1. Just to let you know that we follow you in Denmark. We like your posts, interviews and articles – they are a great source of inspiration. Interesting to think about how much culture we find in this. Are Americans not only more passionate about things, but also more aggressive and come across more powerfully.

    Danes also don´t like people at work. But maybe we show it differently. We hate conflicts. “Hygge” is important. This means you don´t ruin a social occasion by being loud, aggressive or noisy. My wife – a gynaecologist – is sometimes spotaneously sceptic when she hears an American voice – not because of what the person says, but because of how she says it. So there is a lot a body language to work on when thinking about people you don´t like. Like thinking carefully about your own body language.

    And now a great question form the other side of the Atlantic: does anybody read these comments?:)

    1. Paula says:

      Hi Povl– Yes, people read these. I appreciate greatly your perspective; you see us Americans in ways we have difficulty seeing ourselves. In some ways, your reply is a variation on what Peter’s saying. Thanks for writing.

  2. Roopa Anil Kumar says:

    Hi Peter,
    Thought provoking article. It doesn’t matter whether I agree or disagree but made me think.
    We like people who are like us. We like someone because we possess similar traits, we dislike someone because we possess different traits. Usually we judge people based on our traits, its important for us to understand that things are not just black and white, it can also be grey. Accepting grey is like giving time to understand the person better. People’s behavior can be result of certain situation or circumstances, temporary, can change with time. We need to focus on their strengths, if the person continues to give you stress affecting your work and life…its time to ignore and move on.

  3. Anil BG says:

    Hi Peter, thanks for such a wonderful article it surely helps in paradigm shift about working with people whom we don’t like but we have to …

  4. Geneva says:

    Peter, your reasoning for not liking another person can play a contributing role to conflict. However, this Freudian analysis of conflict is one of many possible reasons that we may not like our co-workers. Another reason is when we have to work with a person who chronically does not do their fair share. Their behavior causes unrest with the entire team, which may or may not have anything to do with the personalities of individual members.

    What can we do when a person(s) on the team sits and watches everyone else work, except for decide a good time to confront them on the issue or go to their boss with other team members, if possible, and if the boss is willing to participate in motivating the “slider” to do their fair share. Otherwise, the “slider” should recieve a warning at the very least, particularly if their behavior causes other team members to have to pull the “slider’s” weight too.

    Work conflict can be particularly challenging because often the parties in conflict are not on the same level.

    Can you say more about concillliatory ways to handle various situations when we are in the midst of people who exhibit behaviors we don’t like, especiallly when the whole team is effected?

  5. Silvia says:

    Hi Peter. I read your article and watched your video recently. In my case the situation is the opposite: What to do if a coworker or, even worse, your BOSS do not like you?? Trying to be specially nice with them does not seem to work. THANKS! I LOVE your site and your natural, uncomplicated way of communicating.

  6. Daniel says:


    Loved 18 minutes and this interview excerpt was great as well. I know what you are saying is true. The people who drive me absolutely crazy are my parents (whom I live with currently). Their habits and general demeanor of narcissism used to play on my nerves daily. After a few months of living with them I realized that the things that I found most unpleasant were, to some extent, present in my own behavior. It almost never fails that every time they display a behavior that offends me, I can see within myself some extension of the same founding.

    No, they haven’t changed, nor is that likely, but my attitude towards our differences has. Every time I feel the urge to say something to them I stop and look inside myself and almost always find that some part of me is, or over time, could become similar. then I work on addressing the issue within myself.



    PS: This requires massive control over one’s ego which often requires me to take sporadic 10 minutes walks outside.

  7. John says:

    When co workers are allowed to be late every day, when co workers are allowed to slack off and ignore their portion of projects that ultimately then gets forced onto those that completed their allotted portion on time, when co workers have a “sick kid” every Monday and Friday, when management does not discipline the slacking co workers, this is (according to your article) behaviors that I have and need to change? Harvard published or not, you are obviously out of touch with a true working environment.

  8. Dan says:

    I think your article only rationalized why you should like someone who you really, deep down, do not like.

  9. John says:

    The most important question is what does A do when no matter how much he or she performs all tips and plays by the rule well and is clearly the best he or she can be and very sadly B doesn’t care about his or her misbehavior and B doesn’t care about the person (A) affected and this other party being B feels the need to dominate and hurt A no matter and at worst has ongoing prejudices and dislikes against A that are irrational and wrong. I am even wondering what to do when B is at a much higher level than A in the system or organization. Wow..interpersonal issues are the toughest in life.

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