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Seven tips for dealing with a jealous coworker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!

someecards.com - Why can't jealous co-workers just admit that they are just secretly obsessed with admiring you.

Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).

You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?

It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-and-so just had to go and do something incredibly AWESOME and SPECTACULAR. Suddenly, this employee's colleagues seem to spend the work day complaining about the unfairness of it all.

Now throw the Great Recession into the mix, where "good" jobs have grown more scarce and highly-competitive employees are running on stress, overtime fumes, and Funyuns. In this environment, co-worker jealousy can rear its ugly head over the seemingly smallest, and meaningless, of serendipitous workplace events when one employee is perceived to gain any sort of advantage over colleagues. Your co-worker says he or she is happy for you, but...

You really don't deserve it. Cough.

Ouch. Dealing with jealous colleagues is one of the most unpleasant, and unfortunately most common, aspects of workplace life. Navigating a nasty colleague situation can feel like a confusing minefield, particularly for newer hires who tend to fall on the rather unassuming side of the equation. Perhaps you're someone who takes care not to flaunt your workplace wins; you're simply doing your job and doing it very well (good for you!), but now you're faced with a co-worker who, seemingly overnight, doesn't like you anymore and proceeds to make it glaringly obvious at work. This co-worker greets you with all the warmth of an Arctic cold front whenever you breeze through the front door. Even worse, the cold front seems to be spreading to your other co-workers.

Congratulations, you're an insider suddenly on the outs.

It's highly disconcerting -- and more than a little bit awkward -- to be in this position. Only last week, you were considered one of the gang. This week? Well, enjoy your new-found status of being largely avoided, perhaps for the rest of your tenure at the company after that happened. (And you know what "that" is, right?)

Right. First, let's be honest here. Sometimes, co-worker jealousy has little to absolutely nothing to do with the work. You might have an enviable personal life, know instinctively how to dress with panache and flair, drive a great car, have an advanced degree, be young with your entire career ahead of you, be 40 years old but blessed with stellar social graces and communication skills, find that you can eat as much junk food as you want without gaining weight, have a bubbly personality, or simply have great hair.

Psst, who's your stylist?

Of course, your jealous co-worker won't ask where you get your hair done, because inquiring would be the sincerest form of flattery, and you're not about to get that from this work colleague. If anything, the only time your jealous co-worker ever mentions your hair is when you have a hair out of place on a very windy day.

And is that a gray hair? Pity.

But let's not split hairs, because a jealous colleague won't mind making your life harder on the job in various ways. Now the question is, what can you do about it? Here are seven quick tips for dealing with jealous co-workers:

1. Never tell them they're "just jealous." It's true that your co-worker is "just jealous," but saying it out loud at work ultimately undermines your case for being a likable person around the office. It may seem counter-intuitive not to verbalize the most obvious part of the problem, but doing so won't help matters. Practice copious amounts of self-editing.

2. Do some damage control. The jealous colleague will try to set you up to take you down, even if it's "merely" through harsh, under-the-breath commentary or backstabbing comments at the lunch table. If this co-worker tries to imply (wrongly) that you're lazy or half-assed with the work, then do the opposite by bringing your A-game to everything you do. If this colleague spreads the word that you're stuck up, then make a special effort to take an interest in others without going over the top. Smile. Often. Basically, diffuse the perception this co-worker is trying to spread about you as someone who doesn't deserve to be where you are professionally. Here, watch this clip. It's awesome.

3. Find an ally if you can. Chances are good that at least a few of your colleagues aren't buying what the jealous co-worker is selling about you. You may already have a few friends in the form of a superior or an employee in another department who's been there, done that. Experts advise that it's preferable to find an ally higher up the company food chain to quietly show a jealous colleague that you have friends in higher places. If you no longer have any allies on the job, then...have you explored the job market lately? It may be smart to start expanding your professional network.

4. Think about things from a jealous co-worker's perspective. I know, it's his or her problem, right? Ignore the haters. It's important, however, to look in the mirror and envision how a jealous co-worker might perceive you. It doesn't mean that you have to change, but this step can help better frame your response when you must deal with this colleague. This step requires assessing your workplace personality and going over conversations you've had with this co-worker. Have you bragged too much about your personal and/or professional accomplishments, or ever come across as narcissistic? Is there something you might have said, or done, to set this co-worker off? And how might you make amends if you would like to do so?

5. Have a sense of humor. Seeking out the lighter side of this woeful workplace scenario can save your sanity on the job. It doesn't mean joking about it openly in front of a jealous colleague, which could very well backfire on you (see Tip #2). Rather, imagine that you are starring in a workplace sitcom. Mentally insert a laugh track when necessary throughout the work day. Choose to find back-handed compliments and petty actions vaguely humorous (as much as you can muster, anyway), because if you don't laugh you might want to cry. Really, the "laugh track" thing does work!

6. Document it. On a serious note, it may be advisable in some cases to (quietly) take notes on the most egregious workplace manifestations of co-worker jealously that might be impeding your job progress. It's one thing not to be invited to join a group of jealous colleagues at the break room lunch table; it's quite another to be actively sabotaged or undercut on a project out of pure jealously.

