Most of us do not have the option of choosing who we work with, and the one thing many people seem to complain about in their jobs, is their co-workers. I’ll go over a few different things you can do to get along better with the people you work with, which will in turn make you more productive and help you to generally be happier at work.

There are many reasons why people might not get along with their co-workers. The first thing you should try and do if you feel yourself becoming annoyed or angry at work is to try and increase your tolerance. Everyone is different, and has different tastes and characteristics, so the more welcoming we can be to these differences, the easier and smoother the workday will become. Many times, tolerance can be as simple as walking away from a particular situation that you may find yourself in, or starting a different project that takes you away from what’s bothering you. Remember, that just because someone is different than you, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily right or wrong.

Another situation that can be very frustrating is cliques. This seems to be a very prominent source of social interaction that can be found everywhere from elementary school, to the workplace and even in family groups. Cliques are networks that focus on a process of inclusion and exclusion, and while they are natural part of human interaction, they don’t necessarily belong in the workplace. Cliques should be avoided if possible at work as they often breed feelings of resentment and jealousy, and can cause unnecessary conflicts among co-workers.

Keeping your personal life separate and apart from your work environment will also help a lot. Unfortunately, office gossip is very common just about everywhere, and confiding something with someone at work can often turn into everyone in the building hearing something about you, that you may want to keep private. It’s best to keep personal matters out of the workplace, and if you’d like to talk to someone about something, try and do it after work with friends and family. Of course it is certainly ok to have co-workers who are also friends or acquaintances, but it is best to deal with your personal relationships after work. This can also help you to avoid the cliques I mentioned earlier.

Even though you may try hard to avoid it, it is inevitable that at some point you may be involved in office gossip. The best thing to do in this situation is to just avoid it. However, if it is persistent, and causes you to feel uncomfortable at work, bring it up to a manager and they should be able to put an end to it. This is important to remember for many situations. It is always best to first ask yourself what you can do to make the situation better, but if you are having constant problems, are experiencing any form of discrimination or harassment, or are the victim of any crimes, or feel that you are in an uncomfortable work environment, you should immediately speak with a manager and have them help you resolve the problem.

Theft in the workplace also seems to be becoming more and more prevalent. It is never ok to steal from people, no matter if it is money, personal belongings or company office supplies. If you are the victim of theft in the workplace, or witness it happening, tell a manager right away. It is their job to deal with that, and you don’t want to put yourself in a potentially dangerous position.

Remember that it is not only important to feel comfortable in the workplace but it is also your right. It is very important to remember that it starts with yourself, and that you have the most control over your overall comfort level at work. We choose our jobs, but we don’t usually choose our co-workers, so it will work out best for everyone if we all get along, and the best way to start that is by looking inward instead of outward.