11 Signs A Coworker Is Competing With You – Let’s Solve It

Written By Assma Riaz

If competition at the workplace improves employees’ performance, that’s fine.

But if it’s generating a cold war between workers, it’s unhealthy competition that needs to stop immediately.

11 Clear Signs A Coworker Is Competing With You

When you’re doing better than everyone else, they should try to learn from you and be in healthy competition.

You weren’t the one who wanted to compete, but your coworker is competing with you unannounced. It can be stressful and annoying for you as they’re always coming at you with a negative influence.

A coworker competes with you when he points out your mistakes and brags about his success. He’s more of a leg puller than a team member.

Let’s discover the signs a coworker is competing with you and how to deal with such kinds of people.

1. The Coworker Looks For The Same Work As Yours:

A competing coworker will try to work on the same assignments which you’re already working on. His motive is to show that he can do it better than you.

Signs A Coworker Is Competing With You
The Coworker Looks For The Same Work As Yours

Moreover, he’ll try to snatch better jobs so that you’re left with the scratch ones.

The coworker wants to grab the limelight, and he’ll do anything possible to make you look bad.

He thinks that he’ll get appreciation if he’s successful in showing you as an unproductive employee. This is one of the signs someone is competing with you.

2. Competitive Coworker Don’t Share Information:

If both of you are working in the same team, and he’s the one to provide you information, then you’re screwed up.

Your coworker won’t share necessary information, so you mess up the project and look bad.

It will surely satisfy his ego when the boss scolds you for the results. Don’t forget that a competing coworker can go to any height!

3. Complaints Against You To Management:

Your coworker is looking for an opportunity to complain against you to management.

He Never Misses The Chance To Complaint Against You
Complaints Against You To Management

If you made a mistake, he won’t wait for a second and fly towards HR to ruin your reputation.

He can also make up stories to get you down the track by accusing you of things you never did.

The motive is still the same! He wants to show himself more capable and skilled as compared to you.

4. Tries Their Best To Disdain And Mock You:

A competing coworker won’t refrain from pulling your leg by throwing unnecessary mocking comments.

He’s here to win from you, and for this purpose, he’ll disdain you to snatch away your motivation.

The coworker passes comments on your personality traits to steal away your confidence.

For instance, he mocks you by saying you’re too fat to fit in the office chair and you should stay home.

5. Doesn’t Act Like A Team Member – Signs A Coworker Is Competing With You:

Even if you’re working as a team member to make the team win as a whole, your coworker thinks the opposite.

The Coworker Has Nothing To Do With The Team Work
Doesnt Act Like A Team Member – Signs A Coworker Is Competing With You

His only concern is to win as an individual and show that he’s the best in the company. An unhealthy competition won’t bring any good to him, but he’s not trying to look at this fact.

No doubt, he’ll make efforts to do his part of the project, but he won’t cooperate with other team members.

6. He Starts Working For More Hours Than You:

It’s an absolute sign that a coworker competes with you if he starts working for longer hours.

For instance, you’d do overtime to meet the deadlines, but the coworker thinks you’re trying to impress the boss.

He will also start working for longer hours and makes sure he’s working more than you do in a day.

7. Snatches The Better Tasks With More Growth:

As said before, a competing coworker will try his best to snatch the better tasks with more growth.

He Grabs More Opportunistic Work
Snatches The Better Tasks With More Growth

He’s always looking for opportunities that can help to grow him in his career. So he can work in a better position than you.

When there’s an important project, he’ll volunteer and get the better tasks before you ask for these.

8. They Don’t Greet Or Smile At You – Signs A Coworker Is Competing With You:

You must be thinking about why this particular coworker of yours never smiles when you look at him.

The reason is that he might have hatred in his heart because of that urging need to compete with you.

He sees you as his competition and considers it against the rules to smile at you or greet you in the morning.

9. Finds Faults In Your Work – Another Nitpicker:

When you’re more competent than your coworker, the last thing they can do is to nitpick your work. He’ll point out unnecessary faults in your work and make it look like you didn’t put much effort into it.

