Home » How to Deal With a Coworker Who is Trying to Get You Fired?

How to Deal With a Coworker Who is Trying to Get You Fired?

Teamwork is considered a pillar of the industrial revolution. It helps individuals create a healthy competition and learn from each other, which contributes to accomplishing the main objective of an organization. It helps promote a solid working relationship with colleagues, resulting in a positive environment, and coworkers play a vital role in doing so.

The Co-workers can make the work fun and easy for you, or the negative behavior of your coworkers towards you can make your office time hell. You may know how much they hate you by just observing their behavior towards you. Sometimes, it becomes too hard to deal with a coworker who just wants you to get fired or just wants you to go away. No matter what you do, how much time you have helped that coworker, or how much time you are happy to assist them, they all want to get you “fired.

 Dealing with such coworkers is not a very easy task. Because you spent around 8 to 9 hours in the office and seeing that coworker repeatedly throughout the day, especially when you know their intention, can make the environment negative and stressful.

Signs of a Negative Coworker

Signs of a Negative Coworker
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You know that your coworker doesn’t like you, right? But how did you figure it out? What if that coworker doesn’t actually hate you? There is a possibility that you may have just created your mindset in such a way. Or, in simple words, you might have just observed your coworker, and you misunderstood their intention. You cannot deny that this is a possibility. So, what signs can assure you that you have a negative type of coworker?

Firstly, you should understand that your annoying coworker does not always have hard feelings for you. Sometimes, they may get stuck in some problem and simply ask you for your help. But doing it deliberately, even after they know how to do it, can be a red sign signal. It can also impact your career because the environment will be constantly stressed, automatically affecting productivity and long-term health problems like depression, mental instability, etc.

So now you understand how important is it to have a good coworker, but how will you identify them. Several characteristics define an excellent coworker, but some factors show the lousy and negative coworker. So here, we will discuss the features of a lousy coworker and leave the discussion of a good coworker in a different article. Below I have listed a few of the signs which can help you to predict a lousy coworker who is trying so hard to get you fired:

 1. The Narcissist

We can define this characteristic as a coworker who only wants to listen to “praises” and only about themself. These coworkers are so self-involved that they are overconfident about whatever they think and do. They don’t even care what you do to accomplish the task, but they will always find a mistake in the end.

These kinds of coworkers always blame others for everything going wrong and always take credit for something good. These coworkers never compliment anyone (especially you) and always lash out at other workers.

2. The Rumor Mongers

The Rumor Mongers
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This coworker is always busy spreading rumors about people. It can be about you sometimes, or it can be about someone else, but they never stop gossiping. If whatever they are discussing is a lie or a truth, or even a half-truth, they will never stop.

This will only destroy your reputation in front of other colleagues. Further, it can impact you, especially if you are a part of a particular team and don’t know what your team members would have heard about you from that person.

So, in this case, you can’t even clarify or come up with a solution because you don’t know anything about what’s going on.

3. The Slackers

The Slackers
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This is a characteristic of a coworker, who always puts on their work or transfers their work to another person working under them. They come to the office to meet people and waste their time on extra activities.

They don’t have to do anything with the quality of work because they will blame the other person for everything wrong and take all the credit if something goes correct. This adds to another characteristic called backstabber. So always be aware of such people.

4. The Credit Thieves

Always be aware of such individuals. As mentioned earlier, a coworker who gossips too much about an individual in front of you can be the same individual who talks about you in front of other workers.

So always be aware of what you say or speak before this guy. Secondly, don’t share your ideas, especially when you are alone with that coworker, because they will just steal your idea and tell it to your boss as their idea. So it’s better to talk about your ideas or work-related stuff only in the meetings where more people are present to get enough credit for your creativity/work.

So, now, you know about all the characteristics that can make a coworker terrible for your career or health. But now, the real question is how to respond to these coworkers or overcome this issue in the office.

Defensive Measure to Deal with a Coworker who wants you to Get Fired

Defensive Measure to Deal with a Coworker Who Wants you to Get Fired
Image Credit: https://www.shrm.org

The first thing you always need to keep in mind is that your coworker is “smart.” Don’t ever think they are a fool because they are doing their best to criticize you or impact your reputation, no matter if the information is correct. And you know that this needs the highest level of creativity and smartness.

So, now we will discuss a few defensive measures under the section which will help you outsmart this manipulative coworker.

Bonus Read: How to Protect Yourself From Toxic Coworkers: 7 Mental Strategies and Tips

We Will Understand This Situation by an Example

We Will Understand This Situation by an Example
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In the worst-case scenario, you may be called by your boss. You know that a coworker (can be anyone) has complained about you and your work. This will be a moment of shock, doubt, and disbelief. And this is entirely normal to have this kind of reaction, but the question is, what will you do? What shall be your reaction?

Your boss is in front of you, and you have to answer them. The other important point is that you don’t have any time to prepare your answer; what will you do in this challenging situation?

