Knowing how to deal with jealous coworkers is very important, especially if you are an employee that aims for excellence.
In the workplace, you have to do your best to be the best and stand out.
However sometimes, this does not go down well with everyone, and you are bound to get some form of jealousy from some coworkers.
Jealousy can be a very toxic trait, especially when you get it from coworkers who are in the same space as you.
It has a way of impacting the efficiency in the workplace and teamwork negatively.
For jealous coworkers, different things can easily get them off on this attitude and make you wonder why they are like that.
Sometimes, the reasons might be obvious, such as when you are exceptional in your work and get more recognition than they do.
At other times, some coworkers might simply get jealous for no obvious reason to you.
You might simply notice that their behaviors or attitude towards you has changed and it’s getting you uncomfortable.
Jealous coworkers can exhibit toxicity to the extent that they might not only look down on you with disdain but try to ‘recruit’ others to do the same.
Some might even resort to talking badly about you to other coworkers or your bosses.
Finding yourself in such an environment and situation can be quite sickening and affect you on many fronts.
In this article, we will consider who jealous coworkers are, and some common signs that can help you identify them.
You will see some of the ways having to deal with jealous coworkers can impact you.
We will also give you ways to professionally deal with them.
What are Jealous Coworkers?
Let us begin with what the word ‘jealousy’ means, as this will help you to better understand who jealous coworkers are.
Jealousy has been defined as a feeling of unhappiness or sometimes anger towards someone else because he/she is believed to have an advantage over the other person.
Sometimes, this is used synonymously with envy.
A jealous person feels some certain way, mostly negative, towards another person because of what the person enjoys or benefits that they do not (or so they feel).
In the workplace, jealous coworkers might have a negative feeling towards you because of your success, talents, position, or achievements.
These might feel that what you are and can do puts you at a better advantage than them, and hence the jealousy.
While some will show their jealousy by ignoring you or keeping their distance from you, some go a little further.
Some jealous coworkers might allow their jealousy to degenerate to the point of envy, such that they even want to take away what you have.
Because of this, they might be hostile towards you and even work on tripping you off the edge, any opportunity they get.
Jealousy in the workplace from coworkers can create a toxic environment most times, and hence the need to know how to deal with them.
How to Identify Jealous Coworkers
Do you have some coworkers that exhibit certain traits and behaviors toward you, and you aren’t quite sure if it’s jealousy?
If yes, then the following signs can help you to clearly and quickly identify who the jealous coworkers are in your organizations:
Jealous Coworkers Usually Refuse to Help
While not always a sign of jealousy, but most times a deliberate refusal of a coworker to assist you when you need it might be a sign they are jealous.
Perhaps you always give them a helping hand when they need it, but when it gets to your turn, they simply do not care.
It is one thing for them not to know that you need help, and they can be excused for that.
But when it’s obvious that their input and support can help you and they blatantly refuse to, then it could be a signal of jealousy.
To be sure, you can do your part by asking them for help with areas you feel they know better and offer better input.
If they consistently refuse to help you even if they can, it might be a sign that they want you to fail and are jealous of you.
They Expect You to Make Mistakes or Love it When You Do
Another sign of jealousy from coworkers that make it necessary that you deal with it is someone always expecting you to make mistakes.
They show this by their backhanded compliments or comments when you eventually succeed on a task they expect you to fail in.
Even when giving you compliments, they sound like they are surprised you could achieve that and expected you to make mistakes.
Also, when you make mistakes, they just can’t stop laughing over it or making you feel bad about it.
They also try to engage others in this same attitude of theirs.
This can be a sign that they are jealous of your previous success, and hence your mistakes now give them joy.
They Try to Sabotage Your Work
Attempts at sabotaging your work by your coworker(s) mean trying to drag you back and impede your performance or productivity.
They might be making deliberate efforts to make sure your chances for success are low because your success threatens theirs.
This they do by not providing you the needed resources to work or slowing you down some other ways.
If they act this way; trying to influence your performance or productivity negatively, it might be a sign they are jealous of your success.
