7 things you should never say to your office nemesis

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It’s usually best not to escalate the situation with your office nemesis.
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Игорь Дуненков/Youtube

To paraphrase John Watson in BBC’s “Sherlock,” in real life, people don’t have archenemies.

You probably don’t have a scarred, white cat-stroking supervillain to contend with in your life, but it’s possible that you do have a workplace nemesis, that person in the office that you just can’t stand to be around.

Most of the time, you can get by just by ignoring this person (and maybe rolling your eyes at them behind their back).

Above all else, it’s important not to let your personal disdain get in the way of your ability to work effectively.

Here are a few things you should never say to your office foe, lest you escalate the already tense situation:


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‘S—,’ ‘b—-,’ ‘f—, ‘ etc.

You may have strong feelings of anger or annoyance toward your coworker, but directing hostile, profane language at them could get you in trouble with HR.


‘Can you help me out with this?’

If circumstances force you to work with this person, so be it. However, don’t actively seek out their assistance on projects when you don’t have to, just to feel like the bigger person. That could seriously backfire.


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deshania/Youtube

‘Let’s just have it out right now’

I’m not saying you should opt for the passive aggressive route. Sometimes, a calm, measured confrontation is necessary when dealing with difficult people at work (for example, if your nemesis stole credit for your idea, you should call them out).

Of course, calm and measured are the operative words here. Loud, fiery arguments should be left to reality TV shows.


‘The boss says I’m her favorite’

This one’s just juvenile.


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Boris Lechaftois/flickr

You interrupt them

Interrupting people is just rude in general. Drowning out your office enemy could further poison things between you. Plus, it makes you look like the disrespectful one.


‘Calm down’

Nothing escalates a situation quite like these two innocuous words.


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Paramount Movies/YouTube

Backhanded compliments

Don’t let this feud make you into a petty, lesser person. Even if your nemesis drives you crazy, it’s usually better to just take the high road.