How To Deal With Dominant Coworker in 19 Ways

Written By Aleena

Every once in a while, that one person makes life at work harder than usual. Here’s how to deal with a dominant coworker effectively.

The dominant coworker is that person who makes every workday unpleasant by their nature.

19 Ways On How To Deal With Dominant Coworker

Dominant coworker usually follows a predictable pattern of behavior. It is possible to deal with this person more effectively if you know what to expect.

Here are 19 ways to deal with a dominant coworker:

1. Don’t Let Them Dominate The Conversation:

You need to understand that dominant coworker loves dominating work-related conversations. They want everything their way and doesn’t listen to anyone else.

dominating coworker

If they start a topic, don’t jump in right away. Wait for somebody else to speak up first, even if it means waiting a long time.

That way, you will dilute the dominance of the conversation and make it more inclusive.

2. Prepare To Challenge:

This person will always like to disagree with you. They will challenge what you say at every opportunity they get.

It is normal to challenge someone, but a dominant coworker does it. However, it can be irritating to other employees who feel intimidated by this behavior.

It would help if you reacted when challenged, but not in an aggressive manner. Respond politely and explain your side of things calmly.

If you do that without getting emotional, you’ll have a better chance of getting your point across.

3. Deflect Criticism- To Deal With Dominant Coworker:

It is inevitable to get criticized at work by somebody or the other. But when this criticism comes from a dominant coworker, it can hurt you.

Learn to defend yourself against this kind of criticism without being defensive. One way is to clarify what part of your work was not satisfactory.

In this way, you can explain yourself next time around. If you are uncertain about what led to the criticism, thank them for bringing it up. Meanwhile, promise that it won’t happen again.

4. Be Aware Of Their Work Style And Preferences:

If particular things bother people, they will avoid doing those things. Dominant coworker tends to be more professional and formal than others.

For instance, they never send emails on weekends or after work. If you find your preference interfered with by a dominant coworker, ask them to stop it.

less dominating qualities

If the interference becomes a problem, talk to your boss about how they are troubling others.

5. Don’t Ignore Them:

Your dominant coworker will try hard to get your attention whenever they can. They will continue this until you start paying attention.

It might include talking so that you have to listen to what they are saying.

Likewise, it can be criticizing everything you do right in front of others so that nobody else talks with you anymore.

It is a tricky situation, but you can deal with it. You need to speak up. Tell your coworker that you don’t appreciate their behavior and will not tolerate it.

However, keep in mind that they are doing this because they think you are ignoring him.

It means that talking to them when others are around might relieve some of the tension between you both.

6. Let It Slide- To Deal With Dominant Coworker:

There is no harm in letting something slide if it’s trivial. There might be times when the dominant coworker does something nice for everyone:

– Throwing a birthday party

– Planning an outing

Don’t ruin those moments by complaining about everything else too.

Accept things as they come and talk with your boss later on when the time seems right.

7. Tolerate:

Dominant coworkers will not change anytime soon, and that’s ok. It would help if you tolerated and accepted their presence and behaviors as part of your job.

not equality

Avoid trying to avoid everything they do. It will only make it worse. Be patient and see if things change for the better over time before taking any steps.

8. Never Make It Personal:

Most people tend to bring their personal lives to work. They complain about someone in their family when they cannot deal with a problem on the job; don’t do it!

Nobody likes to gossip, so always separate personal problems from work-related issues. Deal with them if you must talk about anything at all.

9. Don’t Nag About Things You Are Unable To Change:

You will not be able to change certain things no matter how much you try. For instance, they might always eat lunch at their desk while talking on the phone.

Likewise, they speak with people in the office during the coffee break. These things bother everyone, and there’s nothing you can do about them.

Instead of nagging them about these minor issues, ask your colleagues to help you get rid of them.

10. Set Boundaries- To Deal With Dominant Coworker:

There is a difference between demanding respect and giving someone room to grow.

If a dominant coworker is trying to micromanage, your work style speaks to your boss.

It’s the only way to deal with someone who sees you as an opposition instead of a colleague or subordinate.

11. Dealing With A Clueless Boss:

A dominant coworker might be the person your boss prefers working with over others. Some people bypass rules and regulations to get work done faster.

Realize if a dominant coworker is one of those people before complaining about them.

Let it go if they both know what to do but can’t do it without brushing some essential rules. Trying to stop them will only make life difficult for you at work.

12. Stop Stressing About What Everyone Else Is Doing:

You will likely analyze everyone’s behavior around you by this time. Certain people enjoy working with a dominant coworker and do not see it as a problem.

How to deal with dominant coworker

There might be others who are tired of their dominating presence. However, they are too scared to say anything about it.

Don’t let the opinions or actions of others dictate your choices. They are responsible for their own lives, time, and happiness.

13. Accept The Change:

If you cannot avoid them entirely, then accept them fully. Please do so by doing what your coworker does well. Don’t change everything about your coworker. For instance:

If they work well under pressure and finish every task on time, stop complaining.

Start adapting yourself so that all your work gets done before deadlines. Adapting is the only way to survive in the current corporate environment, so stop thinking of it as bad.

14. Make The Change- To Deal With Dominant Coworker:

Don’t give up if the company forces you to work with a dominant coworker. Your boss may think that you might learn something from him.

Sometimes those stuck with stuck with difficult coworkers end up becoming successful. They turn into productive employees.

They learned how to deal with such situations. Whatever happens at work cannot change who you are as a person.

Make the best out of every situation. See what life offers instead of wasting time worrying about useless things.

15. Stay Confident:

A dominant coworker might try to creep into your personal space and not let go, but that’s OK too. You don’t need to be their friend or someone they confide in.

How to deal with dominant coworker

You can be a confident and assertive individual who knows right and wrong.

Your confidence will make them realize how great it is not to see you as a threat anymore. When they stop trying to prove themselves better, things will get easier.

16. Stop Comparing Yourself To Him:

It’s normal for people who work together to compare notes about success and failure. Stop comparing yourself with dominant coworkers even if they seem more successful.

It’s doubtful that both of you will go after the same things because no two human beings are exactly alike!

There might be some aspects of your personality where you are better. However, there will always be a few areas where they shine brighter.

17. Seize Every Opportunity- To Deal With Dominant Coworker:

A dominant coworker might have more responsibilities. Your boss may know that their working style is better suited for such situations.

Don’t let this get you down because what goes around comes around!

If you work harder and smarter than him, no one can stop you from reaching the top. Opportunities will come knocking on your door.

18. Leave Some Things Unsaid:

If a dominant coworker asks you a question, answer it to the best of your ability. Don’t have too much information or make things complicated.

lust for power

You cannot avoid talking to them entirely to keep yourself out of trouble. Keep some topics off-limits and see what happens.

19. Learn How To Say No- To Deal With Dominant Coworker:

Suppose dominant coworker is overstepping their boundaries, set limits. If you do not want to cross the line with your professional relationships, start saying no!

It’s ok to say that you don’t have time or cannot work on something. Some people respect such decisions.

Don’t let your fear of rejection or losing opportunities stop you from standing up for yourself.


A dominant coworker might try to disrupt your work and life. That’s because they don’t have much control over it.

Don’t let them scare you because being scared will only worsen things. Learn how to deal with such situations as soon as possible.

Let your working environment remains a happy place for all those who live in it.

Last Updated on 3 months by Shahzaib Arshad


Leave a Comment