9 Tips To Deal With Jealous Competitive Coworkers

Written By Aleena

Do you have a coworker who is always trying to one-up you? Or someone who seems jealous whenever you get recognition for your work? Let’s learn how to deal with jealous, competitive coworkers like such.

Dealing with jealous and competitive coworkers can be challenging. But there are some things you can do to diffuse the situation and keep your cool.

How To Deal With Jealous Competitive Coworkers?

When dealing with a jealous, competitive coworker, it’s important to remember that it’s not about you.

In most cases, this person feels insecure in their job and is taking it out on you.

Here are some tips for how to deal with a jealous, competitive coworker:

1. Acknowledge Their Feelings:

The first step is to acknowledge that your coworker feels jealous and competitive.

This doesn’t mean that you need to agree with their feelings. But it will help diffuse the situation.

You can, this way, show them that you understand how they’re feeling.


Acknowledge feelings - How To Deal With Jealous Competitive Coworkers

Some way to acknowledge their feelings is to say something like:

“I can see that you’re feeling jealous. It sounds like you’re worried that I will take your job.

Then you can move on to the next step.

2. Avoid Reacting:

Once you’ve acknowledged their feelings, the next step is to avoid reacting.

This can be difficult, but staying calm and not taking the bait is essential.

If you react, it will only escalate the situation and make things worse.

To control yourself from reacting, you might want to take deep breaths or even walk away for a few minutes.

Also, remember that you don’t need to justify your actions to this person. They’re just looking for a reaction from you.

And when you don’t give them one, it takes away their power.

3. Don’t Take It Personally:

Again, it’s important to remember that this has nothing to do with you.

In most cases, the person feels insecure in their job and is taking it out on you.

So try not to take it personally. This isn’t about you. It’s about them.

This approach can be complex. But it’s important to remember that you’re not the cause of their feelings.

And getting defensive will only make the situation worse.

4. Talk To Them Directly:

Once you’ve calmed down, you can talk to the person directly.

This is usually the best approach. It gives you a chance to clear the air and resolve the issue. 

When you talk to them, be assertive but not aggressive. And avoid getting defensive or making accusations.

Instead, focus on how their actions are impacting you.

Here’s an example of what you could say:

“I noticed that you’ve been trying to one-up me lately. And it’s starting to bother me.

Can we please talk about what’s going on?”


“I’ve noticed that you seem to get jealous whenever I get recognition for my work.

And it’s impacting our relationship. Can we please talk about what’s going on?”

5. Set Boundaries:

Suppose the person doesn’t want to talk about the issue. Or, if they continue to act jealously and competitively, set boundaries.

Limit interaction - How To Deal With Jealous Competitive Coworkers

This might mean limiting your interactions with them or even avoiding them altogether.

You can also tell them directly that their behavior is unacceptable.

If the person doesn’t want to listen to you or respect your boundaries, you might need to talk to your boss or HR.

6. Focus On Yourself:

The best way to deal with a jealous, competitive coworker is to focus on yourself.

You can’t control how they feel, but you can control how you react. Focus on your work and let your success speak for itself.

In time, they will see that you’re not a threat. By then, hopefully, the jealousy will fade away.

7. Avoid Getting Drawn Into Their Drama: 

It can be tempting to get drawn into a jealous coworker’s drama. But it’s essential to avoid this.

Getting involved will only make the situation worse and could damage your reputation.

So, if you can, stay out of it. The less you engage, the better.

Some people are just naturally jealous and competitive. And there’s nothing you can do to change that.

The best you can do is protect yourself and focus on your work.

8. Ignore Them Eventually:

If all else fails, you might have to ignore them.

Jealous people will often try to drag you down with them. But if you stay focused on your own goals, they’ll eventually get bored and move on.

Of course, this isn’t always possible. If the person is in a position of power, you might have to put up with their behavior.

But eventually, they will get tired of trying to bring you down and move on to someone else.

9. Find A New Job:

If the situation is terrible and you can’t seem to fix it, you might need to find a new job.

Work-life unbearable.