7. Always remember that you're a good person. An unremitting undercurrent of workplace jealously can start to take a toll on your self esteem. Jealous colleagues can make you question yourself, underrate or undersell your skills and abilities, and make you debate in your own head whether you've truly earned all of your accomplishments. You don't need to start this debate with yourself; your co-workers are already happy to have it on your behalf. Hold your head high, be kind to yourself, have a Stuart Smalley moment if you must, and focus on the work. The rest of us have faith in you, and we would most certainly invite you to sit at our lunch table. Hugs.

In sum, I don't envy you the privilege of dealing with a jealous colleague. Is there other (read: better) advice to offer? Sure. Please feel free to share your stellar tips on how to slay the green-eyed workplace monster. I, for one, promise not to feel jealous that you managed to think of it first.

If you still feel disrespected on the job, check out my December 2018 post entitled Hello? When a coworker won't talk to you.

Comments

  1. Awesome topic especially in my industry...

    #RealEstateGREENmonsters
    #BattleOfTheGenerations

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  2. Glad you like the topic. Thanks for your comment!

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    1. Unfortunately jealousy is very where humans are and it can be very destructive indeed. However with some basic practice as you have well described you can learn how to manage the situation, how to feed from it, growing even bigger as a person and as a professional. I have been dealing with Jealousy since High School and now I'm 50 and yet I'm still pretty much surrounded by jealousy like a island in the ocean, but not imprisoned because I have learned how to swim, breath and feed from it. It doesn't bother me. Not a bit. I can smell it, I can easily recognize it and of course I can maneuver this malicious human defect to my own advantages without offending anyone, but the true is that 100% of the time jealous-offenders find themselves consumed by their own jealousy. Ain't nothing you can do about it, but to move on growing stronger.

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  3. Thanks a lot. It helped me to deal with my monsters.

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  4. Hang in there, Kalpana. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Good luck!

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  5. I think I like the ignore the jealous co-worker, when you can that is ... currently, I am confronted with one who is lying (maybe) she sheepishly tells me that she doesn't want to get in trouble, but said that the boss told her he was going to fire me .. because I miss
    work. ... well, I Iconfronted the boss and he was unavailable, I then at that point informed the other Manager... who is above him, as I did follow the proper chain of command .. and answered my call. as I also informed of the happenings. The boss finally called me back and is mad at me due to going over his head .. when, I just also, and in addition informed t

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  6. A client came in, started working with one salesperson but then ran over to me and told me she did not want to work with the other sales person. So I helped the client. Now my coworker is super mad at me.

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  7. Thanks, needed this!!

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    1. Glad it helped. Thanks for commenting!

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    2. Thank you! I just had this problem over the past few days. I tend to think the best of others thoughts and intentions, so it took a while to believe what my vibe sensors were telling me. I was hired into a higher position than coworkers who have been at the company a while. I appreciate the opportunity and I certainly earned it. I wish them well each day, but I will reject all green vibes that come my way. Have a well earned work life everyone!

      "You want something bad enough, go get it!" -Sylvester Stallone

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  8. This really helped me, I needed to hear that. Trying to be strong and wishing things to get better. I will try the laughing track, I really don't want to break down.

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    1. It's a very common workplace problem; you're not alone. Thanks for commenting!

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    2. nice to know I'm not alone. there are two people who are threatened by me, im the new person with more experience, I'm tired of the comments under their breathe. the last straw, I was called out in front of everyone by one of them and scolded for something stupid. I was embarrassed and humiliated, I don't report to this moron. I went to the boss and made it clear that I don't appreciate being talked to in an unprofessional manner. id had enough.

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    3. Sympathise.Had this at my old company.I read up on the net some tactics and really helped . One was when they started I would say firmly 'Thank you for your imput but I have this covered etc' I would just repeat that like a broken record.Mind you I was very glad when the company shut down as very stressful dealing with people like that.One of them has gone to the new company I work for and thankfully I can keep my distance in this job but already upsetting co-workers!

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  9. Wow...this blog is wonderful. I feel so much better, vice spending ANY time thinking about what the hell I had done. What I found most interesting--I do chuckle to myself and out loud throughout the day and that helps so much.

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  10. I have a situation where I was promoted to a lead position, but was moved to a team of...let's call them, slack asses. They are used to running all over the manager that I now share with them. This manager has me training the team, fielding questions but not supporting me. She feels that "her hires" should be on the same level as me, and should question my answers by openly asking the engineers the same questions when I have already answered them, followed by the frustrated comments/answers from engineers that point them back to my answer. It's gotten so bad, that it's beyond awkward. In the last 2 weeks, my office area has been frigid. Outside of supporting the team, I don't need to work on that area. If they don't want my support, and our manager is not backing me, I have since just backed off and work from home or in other work spaces (which is encouraged at this company.) It sucks, and I just want to ride out the rest of my project and be done with it.

