How to Deal with Jealous Coworkers and Change the Situation for the Better?

It is human nature to envy. Few people can genuinely rejoice in their neighbor's good fortune or success. For most, envy and jealousy can taint their spirit. You can find both successful employees and those who envy them in many business companies. A significant number of reasons can exist for this feeling to appear. At the same time, professional achievements are not always the object of envy. An ordinary secretary who has recently married for love can be attacked no less than a successful careerist.

If you got a long-awaited and well-deserved promotion for your endeavors at work, you could face a feeling of envy from your coworkers. While some employees silently realize that the comparison is not in their favor, others may take action against you. Suddenly, you can notice that your colleagues began to communicate with you in a strange way, their smiles do not look sincere at all, and you start to feel like a black sheep.

What Are the Jealous Coworkers Signs?

Plotting and mobbing can be obvious signs that you have become the object of envy. You may notice that someone is spreading gossip about you for no reason. You used to live and work quietly, but now rumors about you are flying around the office. The reason for this, most probably, is a banal desire to annoy and upset you. You cannot fight this because the source of gossip is unknown.

You may also face groundless criticism. Perhaps, you have managed to purchase a new fashionable item. However, none of the colleagues appreciate your new look. In the best-case scenario, they can shrug and chuckle. In the worst case, they make some passive-aggressive comments about your appearance behind your back. Unfortunately, someone else's joy, albeit a little one, can be unbearable for some people.

Colleagues may suddenly begin to ignore or avoid you. Everything can start with a banal silence during a lunch break and end with a real boycott. Your achievements can annoy other people so much that it is easier for them to refuse to communicate with you than tolerate your presence. At the same time, you demonstrate that you are truly happy. Who will enjoy that? However, jealousy in the workplace is very unpleasant and can be a reason for you to worry.

Employees begin to come up with excuses for you and impose their points of view. One day, you can be surprised to learn that you got a promotion not thanks to your tenacity and talent, but as a result of your boss having their eye on you. At the very least, envious people can realize that you were just lucky. It is easier for them to think so than try to change their lives for the better and join the ranks of the lucky ones.

You start to see many competitors around. People who did not want to do anything before suddenly became active after noticing your success in a particular area. Otherwise, your big and small victories can be underestimated. Ill-wishers stay indifferent and respond that they know somebody who achieved even more than you. However, the reaction of an adequate person implies praise and sincere joy for you.

People at work can imitate you. As for the jealous coworkers' signs, you can also notice that some employees from another department try to copy your style, gait, habits, and speaking manner. It is not surprising - everyone wants to be equal to the best of us. It should flatter you to some extent. At least, this colleague's behavior means that you are on the right track to becoming successful.

Why Does It Happen?

Aeschylus, who lived in the 5th century BC, said that the unenvied person is not enviable. It might be true, but you should not completely ignore people who are haunted by your success. A sensitive and fragile person may well take the bait. Envious coworkers can seriously hurt your career, ruin your relationships with other people, and cause serious work-related troubles.

Envy often arises in companies with a high level of competition between employees, and it may take aggressive forms. Psychologists claim that this phenomenon does not depend on gender. Moreover, men can also envy the career success of women. Also, many people tend to attribute the critical attitude and negativism on colleagues' part to this sinful feeling.

Envious people are usually not sure whether they are able to demonstrate the same achievements. Another prerequisite for envy is an intersection of interests. In other words, jealousy is emerging when you have managed to obtain what the other wants to have. It may turn out that the offenders cannot do anything in such a situation but make you feel bad and upset.

Not always jealousy in the workplace comes from outside of your close circle. People that you considered friends or like-minded colleagues can change their behavior and become jealous of you. So, it is worth taking a closer look at those who openly flatter or secretly envy you. The sooner you notice the signs of jealousy, the easier you will be able to cope. Let's consider several tips on how to deal with envy.

How to Cope With Jealousy in the Workplace

If you are a valuable employee, you can ignore the spiteful critics. However, it is essential to understand the reasons objectively. If somebody pointed out some flaws of yours and offered a way to fix them at the same time, do not rush to enroll this colleague in the camp of enemies. So, how to deal with jealous coworkers? First of all, it is crucial to distinguish the manifestations of professional jealousy and personal hostility.

Do not panic if one of your colleagues is jealous of you. A tense relationship with one employee is not always a manifestation of envy, although you might have a temptation to blame everybody for human nature's imperfection. A skillful neutralization of an envious person can completely secure your future career. If the problem lies in a specific person who has long been poisoning your life with some intrigues, try to talk to them face to face to sort things out.

Make a separate meeting and explain that you are tired of nit-picking and incomprehensible attitude towards you. Do not do this in the presence of other employees. Tell them that you do not need conflicts with colleagues. Be sure to mention that this fact prevents both of you from cooperating peacefully together. If it will not work, keep this person in sight, but do not stoop to the same methods of sabotage.

How to deal with envy at work? Never oppose yourself to the team of employees. Do not pretend to be a mysterious and well-defined personality. Accept the rooted traditions of the collective, even if they seem silly and irrelevant to you. Do not avoid activities outside of work. Respect other people's feelings and opinions, and then people around you may quickly change their anger to mercy and stop behaving incorrectly with you.

If, among other things, you have a happy family life, try not to tell about this in the presence of people for whom this subject can be painful. Do not annoy your colleagues with endless stories about your professional and personal successes. Not everyone is ready to rejoice at your good luck. So, stop telling all the details of your family's happiness to your coworkers.

People say that privacy loves silence. Share your joy only with those in whom you are completely confident. However, you can tell some inoffensive and funny personal stories when it is appropriate. It will not be superfluous to highlight some of your colleagues' merits publicly. Kind words and sincere gratitude will help reduce tension in the team. At the same time, it can alleviate the colleagues' dizziness from your success.


Anyone who cannot rest easy at night because of your success is wasting time and energy. While tormented by comparisons in your favor, these people miss their career development. How to deal with jealous coworkers? You can consider some tips mentioned above. If your attempts to amend relationships fail, reduce communication with these employees to a minimum and use a formal business tone with them. In any case, do not deviate from your ultimate objective since you have the right to build your career and life. Think of envy as the flip side of success.

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