Wednesday, February 29, 2012

5 ways to deal with jealous co-workers

We've all had to deal with them.  People in the workplace who, for whatever reason, just don't like you.  They are always trying to make you look bad in front of your boss, never want to help you with a project, and just go out of their way to make your life difficult.

Unfortunately, there will always be people like this, but here is how you can beat them at their own game.
  1. Ignore them.  These people are just 100% jealous.  Maybe you are the newest shining star doing great work and your VP doesn't even know who your co-worker is.  Don't lower yourself to their level, keep doing what you are doing, because whatever your co-worker has been doing isn't working.
  2. Don't be a doormat.  If your co-worker is throwing you under the bus or is saying things that aren't true in front of others, speak up and defend yourself.  "That is not correct" or "You are misinformed".  Don't remain silent when you are unfairly being attacked.
  3. Let them dig their own hole.  I once had a co-worker complain that they thought I was taking too many vacations days.  First of all, it was none of their business, but most importantly, I absolutely was not.  After an internal investigation was completed (which I knew nothing about at the time), it was determined that I was well within my limit and it was my co-worker who was left with egg on their face.  
  4. Being nice as pie.  No matter how much this co-worker tries to undermine you, do not give them ammunition to respond.  Continue to be your natural, helpful self.  It's really hard to be mean to someone when they are nothing but nice to you.
  5. Talk it out.  If nothing else seems to be working, call them out on their behavior.  I know it might be difficult to be confrontational, but its amazing how people will turn into a puddle of mush once their obnoxiousness is called into question.
If none of the above works, you will have no choice but to advise your own manager.  However, if there is any chance to resolve the issue without having to go to your boss, then you should certainly try to explore that possibility first.

Cheryl Reynolds
College Girl to Working Girl 

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