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  11. Thank you for your wonderful blog... I have a situation where I was promoted while on maternity leave to assistant manager. It wasn't open for everyone to apply; just given to me. I'm getting a lot of heat although all the coworkers won't say that's why...definitely trying to serve t to me every chance they get tho. I'm good at my job and while it wasn't fair how it was handled; I definitely needed this blog to get my chin up and deal with haters and jealous women. I'll be moving out of this office soon enough.

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    1. I'm so happy this blog post was useful to you. Good luck, and keep up the great work!

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  12. Great read! Just what I needed after my jealous co-worker tried to call me out for using a conjuctive word wrong (she probably can't spell conjunctive) before my 5 day vacation. Obviously, her problem isn't with the English language, it's probab a little deeper than that! I thought it ruined my extended weekend until I realized I have handled her correctly. I feel like printing this out and shoving it down her throat. Since I'm better than that, tomorrow will be a fresh start for me and I'll be sure to keep your tips in the back of my mind. Adding a youth factor into my particular situation created even more difficulties. I'm strong, extremely knowledgeable and deserving of everything my superior has given me. Retirement for the jealous employee is only 3 short years away. I've made it this far I can hold out a little longer. Climbing from the bottom (least experienced) to being the top dog (under my boss) is not easy to do in itself, but I'm not letting all of my hard work go down the tubes. Thanks for the reassurance!

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    1. Yes, just keep a few "tips" in the back of your mind, and be kind. And keep doing a great job at work. Thanks for taking the time to post a comment. Best to you.

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  13. My colleague makes me feel so small even when I try to be neutral towards her. She always speaks down to me even thought I am more experienced and am pretty sure I do a better job than her. She always makes me feel insecure with her comments and tries to get people to gang up against me. I've been working there longer than her! Instead of asking me for help in the beginning, which I readily offered (with a SMILE!) she chose to ignore all my advice and only kiss our bosses butt. My husband says when the time comes for a promotion, she wants my promotion. Am i drawing up all this in my head? Normally I get along with everyone. Now I just feel depressed and don't feel like going into work =(

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    1. No....it's not in your head. I'm dealing with similar issues on a much larger scale. Imagine having one of two bosses acting incredibly jealous of you despite the fact that you draw in ample amounts of money to her store. I work retail, and have been working for her and her business partner for over 13 years. She has always treated women in a very unfriendly way...whether it be customers or employees. Lately however, she has really been harsh with me. It has something to do with a customer who likes to prank call the store, and ask for me in a perverted way, followed by a hang-up of the phone. For some reason, the attention I was getting was irritating to her, so she and her two nieces decided to have a friend call the store asking for "them" each by name, followed by a hang up...so obvious because they would call and call until I answered. Then nothing the rest of the day....Well, because I was ignoring it, just as I ignored the weirdo who occasionally called the store for me...THAT IRRITATED THEM EVEN MORE. So my boss decided to throw it in my face...the fact that someone was calling for her niece more than they "ever called for me." I replied: "yes...he must be a great friend of them both, because it's the same guy." Yes....I too don't feel like going into work now....but I have to. Now my boss makes an extra effort to try and make me feel uncomfortable. Talking to her doesn't help either....I've tried. I really get the feeling that I've overstayed my welcome. :(

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    2. You have to be encouraged throughout the whole day at work. Have control over your own mind, and be constant in prayer, and patient in tribulation. GOD is real and his eyes roam to and from throughout the whole earth. Just know that no weapon formed against you shall prosper. GOD is our shelter. Cry out to him and he will take vengeance on your enemies so that you dont have to. Keep your heart of gold, do the best you can do and give GOD the glory and KEEP IT MOVING! :)

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    3. I'm in the same boat. I've worked for this company for 10 years. after I had my first born baby this past summer I had no other option but to work part-time on second shift, because my husband works first shift. it has been a huge change for me. suddenly I am working with all new ppl that I have never really had any interaction with before. I have a brand new supervisor and if all that wasn't enough, now I am in training for a new responsibility at work due to the fact that the woman that I am taking over for is pregnant and due in two months. Also, I learned that she herself is new to the job and so I feel like it is the blind leading the blind. she has worked for the company for a year, and has coveted this position. she was very vocal about this in the beginning, and very rude. I blew it off because of two reasons. 1. I honestly don't care about the position, I don't want it. and 2. I am planning on quitting in a couple of months to stay home with my son. this past week she had a dr. appt and took the day off, it was my first solo night on the job. I think I did well. a couple of wrongs came back but everyone was very understanding about it. I couldn't help but notice that all of the communal notes were conveniently missing, later I found them in her binder. but it wasn't a problem, I had copies made and tucked away for myself. she was so hopeful that I had failed, and was so irritated when I said everything went fine and I hadn't blown her phone up with questions.

      later on in our shift she made fun of me for a mistake that I had made. I was so close to telling her off but I am not like that, and I just kept quiet. I asked our supervisor when my training will be over as I've been there for a month training already. she said as soon as I feel ready. I said I was ready right now, she said that she would take my coworker off the job and put her somewhere else and that I would fly solo from then on, so she essentially called my bluff.... I told her that I probably still needed more training... I don't want this responsibility but my supervisor, and her supervisor said that I am needed because I am one of the few that "actually have a head on their shoulders" they trust me to do this job and do it well, I don't want to let them down, but I also don't want to be at odds more than I already seem to be with my new coworker, or her baby daddy (who also works there) or her best friend (who also works there) or her other friend (who also works there) because they have already ganged up on me, I don't need them full blown ganging up on me because she keeps making huge mistakes that cost the company money... FML I just wanted to work to earn a little extra cash... for the medical bills after my pregnancy... I didn't sign up for this immature highschool crap.

