the hall. "I didn't even realize it. "Someone just told me, and I wanted to apologize." Or, "Hey, you know what, I'm not sure what I've done "to get us off on the wrong foot, "but I'm hoping we can talk about it "'cause I really wanna have a good relationship with you." What you're doing is you're humbling yourself first. You're demonstrating to say, "I don't even know what I've done wrong, "but I'm willing to accept responsibility for it "if you'll just tell me. "I'm that committed to wanting this to work out." Now, at that point, you've done everything you need to do 'cause there's no way that your hater sits there and goes, "No, I'm just gonna hate you." There's no way, right? The bully, the minute you walk up to the bully, the bully falls down and just goes, "Oh no, it's not a big deal. "You know what, oh no, sorry. "You know, I don't know what it was, "but no, we're good, we're good." And even if they don't mean it, or even if they don't wanna make up with you, you've now brought it to their attention, and they're not allowed to keep being mean to you 'cause they've just promised you, "No, no, no, we're good." So the next time they're in the meeting, they might've said something to you, but instead, you've diffused the situation. Does that make sense? So the point is be honest, be humble, and go talk to the person, okay? I promise you, it's gonna feel scary in the moment. You're gonna lose sleep the night before, but the truth is, it's awesome to get that out of your mind, wake up the next day, live the rest of your life not worrying about this person. That is a fantastic feeling. So don't go another day with letting one person ruin your mind or your day or your workspace. Go get after it, and things will work out, no problem.