Remember when Jerry’s arch nemesis Newman showed up on “Seinfeld?” The utter contempt these two men had for each other was palpable…and hilarious.  But when you encounter a nemesis in real life, it might not be so funny.

It’s a fact of life – you’re not going to like everyone. Some people you flat-out dislike. And  like a moment out of a bad movie, sometimes you end up facing your old nemesis down the line. Even at work.

Let bygones be bygones.

But hey, we know that’s easier said than done. It can be hard to encounter people you truly dislike again. Remember, though, you’re a professional, and you can handle it. Here are three tips to help you get through it, and thrive:

  1. Keep it to yourself. Maybe your new coworker humiliated you at the senior prom, in front of hundreds of other attendees. It stunk. And you’ve harbored resentment for the last 10 years. But, keep it to yourself. If you share your ill will with your co-workers, it will get back. And guess who’ll end up looking like the poor sport? Gossip and bitterness do not look good on you – so keep them to yourself.
  2. Stay focused. Don’t let your long-lost hard feelings distract you from what’s most important – doing your job. At the end of the day, that’s what really matters, so stay focused, do your job, and you’ll end up just fine.
  3. Watch your back. In all likelihood, what’s in the past is also in the past for your former nemesis. But, it never hurts to keep your eyes and ears open. If, for some reason, your former nemesis is gunning for you, it’s best to be prepared. Nip any rumors started and avoid looking paranoid, but pay attention to what’s going on in the office.

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