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    4. Kinda hard when it's 5 against 1. Sounds like you dont want to get sucked into her need to dramatize little mistakes. You sound like a good person since youre not also pointing out her errors, the people who need you guys to make money for the company can probably see you just want to do your job well

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    5. Your doing the right thing not squealing on her, I bet the people at the top can see you just want to do your job well.

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    6. I like what you said blind leading the blind the worst when the blind who is leading has too much pride aw is like hell on earth. You know I don't know how toxic people are never ashamed of themselves, 1000000 excuses to show they r right and others are always wrong...

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  14. Good read and much encouraging! As a new hire who's fortunate enough to land an important task and delivered it has won me high praises from the senior managements. This has caught some unwanted "attention" and i found myself from being the "insider to the outs". The 7 tips are great insights and definitely helped me in one way or the other!

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    1. Congratulations on doing a great job on the tasks at hand! Glad the post has helped you know that you're not alone out there. Good luck, and keep up the great work.

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  15. Great article...this is a VERY real topic! I really enjoyed the Evan Carmichael video. I hold an upper mgmt. position and am currently on the receiving end of jealousy/envy from an executive and part owner of the company. I recently received a company award from the President and believe this is what heightened their envy. I am struggling with it because they are using their position to foster the situation and continually bring other people, including my staff, co-workers, and superiors, into the situation. It is exhausting and makes me dread going to work. Instead of focusing on my work, on my staff, on what makes the company better, I find myself walking on pins-and-needles. After watching Evan's video I think I'll handle things differently, beginning with "I'm proud of the award and refuse to let this person bring me down! This Exec wants the award? Stop acting like a teenage girl and go for it!" Thanks for the article and support.

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    1. Congratulations on your award! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  16. Nice site. Not too many people confront this very real issue. I will admit that after 13 years with my company, the jealousy and envy from others is wearing me down. I do have an ally or two. Most of my co-workers don't care for me but my senior managers keep promoting me. I do work on being humble as I have a naturally strong personality. I find it very exhausting to deal with constant dirty looks and gossip while I try to make us all successful and profitable. Not sure I can last much longer with the constant resistance while dealing with a highly stressful career. I may move on soon. Too bad bullying is so effective.

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    1. Hi ! I have a similar problem but I'm new at the company.... I hope you won't get out!!!! There is envy everywhere, specially when you are giving your best.
      I just realized there are two girls making gossip about me... it's so sad for them.... I love my job so much and I won't get out! Don't let the lazy ppl win! ;)

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    2. The horrible and bad people they won't never win God has plan if he want you out u will be but never lose faith and keep believing in yourself what is for u No one has the power to take it from .

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  17. I recent came back to work for a company who made me an offer I could not refuse. Naturally there are new people working for the company. My issue is one of the new faces is a young women and I am finding her to be a devious co-worker. Every chance she can get she has re-done my reports. She will give me attitude when encountering her unless there are other people around. Then it is a smiling and welcoming face. Finally when I had enough I spoke to management about it. Now anything I have placed in the office is moved or disappears. When I have to relay messages for things for her to do she will not even look at me. When I have completed informing her I have to ask if she is hearing me for any acknowledgement... Over all is extremely uncomfortable. It bothers me for I have no idea where it is coming from. Other then I have to wonder if she resents me for having worked at the company once before prior to her employment. It is just very odd. I enjoyed this article and am glad to know I am not the only one feeling the way I have been feeling.

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  18. Thank you, thank you, thank you SOOOOOO much for posting this!! It really uplifted me and the tips are great.I am currently experiencing this at work and came home today and broke down into tears because I've had enough! I went to my higher ups with the issue and unfortunately for me, it only made it worse because it seems as if i'm just nagging and being a tattle tail since these coworkers are only doing just enough to make work unbearable but it's just short of being report-able or disciplined for. Sadly my job is backwards, so if I'm the one to report a hostile work environment then I will be the one to get relocated and the next closest location is 40 miles away from my home and right now I work 7 miles away. I know no other way to address this jealousy. A year ago I made a decision to go back to school to further my college education so I can promote. Since then, the sabotaging of my job and reputation, by two of my coworkers has been out of control. Oddly, they're men so I can only guess that maybe they're sexist since we work in a male dominated field. I currently work as a secretary and I'm getting the feeling that they think this is the only position that women belong in. I asked one of my male coworkers how those two have lasted as long as they have and he told me that every other woman before me eventually quit because they couldn't handle it and that I've lasted the longest (5 years). He said it's probably driving them insane that they can't get too me. He said he knows I always remain humble, respectful, and I never show anger or make any mistakes that could cost me my job. I honestly feel like I am driving myself crazy trying to continuously keep my guard up and stay one step ahead of them and not let it show that they're getting to me. They both retire very soon, one in 6 months and the other in 2 years. I'm hoping when the first one leaves that maybe the other will calm down some since he won't have his partner in crime with him anymore. Aside from these two men I really enjoy my job but they're really making it hard for me to want to go to work anymore.

