Jealous Coworkers – How to Manage Toxic Colleagues

jealous coworkers toxic

As you have climbed up the corporate ladder of success, you have probably made many friends and even a few enemies in the process. In any workplace, there will always be people around you who work to belittle and diminish your accomplishments. Jealous coworkers can be tricky to deal with as they often set up situations to make you look foolish or try to make you look incompetent or they gossip or badmouth you.

Envy – the Price of Success

Unfortunately, people who are successful are often envied and that’s where jealousy comes into it. Understanding jealousy and how it functions is an important first step. The jealous coworker signs are usually easy to spot. The obvious indications are when they competitively target you in every endeavor you embark on. Sometimes they wait quietly in the background, watching for any mistake you make. Then once the failure is noted they come forth and backstab and demean your efforts.

Typically spiteful colleagues are more noticeable after you’ve received a promotion and during job review time. If they haven’t received a favorable review the bitterness will most likely be very pronounced.

What to Do When Your Coworker is Jealous of You

Once you are aware of a jealous coworkers signs there are two things you can do: 1) neutralize jealousy, and 2) counter negativity.

First off you’ll need to take a hard look at yourself and question whether you’ve done anything to provoke their jealous feelings. Perhaps you’ve bragged about your achievements relentlessly or put them down. Maybe there is a reason behind their jealousy.

If you are arrogant you’ll need to change your bad habits. Make an effort to be kind and notice the accomplishments of others. Build up the self-esteem of your coworkers by showing them how to be successful.

If you’ve been the type of person that always puts themselves first, it’s never too late to make changes in your behavior. Your colleagues will see you changing. Be professional as fighting in the workplace creates tension and ill feelings.

Put the work of others first and you will win support. You’ll stop the resentful feelings and along with the toxic nature of jealous coworkers. There’s nothing better to win people over than noticing the great job they do. Give credit where credit is due especially to those who dislike you.

Be sure to congratulate your workmates when they are successful. If you show jealous, it’s likely you’ll get the same in return.

Damage Control of Jealous Coworkers

When your efforts at defusing jealousy don’t work, then damage control is necessary to save your reputation. If your coworker is already engaged in slandering you, then do your best to prove them wrong by continuing to work hard, smiling, and praising others. Don’t engage in returning the defamation by returning the slander.

Find an ally that supports you, preferably a supervisor or boss. The resentful coworker will find it harder to slight you when there is a senior executive involved. To solicit the help of your boss present your case in a factual manner and leave pettiness out of it. Show your professionalism and tact by not engaging in the gossip.

Keep records of any confrontations and don’t react to the accusations. If your jealous colleague is sending you emails keep them, but don’t reply. Make sure that they don’t have any of your words in an email or note. Be cautious as your words can always be twisted against you.

Never accuse your adversaries of jealousy as that will make them feel more provoked and threatened. The confrontation would only aggravate the bitterness. If they are being uncooperative you can ask them why, just don’t use the word jealous. It’s a legitimate concern when an employee’s behavior impacts productively. Ask them if there is something bothering them and point out how it is damaging the team’s productively.

Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself why they are acting so spiteful. It won’t solve the problem, but it may give insight and understanding of their behavior.

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Margaret Allen
Margaret Allen is a lifelong resident of Landover, MD and a mother of two bright girls. She is a health, wellness, and family contributor at Seekyt and an experienced fitness coach and nutritionist. She helps her clients set goals and be the best and most healthy versions of themselves.