Jealousy and competition can make work-life unbearable. And it’s not worth sacrificing your mental health to keep a job.

So, if you’ve tried everything else and nothing has worked, it might be time to start looking for a new job.

Thus, here are some possible solutions to deal with a jealous, competitive coworker.

Is Jealousy and Competition Contagious?

Yes, jealousy and competition are contagious.

Studies have shown that when people see others being jealous or competitive, they are more likely to behave differently.

This is because jealousy and competition are rooted in insecurity. 

And when people see others behaving in a certain way, it can trigger their insecurity.

So, if jealous and competitive people surround you, it’s essential to be aware of this.

And try to avoid getting caught up in their drama. Focus on your work and stay positive.

In time, the jealousy and competition will hopefully fade away.

If you do not handle this situation correctly, other coworkers can start reacting this way too.

They might feel that you are a threat to them and their position in the company.

It is essential to nip this in the bud as soon as possible.

The most important thing is staying calm and not letting jealousy and competition get to you.

Easier said than done. But it’s important to try.

Why? Because if you let it affect you, it will only worsen the situation.

So, try to focus on your work and stay positive. In time, things will hopefully improve.

When Do Jealousy and Competition Become a Problem?

Jealousy and competition can become a problem when they start affecting your work.

Your coworker might not express it openly, but you could feel their changing behavior.

There are a few signs that will help you realize if your coworker is jealous of you:

1. They Gossip About You:

If your coworker is jealous of you, they might start gossiping about you behind your back.

Gossiping about you

They might try to make you look bad in front of other people. Or they might try to sabotage your work. 

This shows that they are threatened by you and are trying to bring you down.

2. They Are Always Criticizing You:

Another sign that your coworker is jealous of you is if they are constantly criticizing you.

They might find fault with everything you do. Or they might try to make you feel like you’re not good enough.

This is their way of putting you down and making themselves feel better.

3. They Are Incredibly Competitive:

If your coworker is always trying to one-up you, it’s a sign that they are jealous of you.

They might try to outdo you at everything. Or they might try to take credit for your work.

They are trying to make themselves feel superior to you by doing this.

4. They Are Avoiding You:

Your coworker might avoid you if they are jealous of you.

They might not want to talk to you or work with you. And they might try to distance themselves from you.

This is their way of trying to keep you from getting too close.

5. They Falsely Complain About You:

Another sign that your coworker is jealous of you is if they falsely complain about you.

Falsely complain

They might make up stories about you to make you look bad. Or they might try to get you in trouble with your boss.

This is their way of trying to take you down a notch.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to take action.

Why Is It Important To Deal With Jealousy and Competition?

Jealousy and competition can be destructive in several ways, such as:

1. Make You Stressed:

Jealousy and competition can make you stressed.

And this can lead to a whole host of problems such as:

– Anxiety

– Depression, and even

– Physical health problems

When you’re worrying about what other people are doing, it takes a toll on your mental and physical health. 

2. Affect Your Work:

If you let it get to you, jealousy and competition will only make your work suffer.

You might start making mistake, or you might not be able to focus on your work.

This will only lead to more problems down the road.

3. Create Tension in the Workplace:

Jealousy and competition can create tension in the workplace.

If you let it get out of hand, it can lead to arguments and even physical violence.

Tension in the workplace.

When there is tension in the workplace, it is difficult for everyone to do their job.

So, it’s essential to deal with jealousy and competition before it gets out of hand.

4. Destroy Relationships:

If you let it get out of control, jealousy can ruin your relationships with your coworkers.

And this can make going to work every day a nightmare.

So, deal with jealousy and competition before it destroys your relationships.

5. Make You Miss Out On Opportunities:

If you’re too focused on what other people are doing, you might not be able to see the opportunity in front of you.

And this can lead to a missed opportunity.

So, don’t let jealousy and competition blind you to the right opportunities in front of you.


Jealousy and competition can be destructive. But you don’t have to let it get the best of you.

If you take action, you can constructively deal with jealousy and competition.

This will help you stay calm, focused, and productive at work. And it will also help you to maintain healthy relationships.

Last Updated on 1 year by Aleena


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