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  19. This page has helped a little but.. I have a good job but have constant anxiety because of 2 other women in the office. One of them trained me when I first started. She now thinks she has the right to constantly undermine everything I do and say. It has got to the stage where I wait for her to move from her desk before I speak to anyone on the phone. I can feel her hatred every time someone approaches me, and she is always butting in on any work discussions. The two women who hate me used to hate each other, but since I came into the department it seems that they realised that that hate me more than each other and are now good friends! I'm looking for another job but can't find anything ATM.

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    1. I have the same situation at my job, It use to really bother me when they would get together and talk about me. But I have learned that I am human also, and they have to learn how to get along with me just as well as I have to get along with them. I pray about my situation to God and he heals me, and cleanses me from my anger towards those women. Just do your part and get through your day,

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    2. I go through this on a daily bases at my job.Have to always stay prayed up.They do not have to like me how ever they have to respect me.I swear they make my job harder.I feel like I am baby sitting half the time.I should go across the street and apply there .There is a day care.I do my best to stay away from all of them but cant cause we have to work.This happens every where they are called haters.I just hold head up high and let the tongues wag.It is not a personality contest .Im there to do a job with out all the extra B.S.When you get angry and feed into their nonsense you are letting them win.That is what the enemies want.Karma they will get theirs.They all need to GROW UP and get a life.So You my dear are not the only one who goes through this .Sad but true.Coming home in tears not worth it.They talked about Jesus Christ.You will be fine.I know in alot of days I just would like to punch them in their throat.LOL Think about nice things at work your home children when you are around them toxic people.Have a beautiful day and I hope your off!!!

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  20. Thank All of you in these posts. I was feeling lonely until I read them. Just knowing you are all out there gives me courage to go forward. My situation is more complicated then jealousy. I am willing to point out wrong/ bad ideas in a company of YES Men/Women. I am the one at the bottom of ladder who has to deal with the results of bad ideas, unfortunately the next level of managers who do not have to deal with the craziness of ridiculous orders don't see them as bad ideas because they want to move forward in a YES MEN company. I've always had low level employees gossip about me, so I'm used to that. Unfortunately recently my bosses decided to start a campaign trying to get my friends (higher level supervisor) to stop having lunch with me under the idea that I would throw them under the bus. At least this time I have a friend that had the courage to tell me what is going on. Anyways talking to yourself works: If you are religious PRAY if you are spiritual meditate, if you are a good person rely on your goodness...BUT most of all be careful and don't give them an excuse.. (If allowed would like to quote OG Mandino) I was not born in defeat not does failure course in my veins, I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my sheeperd, I am a lion and I refuse to walk to talk to sleep with the sheep the slaughter house of failure is not my destiny I will persist and I will succeed. Also when facing people silently and to yourself say to them I LOVE YOU,,,,, it works. everyday begin a new life

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  21. I am in a fortunate position that my husband has a good job so my colleagues have been off with me because I'm "only" a receptionist but drive an Audi TT. They were fine with me before the car but can't even bring themselves to say nice car or acknowledge it. Even a colleague who I thought I was close to isn't the same with me : (

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    1. I've seen situations like this happen in the workplace. As I mentioned in the post, sometimes workplace jealously has little or nothing to do with the work, or with the job itself. Just keep truckin' (pun intended) and do your best work everyday.

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    2. Thank you Chris, it gets me down knowing that if there were any opportunities for promotions chances of myself getting put forward would be slim, mainly because I know how they feel towards me.
      I'm not the type of person that would go on about how great my life is etc because my life isn't perfect. Just feels like I'm constantly getting judged, if only hey knew how insecure I really am and what a rubbish past I has.
      Thank you for having a page like this Chris, makes me feel less alone having others to relate to.

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  22. I tend to disagree that "killing them with kindness" often works. I tried this on my workplace nemesis and it only works for a short time, then she reverts to her old behavior, which has ranged from refusing to speak to me for weeks or months on end, glaring, stonewalling on work assignments when I have asked her for the information, to outright yelling and screaming at me (always when no one else is within earshot), etc. She has recruited one of her buddies from another department to inflict further damage in the form of repetitive mocking and the two of them often engage in gossiping about me, which I have caught them doing on a few occasions when they thought I wasn't at my workstation. I just ignore it and do my job and go home at the end of the day. It's not worth trying to change these types of people because they will never change. The only solution is to change my/our response to their hateful actions and not give them the reaction they are looking for. In the case of my coworker, I truly believe she has a personality disorder as she has gone to extremes on either end of the spectrum to "break" me. She is a master at passive-aggressive hostility and then playing the victim which I refuse to buy into and it frustrates her to no end.