They Don’t Join Others to Celebrate Your Success/Achievements
It is very easy to spot; you have just achieved a great feat and your colleagues are celebrating you.
But there is this one person who has made it a habit to keep an unconcerned face and couldn’t care less if you won a presidential seat.
They are not just happy for your success and they cannot hide it, as it is written all over their face.
When your coworkers make this a habit, then it can also be a sign that they are jealous of you and you need to deal with that.
They Talk Behind Your Back and Spread Lies About You
Another sign that might indicate that your coworkers are jealous of you is if they always talk behind your back.
They might be gisting about something when you are not in the room and immediately stop when you come in.
While this doesn’t immediately translate to gossip about you or jealousy, but you need to check for a pattern.
If it happens regularly and they are in a habit of doing this, then it can indicate they are jealous of you.
Another sign of jealousy from coworkers is spreading malicious lies about you.
They might have a habit of always saying things that are untrue about you to others in a bid to paint you in a bad light or pull you down.
This could be because they are jealous of your success and covet your position or responsibility.
Negative Effects of Having Jealous Coworkers
Jealousy is a toxic trait that has harmful effects on both the jealous person and the victim of jealousy.
For the person who is jealous of another, it can result in constant feelings of anger and resentment towards another person.
It can also make the jealous person unhappy, and this can result in health problems if care is not taken.
However, the effects of having jealous coworkers are even more on you who is the person someone is jealous of.
Here are some of the negative effects of having jealous coworkers:
It Affects Your Productivity Negatively
Constantly having to deal with jealous coworkers can negatively impact your productivity.
This might be as a result of the frequent ridicule, jibes, show of anger, or bad remarks from the jealous coworker.
Sometimes, you might even be less efficient or productive because you do not want to “do too much” and wake up the jealousy in the other person.
In these ways, your productivity can be affected negatively and affect how much you can do at work.
Your Job Might Keep Getting Sabotaged
One of the things jealous coworkers do is deliberately sabotage the job of others, especially those they see as threats or at a better advantage.
They might withhold information you need for work from you or hold back some resources they should give to you.
Also, these might even go the extra mile of badmouthing you to other coworkers or your bosses.
And this can make your job get complicated.
Jealous Coworkers Can Cause You Your Peace of Mind
Having to deal with people who regularly look down on you and talk you down because of your success and achievements is anything but convenient.
There have been cases of people who suffer mental stress and depression because of having to deal with jealous coworkers.
They are usually toxic and can thus affect you emotionally and ruin your inner peace and calm.
Jealous Coworkers Foster a Lack of Team Spirit
If you have jealous coworkers in your organization, then you should expect that the team spirit would be rock-bottom.
Jealous coworkers prefer to do things their way and take the glory because they are not happy seeing you get the recognition.
They might also be working against others on a team simply because they are jealous of their ability and prospective success.
Such a lack of team spirit and teamwork is evident in an organization where you have jealous coworkers.
How to Deal with Jealous Coworkers – What to Do
Many things can affect your job in the workplace and having jealous coworkers hoving around you is one of them.
While there is little you can do to avoid having to work with people who are jealous of you, you can do your part to manage the situation and stay motivated.
Here are some things you can do to deal with jealous coworkers, keeping your job performance topnotch in the process, and maintaining job satisfaction:
Ignore Them if The Jealousy is not Adversely Affecting You
The first and best line of action for dealing with jealous coworkers is to ignore them if you can.
One thing with jealous people is that they love attention and drama, and confronting them should be an alternative resort rather than the first.
Especially if your jealous coworkers are doing this out of hatred and in a bid to get a reaction from you, it’s best to ignore.
Experiences have shown that deploying this tactic might make the jealous coworker chance his/her stance eventually or just let you be.
Sometimes you might be the reason your coworkers are jealous of you.
One of the things you might do to incite jealousy in your coworkers is having an ego and not being humble in your achievements.
Do you usually brag about your abilities and accomplishments in a way that makes others feel little or less?
