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Submerge your disdain for co-workers

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We all have to work with people we don’t like. While some of us grin and bear it, others implode, seethe or turn caustic.

The healthiest response is also the simplest: Play nice.

“Forget” to judge. If you’re too busy to think about how much you dislike someone, then you won’t have time for it. Dive into your work and your social life so thoroughly that you can’t afford to indulge in personal judgments.

Conjure positive associations. If you must frequently interact with someone you loathe, here’s a mental exercise that may make it easier for you:

1. Think of one of your favorite colleagues, someone you genuinely admire and respect.

2. The next time you interact with the jerk, visualize talking with your favorite colleague instead. “See” the face of your friend and you’ll feel more relaxed and receptive.

Vent safely. Find a trusted friend or family member to serve as a sounding board. That will allow you to express your dislike for a coworker in a supportive setting far removed from the workplace.

Warning: Don’t try to bottle up your disdain. While that may work temporarily, your brewing contempt can well up and eventually explode.

Follow the script. Pretend you’re playing the role of an unfailingly nice colleague. No matter what happens, keep cool and stay genial. Let irritation bounce off you.

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