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    1. I agree that it can be very difficult to change a co-worker's attitude toward us. We can look back over the work relationship to see if there's something in particular that might have made them turn against us, but we can't make our co-workers change. Focus on the work, do a great job, and always remember Tip #7.

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  23. Thank you for the Blog. Although I am already using all the mentioned tips here. It felt good to know that its not just me going through this kind of experience; even when I know I am a good and helpful person. I dont judge others by there appearance or education. But I have this coworker who got promoted to a Manager position from being a receptionist! Its okay to do that if she really deserves it but she is really mean to coworkers and always bitchy about them. She has absolutely no recorded education. People doubt is she has really even passed her highschool. However that doesnt matter if you work well and treat others with respect. But if you dont then that is where the problem lies. She tries to demean everyone she feels that can work better than her. A trick that I learned for dealing with such people is to mind your own work and keep ur mouth shut but eyes and ears open. DOnt react to anything they say bad about you. You know u are trying your best and that is what matters most! Always remember. You know yourself from the day you were born and these green eyed monsters know you for few months or years. You dont need anyones judgement to know you are a hard worker and good person. Hold your head high its okay if you feel low and want to cry sometimes but dont let those monsters see that because if you show them that you get affected with what they do it add oil to the fire. The best way to deal with them is just ignore and show them that they or there deeds dont matter to you or your success. :) good luck guys :D

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  24. Reading and sharing comments from other people who have worked with jealous coworkers certainly helps. I worked in a college for four years with a disabled coworker who had applied for the position I got. She spent 4 years destroying my job and me, and though I had to move and work in another building because she blamed me for having stress leave, this person came to get me in the other building (I mean work). This worker manipulated management and they took her side. I had come to this job well-skilled and had a lot to offer, but every so many weeks or months for 4 years, I was being blamed for something - I left her out, I didn't talk to her, I was secretly bullying her, I scared her in carparks outside of work (this was the last straw). This coworker succeed in her quest in destroying my job and me. Only once in four years did I document instances where this coworker's behaviour was not acceptable and the email about it went to the board of the college. The Principal who was one-sided thought I had sent the email to the board, because he was not able to deal with the problems. This coworker sabotaged my position and wellbeing and was so skilled at manipulating other coworkers into believing I was the problem. In my case, my best option was to leave, which I did and we also left this small town city where we relocated back to our own city. Now I am healing, slowly but surely. I still find Mondays and Fridays hard because these where the days when this coworker found something wrong and used to click her pen incessantly. When the coworker was in this frame of mind, little things became big and well out of proportion, but the principal of the college seemed to be okay with this. The coworker was one of his favourites. I did try to work with this person, I worked alone and she wanted to take the jobs I did, she always wanted recognition in a passive-aggressive way (me, me me!). I must admit working in a college where the principal has a flat structure in place has created disharmony, nitpicking, no clear roles defined, boundary crossing, gossiping, and people in other positions away from adminisitration having a say. One of these people was the union representative, who should be providing support in an objective way. This was not the case, she was part of a mob who seemed to all encompassing and powerful. My one regret was staying there too long, the situation did worsen and the last thing was this coworker being scared of me in carparks. I now feared that I was not only being driven from my job, but felt like I was being driven out of town. Yes, after I left this person was happy to grab some of the work I did (so she could be me) and from what I heard without any remorse.
    Healing does occur, but you must move away completely and have very little contact with other workers, so you can let go. I am now doing this. I gained a position as soon as I returned to my home city and have been working on contract since the beginning of 2015. The job is not as senior but I go home every day and have no problems with coworkers. I wish I had left earlier from that rotten job.

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  25. Thank you for writing this article and giving validity to all of us who have or are experiencing this often elusive problem. It can be so difficult to nail down with the covert, seemingly helpful tactics of people like this.

    This past year, I took a job and found myself dealing with a manipulative woman. We were all doing the same type of work, and were supposed to be equals. As part of the marketing and job, we all posted a weekly article to the website. This woman would write on the website what she deemed "helpful" comments about my articles for all to see (current and potential clients).

    She acted like she was being helpful, but it was a covert attack, because others in the group were doing the EXACT same things in their articles, and she didn't write comments on their work. For instance, she wrote something like, "I'm grateful you realized using 3 sections is more productive than using 5. The less sections makes it easier for people to read." A couple of the group members were using just as many section as me and sometimes more.

    It set up this invisible dynamic to the readers that she was the expert, and I wasn't as good. I had a client comment on it, and lost work due to her. She started getting more clients with her expert tone while minimizing my work. Then, she'd cover it up, like she was trying to make it easier for me and was being supportive. I knew I had a problem with a reaction she had on me over something else. She buttered the other two up; they knew her outside the work group. I was the new gal, but I have more years experience doing that type of work than anyone, which I never commented on and always tried to promote an atmosphere of cohesion and respect.

    I decided to walk away from that job, because clients were bringing up her remarks. Thankfully, I was there only a couple months and didn't need to be part of the group to work in the field. I also have another source of income, but if I didn't, I don't know how I would keep sane and continue working in that environment. People like that can do a lot of damage.

