It is tough to deal with work pressures and a demanding boss. Things are bound to become even more complicated when you throw some jealous coworkers in the mix. And this can be a source of consternation.
After all, your colleagues are your teammates. You work together for the better part of the day and are meant to have each other back when you have to tackle a challenging project.
While it is not possible for all the coworkers to become friends, it is possible and reasonable that they are on amicable terms with each other.
Hence, you will have something extra on your plate to worry about when a few of your colleagues dislike you and envy you.
Understanding why this might be happening might help you nip the problem in the bud. Or else, things might take an uglier turn, and workplace tiffs can sometimes end badly.
You don’t want things to become so complex that you must contemplate looking for another position.
In fact, if you are doing well in your present job, which is one of the reasons behind a coworker’s jealousy, you shouldn’t have to move to another company.
Instead, identifying the jealous coworker signs and learning how to deal with them can help you establish a better rapport.
Reasons Why Your Coworker Might be Jealous of You
Understanding the reasons behind a coworker’s jealousy might help you tackle the situation better. Here are some of the reasons.
1. You Are Popular
This is one of the biggest reasons your coworkers might be jealous of you. You might have a warm and exuberant personality that draws everyone to you. Be it your boss or other colleagues, everyone warms up to you.
Your social circle, your designation, or your trendy hobbies- something about you makes you popular. For someone who is not, this can be a source of jealousy. Try not to add these coworkers to your social media and be professional with them.
2. You are Doing Well for Yourself
If you have risen quickly through the ranks, this will incite the jealousy of your coworkers. You might be a hard worker, and your boss has given you what you deserve.
Yet, for some who have not received promotions lately, your rapid rise to the higher echelons will be a source of discomfort.
3. Your Boss Praises You
If you are good at your job, your boss is bound to praise you. Other senior colleagues or clients might also commend you for your hard work. This is something that a good workplace looks like.
However, not everyone might be as diligent as you, and they might not receive praise so often. So when praises are heaped on you, they are bound to feel jealous.
4. The Coworkers Are Jealous by Nature
This is something that you cannot change and is entirely out of your hands. Some people are prone to fall prey to one of the seven deadly sins, and your coworker’s tendency to be envious is something you cannot help.
They might not just be jealous of you. They might be jealous of some of their friends or even their siblings. You happen to be another person who had made them envious just by being who you are, and you cannot help it.
5. Your Coworkers Feel Threatened
Another reason why your coworkers are jealous is that they feel threatened by you. They think you might soon take over their jobs, or you will get all the perks and benefits they are entitled to.
Depending on how the company policies work and the workplace dynamics in general, they will feel threatened if the workplace has a history of being partial. In this case, the jealousy might be directed toward you.
Identifying Jealous Coworkers Signs
While a jealous person is not very difficult to identify, your coworkers might be more subtle in expressing their jealousy in a professional environment.
Here are some jealous coworker signs that tell you if you are dealing with a difficult person.
1. They Talk Behind Your Back
Jealous workers will talk behind you and often try to malign you.
While every workplace has a person who loves to gossip, if you see this happening too often and only from one or two people, chances are they are jealous of you and want to ruin your image in front of others.
2. They Don’t Acknowledge You
When you pass them in the hallway or on your way to the cubicle by glancing at them, and they do not smile back at you. This could mean that you might be dealing with a jealous person. This is understandable when either of you is new to work and might not know the other, but if it happens too often, they don’t want to be with you.
Moreover, suppose they acknowledge and speak to everyone else and are only cold towards you. In that case, it is evident they dislike you, which is fuelled by jealousy.
3. They Undermine Your Success
A supportive coworker can make a workplace seem ten times better. And the opposite is true if your coworker is difficult and jealous.
A jealous person will often undermine your efforts and your success. They will not rejoice with others when your plans work for the team’s benefit or the project becomes a success because of your extra contribution.
They will often try to influence others and dissuade them from supporting you.
4. They Are Not Ready to Help
As coworkers, you should be able to rely on each other. But a jealous coworker will try to avoid that as much as possible.
