How to Work with People

Preye Raymond
7 min readNov 23, 2021


You can’t always work alone. The idea may seem grandiose to your ego and your abilities. But in reality, those who take pride in working alone always end up with half-witted success, or none at all.

People often find it difficult working with others because of these particular reasons;

  • They’ve had their hearts and trust betrayed on several occasions in the past, thereby developing deep emotional issues when it comes to dishing out trust and respect.
  • They are often scared to relate with people, even though they’ve not directly witnessed any scandal or betrayal from them. But the rumors or stories they’ve heard about working with them have further triggered their defense mechanism. For instance, hearing a rumor that working with Mr. A is scandalous and shady.
  • They generally don’t like bothering others to do what they feel they can handle on their own. They tend to take on the attitude that everyone should just mind their business.
  • They simply love the idea of being in charge of everything and getting things done exactly the way they want it done, without any form of resistance or third-party opinion. They feel they are smarter and stronger in productivity and delivery than others.

These are the four common obstacles that prevent us from enjoying the benefits of people’s ideas and the opportunities they tend to offer.

Accordingly, let’s go further to detect the reasons why these four obstacles exist in dissuading us from working with others, and how to resolve them;

I) For those who suffered betrayal in the past;

it is normal to be skeptical about working with people, especially when we’ve had series of terrible experiences in the past. But the sad truth is, sometimes humans like to take decisions out of impulse, and they form opinions and beliefs about someone virtually out of first impression.

This has coaxed so many people into establishing the right business deals with the wrong persons. They don’t take enough time to assess who they are about to work with. And because first impression can be deceptive and easily manipulated, they fall victim to nefarious and devious partners or colleagues.

Some individuals know that people generally base their judgment on first impressions and appearances, even without seeing any concrete evidence. And the smart and extremely devious ones ensure they put up a perfect front that would make anyone fall easily for their charming face and their sweet nothings.

We see this a lot in the workplace, bosses and management teams hire employees based on mediocrity and not for the sake of merit. Men are even worse, they choose to work with women based on their sexual infatuation and lustful desires, ignoring the state of rationale, track records, and work capacity of the lady they are about to partner with or hire.

Why won’t betrayal and heartbreak persist in your work environment or business relationships? When you are carried away with beautiful appearances, sweet talks, and seductive languages that clouds your rationality.

Avoid acting like a kid in a candy store, saying yes to every charming face or seductive proposals. Learn to assess people beyond how they appear or what they say. You don’t have to make your assessment obvious, but a simple trick is to understand their non-verbal cues and body language. People reveal their true nature non-verbally than verbally.

Investigate about their track records and let them show some substantial evidence or proof of previous accomplishments.

II) For those who are scared of working with others because of rumors and tales

You can never know if Mr. A is actually who they say he is, without actually working with Mr. A and finding out the truth yourself.

People say all sorts of things about others just out of spite or hatred for one’s character or reputation. People’s opinions can either build or destroy you. And sometimes the latter is always the case.

We see this behavior a lot in politics. Politicians use the media as a powerful tool to conduct all sorts of propaganda and campaigns to give you countless reasons why you should vote for party A rather than voting for party B.

The exact premise is established here. People will give you multiple reasons why working with someone or a group of persons would be detrimental.

To sell their message further they use their personal experiences, trying to steer up your fears and anxiety. They would tell you the half-truths, the ones that make them appear as the victim while the other, a terror and a fraud.

After they’ve sunk so much fear and anxiety in your mind, you start projecting their stories to anyone who looks similar to, or slightly behaves like the character they’ve warned you against, making it complicated for you to trust or work with others.

You would start imprinting such fears and burdens on your mind when you meet new people, if they make any slight error, you write them off completely and distant yourself from them immediately.

True, it is good to assess people’s behavior and background. Peeking beyond their charming persona, but such assessment should be done rationally and with the knowledge that people are bound to fail, and no one can be 100%.

Perhaps Mr. A made a mistake that he didn’t know would eventually turn out to be a disaster, and up till the point of his mistake, he had a good track record, he had accomplished so much and brought so much success to those he worked with before the blunder was made and exaggerated by someone envious of his career to tarnish his image before his employers. It is your job to get to the truth that nobody would tell you, rather than taking sides and jumping to conclusions out of fear and anxiety.

III) For those who generally love to mind their business and handle things themselves;

I am a major proponent of the ‘mind your business’ school of thought, but it should be done wisely. You can’t continue to live and work in isolation simply because you are minding your business. You stand the risk of burning out. If not now, soon.

Minding your business simply means not meddling in other people’s affairs, and being able to take certain decisions and actions without always relying on public interferences or opinions. However, in most cases, you need to get the right support and expertise to bring you out of some delicate situations and challenges.

If you don’t learn to ask for help when you need it, simply because everyone should mind their business, you may become stuck in a creative rut, with repeated failures and mediocre results. It can also become detrimental to your health.

IV) For those who love the idea of being in charge and knowing more than everyone;

There are two popular Nigerian slang we call people who fall under this category we either call them ITK, which means ‘I too Know’ , or ‘over sabi’.

People who claim to know too much, and enjoy being in charge of everything are not only foolish in their own pride and insecurity, but they are all ‘show no substance’.

They find it difficult to work with others because of their constant need for attention and their inability to become open-minded to fresh ideas and beneficial changes.

They hire employees and work with others, primarily for vain, petty, and narcissistic reasons. Not for the sake of corporation or teamwork, but to compete and to prove ‘who is better than who.’

This is the worst category you can ever find yourself when dealing with others. It may satisfy your desires and cravings for control, empowering you with a modicum of success. But in the long haul, it will eventually start crumbling, because such form of authority or control was built on a weak and temporal foundation.

When people start to notice that you are the type that craves control, like undermining their authority and claiming to know it all, when challenges and problems occur, they would be quick to push you at the forefront of the battleline without any support. After all- you know more than them, and you are in charge.

Most people are careless and ruthless with authority and with managing people because they have no clue of what quality leadership means. And because they lack this significant skill, they utilize their ego and pride to lead.

Even when surrounded by the best employees or teammates, they always feel they are alone simply because they are stuck in their own heads, shutting their minds to other fresh opinions and perspectives that could strengthen common goals and objectives.

These are the issues why people often find it difficult to work with others, or why they take pride in the mentality of working alone.

But for whatever reason, working alone is toxic and should not be encouraged. I am quite aware that they are pros to working alone, but the cons always outweigh the pros.

Sometimes it is good for everyone to challenge themselves and face their problems by squarely. But this is not applicable in all cases or situations. You can’t always do things yourself.

Read more about the dangers of the ‘work alone’ mindset here

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Preye Raymond

Content Creator/Personal development coach/Soloprenuer