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  26. I'm kinda dealing with this right in that my female co-worker has formed an alliance with a new colleague who has been there 6 weeks longer than me but who has the ability of a snail. He is extremely incompetent and I have been given all his projects whilst he has been given all the admin and she has covered his ass so many times, you wouldn't believe. She hates to see me doing very well with my superiors and gives me constant cold shoulder, blocking my projects by not giving me her time to assist (as I am also quite new, 2.5 months on an 8 month temp contract). Finding it quite difficult to deal with so keeping a log of incidents - don't think you don't need a log, you'll never remember all those incidents so write it down. Still, as a temp worker, not sure where my rights are to take higher and also, being kept on in the role looks promising so don't want to whine. Going to try my own sitcom today. And try take comfort in my awesome abilities ;-)

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  27. Ignore haters focus on your job and live the rest to God.

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  28. The best advice on the subject is to rise above and not engage with the bully. Most of the time these people have some kind of mental disorder, and you can not use logic. Anytime you think about them, you are giving them control over you. If you try to stroke their ego and engage, you are giving them control over you. You are there to do a job. Keep documentation, if only for yourself, let your supervisor know that there is a pattern. But you're there to do a job, and do not give some other bully control over you. The best revenge is doing your job well and living well. Good luck!

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  29. Ditto! Rising above is absolutely the best advise. Be yourself and never change! You can only hope that one day they're learn from your actions.

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  30. I believe you must be true to yourself and never let anyone's actions or behavior influence your life, especially at work. You're getting paid to do a job and the best way to get back, is by you continuing to work hard and focus on your beautiful life.

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  31. I just got promoted at work over someone who has experience in the field while I've only been working the job for some months.

    I've excelled at my position and have impressed the upper management to where I got the promotion instead of him, so now I am his boss and he basically went from friend to enemy over night, which includes slandering my professional record all over work.

    I know a lot of people get put down by this behavior but this made me extremely angry where I was ready to confront him face to face and if it got to physical violence I would of initiated it.

    I had to calm myself down majorly and realize that I am doing the work management wants to see, not him. He can go around acting like a teenager all he wants. This article just reinforced that for me and I appreciate the post.

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  32. A good read, and great videos. The jealousy, and not easy to ignore. I am going for the "not tell-do well".

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  33. Be careful too that it is jealousy and you haven't been a jerk to them. I was in a competition for a promotion I didn't really want, a girl I'd been friendly with got it. During the competition she'd become very aggressive, including gossip & even ridiculing my (superior) education in front of colleagues, weird winking & side-eye in the hallway, and she took on this overly-assertive, somewhat patronising (yes, bossy, in a bad way) manner of speaking. In the end I figured her earlier friendliness had been manipulative and I didn't want anything to do with her. I'm sure I looked "jealous" that she got the promotion but that wasn't what was happening. Now I'm in a new team with a girl who is very loud and keeps offering to do everybody's jobs - I'm concerned about working more closely with her, and yes I do find her annoying and kind of dumb! I'm very underemployed and stuck in an increasingly catty environment. Management seems to encourage it (fortunately not my direct supervisor). It's not like it's sales or anything either, there's no need for competitive behaviour. It's definitely keeping my confidence down! This is a survival job & I don't need the stress.

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  34. I should add that I've been stuck in this survival job because of a mix of trauma from past bullying, sexism, unemployment and underemployment, as well as me not being very aggressive, and now the market is bad. I think I have some very real trust issues holding me back on life. I guess this catty mess is an opportunity to address that and grow? Ugh. Wish me luck moving onto greener pastures.

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  35. Document everything, call HR, schedule a meeting with HR and/or meet with your superiors. If that doesn't work file a grievance and/or call the police on grounds of workplace harassment. Your superiors won't like when the cops show up over some petty crap they should have taken care of to begin with, but that usually happens and that's usually the only thing that works.

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  36. This is what is called workplace bullying. It is widespread but since it is not against the law in the USA, it is ignored and minimized by management. It is also a big provoker of workplace violence. Most victims of workplace bullying end up gone from the job, one way or the other. The victims are usually people who are the ones doing a great job, and so are a threat to others. One of the biggest problems is seldom there are witnesses, and when there are, people want to stay out of it. However, if you get fired for trumped-up double-talk, it will probably feel like a huge relief. Fear is largely a motive - the bully is threatened, people you tell don't support you since it doesn't make sense, and there are no witnesses that will come forward.

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  37. My co-worker has stated she is more efficient and better at her job. She tells other employees this and puts me down to them. She has issue with authority and tends to believe her ideas are the the way it should be. She has tendencies to be very threatening to me as well as other employees. She will state she has talked to the boss and he has said something that he disapproves I have done. But when I talk to him this is not true. She isn't truthful to me. Reading this blog has provided good ideas for me to practice.

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  38. My problem is that I have pass my senior guys that have been lazy and don't try. I work hard to get where I am at without kissing butt. And all I here is good job butt kisser and get that d### sucker. They all used to be my friends until I moved up. I just don't understand it.