If so, this can quickly make hatred develop in the minds of coworkers who feel they are not so good, and hence jealousy follows.
To prevent this, it is best to stay humble even if you have certain abilities, skills, talents, or achievements than others.
That way, you can ensure you aren’t the one fueling or inciting jealousy in your coworkers.
Focus on Giving Your Best In Your Job as Always
Your success and results indeed are what is giving jealous co-workers a hard time and why they come for you.
Hence, it might sound counter-productive to continue to do your best and excel when dealing with jealous coworkers.
However, that is your best weapon.
You cannot slow down, as this is what the jealous person wants; seeing you lose the recognition and possibly get it for themselves.
Therefore, instead of allowing their jealousy to make you less active and productive, it is good to continue being the best that you are.
Keep acing those projects, meeting those deadlines, winning the approval of your bosses and coworkers.
With time, when they see how relevant you are to the growth of the organization, they might just stop being jealous and have more respect for you.
Offer to Mentor People or Guide Them
It is easier for jealousy to foster when you know a lot about something that others know little about.
This could be as a result of your knowledge, area of expertise, or certain skills that you have developed.
If you keep these to yourself and constantly use them to excel and perform excellently, it can breed jealousy in other coworkers.
But what about if you choose to mentor people or train them on some of these skills that make you relevant and successful.
Most likely, this might soften their negative attitude towards you, as they see you are not trying to show off but also a good leader.
Taking up leadership roles voluntarily is a very effective way of dealing with jealous coworkers.
Work on Group Recognition As Well As Individual’s
Another reason why some of your coworkers might be jealous of you is that you keep getting accolades and recognition for your achievements.
As an employer or someone in a leadership position, you can work on group recognition as well as individual recognition.
That means you should encourage teamwork, and appreciate your employees as a team as well as you do individuals.
Well, you cannot rule out individual recognitions, as this is essential for motivating employees and serve as an incentive.
But when you do group recognition, as well it removes the spotlight from one person and puts it on a team of employees.
And this can help to reduce the incidence of jealousy in the workplace.
Make it a Goal to Appreciate Jealous Coworkers(Honestly)
One of the major problems with jealous coworkers is their insecurities and feelings that they are not good enough.
That is why they feel threatened by your success and achievements and wish to enjoy the same or take it away from you.
Hence, one way you can deal with them and reduce the jealous inclination is by showing them they are valuable and matters as well.
You can do this by throwing them random compliments and appreciating what they do well.
When you do this, you are showing them that you are not better than them and they are awesome as well.
That way, they see no reason to be jealous of you, knowing that they are also winning in some area.
While doing this though, be careful not to flatter them as they can see through it, and it can make them more bitter towards you.
Therefore, make your commendations honest to have the desired effect.
Speak Well of Jealous Coworkers to Top Management
As long as their jealousy is borne out of feelings of insecurities or not feeling good enough, this tactic can work for you.
Jealous coworkers might feel that you are the toast of the organization and those in management loves you more.
Why not draw the attention of your superiors to the strengths of these people and make them feel appreciated as well.
Knowing that you have their back and also want the best for them might make them stop feeling jealous of you.
Document Your Work
Some jealous coworkers might have allowed envy to develop in their hearts, and these might want to discredit you before your boss.
To avoid that, you must document everything you do and be as professional as possible.
You have a small margin for error when dealing with a jealous coworker, and as such, you must stay professional.
Do not give room for mistakes or reasons why whatever bad thing they say about you turns out to be true.
When you have a record of all you do, you are preparing for anything that jealous coworkers come up with and deal with it.
Conclusion – How to Deal with Jealous Coworkers
Some people liken jealousy to disease, mostly because it tends to grow from bad to worse and become envy.
When left unchecked, jealous coworkers can create a toxic work environment and make the workplace a difficult place for you to be.
Thankfully though, there are ways to deal with jealous coworkers professionally, and not allow them to destroy your reputation or job satisfaction.
Apply the suggestions we’ve given in this article, and you just might turn even the most toxic jealous coworkers into allies.