They would be unwilling to help if you need their help with the project or refuse to fill in for you if you have to head home early.
However, they eagerly help everyone else, and only with you, they suddenly become too busy.
5. They Try to Sabotage your Work
One of the telltale signs of a jealous coworker is that they will try to sabotage your work.
If their jealousy is too intense, it might even overrule their better judgment. They might try to ruin your work, even if it is at the project’s cost.
If things go too far, then this is something that you need to talk to HR or the employer about.
6. They Try to Gang up Against You
Jealous coworkers will often try to gang up against you. They will form a group of their own and try to make things difficult for you.
If it is a single person you are dealing with, they might still try to influence others and turn them against you. This is a warning sign that things are getting too far and they have issues with your success.
7. They Don’t Want to Mingle With You
Another sign of a jealous coworker is that they don’t want to socialize with you. They will leave you out when they invite the others to their homes, or they will not ask you to join them when they ask others while going out for lunch.
They might not want to be on your team during team-building activities and will not talk to you even when you are a part of a group they are interacting with.
How to Deal with Jealous Coworkers without Causing a Rift
When you have a jealous coworker on your team or someone with whom you often have to work closely, you should have a strategy to deal with them. Here are some things you can do.
1. Build Meaningful Connections
Even if one or two people are jealous of you, many other people in the office are dependable coworkers. Build a rapport with them and form a network. They can be your colleagues and, over time, become your friends.
You can rely on them and efficiently work together as a team during difficult times. When you have so many good people around you, the jealous coworkers will eventually take a step back.
2. Keep Doing Your Best
It would be best not to let your jealous coworkers upset you. They are upset and jealous because you have something they don’t, and you have achieved that with your hard work.
Keep doing your best and be deserving of the praises and promotions that come your way. If you let their jealousy and tactics get to you, it will compromise your quality of work, which is precisely what they want.
3. Do Not Brag
It is only human to want to celebrate if something good happens; sometimes, you might even feel like bragging about it. However, when you have jealous coworkers, try to keep the celebrations away from the workplace.
Celebrate with your friends and family elsewhere, so you do not make them even more jealous. While they are no one to tell you what to do, it is better not to instigate them.
4. Be Supportive Yourself
When you face hostile behavior, it is easy to reciprocate the same. However, avoid doing that and do the opposite of what your jealous coworkers do.
Praise and talk to and applaud when the boss appreciates them. This will show that you are not a threat to them and that you mean well. If they are sensible, they will turn over a new leaf.
5. Document Their Behavior
If you see things getting extreme and your jealous coworker has gone to the extent of trying to sabotage your work, then you should document everything. Try speaking to the coworker privately, telling them you know what they did.
If they continue with their behavior, speak to HR, and at this point, the documentation will help.
If you notice your coworker being particularly malicious, you should also inform another trusted colleague about it. Knowing someone else knows will keep your jealous coworker in check.
6. Do not Ignore Long
Sometimes, jealousy can restrict itself to petty gossip, and that’s it. If that is all your jealous coworker is doing, you can ignore it for a while.
Usually, this kind of gossip stops when something new happens in the office.
However, if the gossiping leads to maligning and puts your work and reputation on the line, you should take a stand.
Keep delivering what the decision-makers expect of you, and then talk to HR or others concerned about stopping it.
The longer you ignore the matter, the more challenging things will be. A warning from the management could put your jealous coworker to rest.
It is always a good idea to have cordial relationships with your coworkers. However, some people do not change, no matter how hard they try.
If all your efforts seem to fail, you simply continue doing your job to the best of your abilities. Do not let the insecurities of your colleague rattle you in any way.
Do not think about changing companies if you are thriving in your present position, nor should you waste valuable time and energy thinking about your jealous coworkers.
Suppose you keep on working diligently and honestly. In that case, your employers will appreciate your efforts, and you will get the desired outcome, no matter what anyone else thinks.
So, keep on doing well, and your jealous coworkers will not be able to stop you from succeeding.