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  39. Is it me or every single one of the steps avoid confrontation. I was raised to be proud of my achievements and give credit where credit is due.

    Society has changed no doubt about it, but I am tired of tip going around when I am the best in my team. You can't celebrate any little success because someone might get offended.

    I tried googling the opposite: how to be better at my job and avoid jealousy. Guess what??? The blogs about that are few and scarce. Because we as a society have decided that if someone is lazy, toxic and ignorant, then the rest of us should be polite and cordial to them not hurting there feelings.

    I tried the opposite I confronted the jealous person one on one and straight up asked him if he had a problem with me, of course he denied it. I also told my manager what I thought was happening. The solution was the problem itself, my manager made sure I was always included in projects and the opposite happen. The rest of the employees greeted towards me when they realized that this guy couldn't answer any questions and was always making negative comments. It took less then 2 weeks for them to change their minds, but most importantly I didn't give in to the.......

    BULLY... yes you read that right. If you are uncomfortable with something speak up, even if it hurts someone else's feeling. If you feel you are being treated unfairly or different speak up. Stop trying to deal with the problem and just attack it head on. Life is too short to tip toe around it.

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  40. Wow ...thankyou your comments have made me feel more confident and able to deal with the jealous co workers

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  41. All you guys are promoting the same passiveness..you have to blend in and challenge them; also you need to acknowledge their sensitivities, and practically comfort them for it.

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  42. Thank you. Very much needed. New to working in retail and thus issue has been major for a month. I just remember I'm there to work. They have no idea who I am or the struggles I've recently been through that led me there. This is a stepping stone and with all those who like to hold others back, this is my turn to not fall into it but to learn and become greater.

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  43. Great read Chris. Definitely trying out some tips starting tomorrow. Just got a small promotion (if I'm allowed to call it that) by being handed more responsibilities. Didn't sit well with the other teammates. So true the way you wrote that one day you are an insider and the next an outsider. I can definitely see the stares and whispers and them waiting for me to exit the room to "discuss" my attitude. I tried ignoring it but I guess am still learning. There are a couple of people who won't even look at my face if I call out to them and then the dreaded silent treatment they give me once I delegate some work. Thanks for writing this Chris. It's restored my faith in myself.

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  44. Thanks for this post. I make $320,000/yr and I am obviously way better at my job, have a much better personality, and have 6-pack of abs and I can tell all my coworkers are jealous of me because I am only 21. Its hard when you are so much smarter than everyone else. I needed this but more than that I just need everyone to know that it applied to me because I'm so great at my job and at life.

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  45. I too am getting jealousy at my work place. In my head I show sympathy with them and keep doing my good work. It kills them.......hahaha

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  46. Thank you for the articl.. I am disturbing about such things.. because my first job but co workers always irritating me. Now simply ok

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  47. This is especially apropos to my life right now. A female co-worker is jealous of me. She wants to be popular and have everyone like her and felt threatened when people especially the guys wanted to hang out with me. She likes this one guy in particular but she saw the chemistry that we had and felt jealous about that as well. So she is spreading gossip about me to get them on her side.

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  48. I am in a situation where the job was available for quite a while, many people were asked and they didn't want it. I took it as a good move for me as the job is uncertain and if i become a boss i can put it on my resume.

    Colleagues who I've worked with for a long time are upset about it to the point they are ignoring me. They are nasty, backstabbing people who have nothing nice to say about anything or anyone. Miserable in their private life. I think also because i am much younger,and management are happy with what i add to the team .Some older people can't handle being asked to do things by a young person. It's sad but it's true

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  49. It's timely for this to come back up in my email: I have a sad story and am wondering how much can be chalked up to jealousy. I joined what is basically a community group 6 years ago, was on the board of directors for a year which turned out to be a horrible and painful experience, but continued participating in the group for the next 3 years. It is always a great pain to deal with the organizers who were in my view quite abusive and ridiculous at the time. I've tried to ignore it but can't seem to forget. Anyway, something else came up and they were jerks about it, and I'm just hitting a point of leaving entirely. I've tried making all kinds of explanations for it: aspergers? one guy's divorce? Misunderstandings? Egos? and am wondering how much is just pure jealousy, but wound up in a group dynamic to create a bullying environment. It's impressive to have a group of otherwise normal-seeming adults act like such jerks for no apparent reason. I don't need it, but am sad not to know of another similar community group. This has caused me a lot of distress over the years, and I don't deserve to be treated this way. I don't know of anything I "did".
    I've had some other themes of experiencing jealousy in my work experience and am wondering how much my own behaviour or assets might be playing in. I don't think I am doing anything offensive but maybe I am looking for too much approval somehow.
    Anyway, I am actually a pretty cool, nice person, and they can suck it.

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  50. I mean what I "did" was fail to participate in the sycophantic mutual admiration and flattery, and dared to have opinions when I was on the board. Apparently my role has always been to smile silently and praise them, and let them treat me like a child. I've tried to just ignore all this and just go and have fun, but it's not really possible. I'm done.

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