So, the first suggestion will be to don’t panic and avoid being defensive. Take a deep breath, and find out more information that can help you find better insight into that complaint. Ask your boss what they think about this because every boss/manager has an idea about every employee. Your employer may take your stand in this, and that’s why he came up directly to you and communicated.

It’s essential to have a human emotion like anger and lots of questions. It may also happen that your employee favors your coworker because of a few other reasons. At this point, you should make a note in your mind that if your co-worker wants you to be out of the picture or wants you out of the company, then they will try their best to make it much sooner.

Technically, you might be thinking of going directly to that coworker and asking him about his problems with you. But we will recommend you keep calm in the situation because it will only favor your coworker and will be a negative point on your side.

So, Follow the Below-Mentioned Steps to Have a Better Solution to These Kinds of Situations

1. Poker Face

Poker Face
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Now you have a clear picture of your coworker trying to make you quit your job. So instead of getting directly into a conflict or war of words, you can simply try to minimize the interaction between you.

You can always remain calm because, by this, your team members and even your coworker would get an idea that you are not very happy about the situation that they have put you into. And it’s good to be completely honest! But never forget to maintain a poker face, which shows that you are calm and don’t want to interfere with any other matter apart from work.

It may happen that your coworker will try to provoke you, but it’s better to be calm and, instead of showing anger, communicate with them. It may happen that there would be a miscommunication among the team members, so it’s better to have clarity and move forward in your career.

2. Addressing the Situation

You have tried avoiding and maintaining a poker face. You should keep an eye on your coworker and document everything. If you didn’t find any changes in their behavior towards you, it’s always better to address the situation. Don’t impact your mental health because of anyone else’s actions.

Confront your coworker and communicate with him about what’s the actual problem. Directly ask him why they are so harsh on you. Ask them what makes them react in that way. If you somehow found out that you’ve deliberately committed a mistake, then simply apologize and tell them that it was not intentional and wasn’t meant to hurt anyone’s sentiments.

This may happen that will settle the misunderstanding among both of you. But there is always a chance they will not forgive you and will always try to provoke you in the best way.

The Last Option: Contacting the HR

The Last Option: Contacting the HR
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There’s a limit to everything, and when things go out of hand, you should seek help. After trying your 100%, you should put this issue into the limelight and communicate with your HR or manager.

As we recommended earlier that you should document everything. So at this point, you should write a brief mail about everything that has happened in the past few months and everything that has worked against your reputation.

Send this email to your manager/boss and cc the HR department. This will help you in the future because they might not act immediately, but in the end, you can always go to them in the worst scenarios and remind them about your mail. Also, let them know how this coworker is impacting your day-to-day work and how it’s also impacting your health so that you cannot even concentrate on your family matters.

Regularly update your manager about your sneaky coworker so that he will always be on your side and keep an eye on that coworker.

During your communication with the manager, you should always confront that you want this issue to resolve instead of taking any drastic action like your coworker getting terminated from his services.

This will give the sign of positiveness of your behavior in the office. You should also try to avoid him as much as possible, and you should only communicate only if it’s necessary and strictly related to the work.

Go to your job and focus on your work. Avoiding doesn’t mean you’re not an active listener. When you’re in a conversation, acknowledge what the other person says to you. Make your body language look neutral, and start observing their expressions.

One thing that you should always keep in mind is to avoid gossiping with your other team members. Another factor is never sharing your opinion regarding that coworker because it hints that you don’t like him. This can work against you because you are on the same path your coworker is in towards you.

Pro Tips for Maintaining Your Mental Health During this Situation

Pro Tips For Maintaining Your Mental Health During This Situation
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Mental health is essential, and during this stressful situation, it is necessary to take good care of your health. Get up early in the morning and meditate or do some physical exercises, which will help you to prepare yourself for the day.

I know it’s a basic morning routine for a few people, but this will help you to give more power of self-control and self-worth in these stressful situations. It will also allow you to face the challenges this coworker will put you into. Another significant factor will always benefit your health, and you will spend a good 10 to 20 minutes of your day.


Office politics is real. It can make you nervous and make you feel stressed about your job. Sometimes, it’s pretty hard to get up early and go to work because you don’t have any motivation.

You know there’s no point in going to offices because your coworker will always find a reason to make you feel embarrassed and feel low. You may also feel underconfident because this coworker will snatch every credit from you. But there is always a way to tackle every situation.

By reading this article, you may have learned certain new things that can help you protect yourself and your mental health. For example, documenting everything and maintaining a good relationship with your boss or manager is always the first step.

When things are getting out of hand, and you don’t have any other option, you can directly contact your manager/boss or HR department about the issue and ask for their help.

These steps will help you to enjoy going to work and continue your services to the company in such situations. We hope that this article might have helped you and you will implement these factors in your life to overcome such issues.