Always Criticizes Your Work
Finds Faults In Your Work – Another Nitpicker

That’s a normal thing for a competing coworker to belittle someone’s work and find faults in it. He is unaware of the damage it’s causing to your confidence.

So next time your coworker points out defects in your project, he’s definitely competing with you.

10. He Spreads False Rumors About You:

When your coworker can’t match the level of your success, he starts ruining your image.

You’ll hear strange rumors about you from other coworkers who believe these are true.

The competing coworker won’t stop here and make a web of rumors against you in front of the boss.

He’ll do anything possible to destroy your image as a capable employee so he can be the better option for projects.

11. The Coworker Tries To Dominate The Communication:

For example, you’re in a meeting with your clients, and you’re briefing them about the project. Your competing coworker dominates the conversation by giving some valid points.

Signs A Coworker Is Competing With You
The Coworker Tries To Dominate The Communication

He isn’t helping you but portraying you as incapable in front of those clients.

Moreover, he purposely withholds the necessary information, so you are out of the loop.

5 Tips To Deal With A Competing Coworker

Working with a competitive coworker can be a stressful deal, especially when you don’t want to compete. That’s why it’s important to learn how to deal with a competing coworker.

1. Avoid Adding Fuel To Their Fire:

If your coworker is annoyingly competitive, that doesn’t mean you have to respond in the same way.

Give The Response With A Subtle Smile
Avoid Adding Fuel To Their Fire

He’ll often brag about his achievements before you and wait for your response to keep the game on.

But if you respond with a subtle smile, they won’t have a reason to proceed with this competing show-off.

2. Tell Them You Don’t Want To Compete:

For getting your competitive coworker off your back, you’ll have to open up to them about this problem.

Talk to your coworker directly and tell him that you don’t want unhealthy competition.

It will save time and energy for both of you as the coworker will come to know that you aren’t competing.

3. Seek Help From The Boss:

Even if your boss is not a part of this issue, it would be the right decision to involve him in.

You can seek help from the boss by explaining to him how you’ve been feeling at work lately.

Signs A Coworker Is Competing With You
Seek Help From The Boss

It’s your right to tell the boss that your coworker is stressing you out and draining your energy.

After all, the boss is there to help anyone get freed from unnecessary tensions.

4. Keep Your Focus Straight:

If you’re working in a competitive workplace, it’ll be difficult for you not to indulge in that competition.

But remember that you’re here for this, you’ve other goals to pursue, and this is what your motive is.

Instead of competing, you should shift your focus to your projects and invest your time in them.

5. Consider Their Motive:

Another great way to deal with your competing coworker is to take some time and learn the reason behind it. The reason that’s forcing them to compete with you instead of working as a teammate.

Find Out The Reason Behind This Competition
Consider Their Motive

Try to know why they are behaving this way and address that issue in your possible capacity.

Maybe he’s an older employee who got worried that you’ll replace him in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Know If Someone Is Competing With You?

If a friend is competing with you, he or she'll try to sabotage your success. A visible sign is that they are happy with your failures. They won't celebrate your success and always try to copy you. Also, there'd be interest in your tasks.

How Do You Outsmart A Manipulative Coworker?

One of the things you can do is see things from their perspective and be professional when dealing with them. Don't let their behavior destroy your mood or affect your goals and also respond to beneficial situations.

How Do You Protect Yourself From A Jealous Coworker?

You should rise above their jealousy and don't take it personally because they are jealous of everyone. Also, remind yourself that you aren't alone; there are always other people to seek help from.

What Is A Competitive Person Like?

Competitive people are obsessed with wins, although no one likes to lose; for them losing is not an option. It becomes extremely disappointing to see someone else winning. Competitive people are always in a race to be the best.


Spotting a competing coworker and then dealing with it can be an extra task that popped out of nowhere. But you have to do it for the sake of your well-being.

A competing coworker will never celebrate your achievements. That’s because they don’t get time after bragging about themselves.

When you tell them a story, they’ll always try to tell you a better one, so you’re one step backward than them.

When you see the signs a coworker is competing with you, you should stay calm. The wisest thing to do is let them do whatever they are doing and keep your focus on your work to do the best!

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Last Updated on 2 months by

Assma Riaz

Leave a Comment