Right now, I am in a situation where I need to work with someone I find very hard to get along with. One issue among many is that I value timeliness and punctuality; my coworker is an incorrigible procrastinator. As a result of delays on our team efforts, I have recently been finding myself staying very late at work. Obviously, I am not enjoying the situation.
I could respond to this by getting angry, throwing a fit, and yelling. But if I did this, I would not accomplish any of my goals. If I want to complete my work effectively, I need to recognize that I cannot do it all on my own; I need to have someone else’s help; and my coworker has many strengths that I could use to emulate. I’m sure that my traits of anxiety and time-awareness can seem confining and frustrating to the person I’m working with. We both need to give the other the benefit of the doubt, and accept that the help we need comes at a cost. And hopefully, we’ll both be better for it.
Seeing the positive alongside the negative doesn’t always feel rewarding, but holding both in tension seems to be the most realistic–and effective–model.