Why Does My Coworker Compete With Me – 8 Reasons

Written By Assma Riaz

If you’re doing good, people will either follow you or compete with you. Workplace competition is a common thing, and coworkers are always doing that to win the race.

Why Does My Coworker Compete With Me – 8 Reasons

It must be nerve-wracking to see your coworkers in competition with you, even you don’t want that. So it’s good to know the reason behind their behavior to better deal with this situation.

But it might happen that when you confront your coworker, he will not accept that he’s competing with you.

So you must dig into the matter yourself if it’s bothering you beyond your capacity.

Here are some reasons you should see to discover the one that’s making you suffer.

1. You’re Doing Well, And She Wants The Same:

You and your coworker were working in the same position, but you got promoted to a higher level. Now your coworker got left to the same old position, but she wants to compete with you.

He Wants To Match Your Level Of Success
Youre Doing Well, And She Wants The Same

The reason is that she wants to progress just the way you did. You’re now earning more, and she’s motivated to achieve that unlocked level.

That is why your coworker competes with you, but the good news is that this is a healthy one!

2. He Tries To Surpass You For Ego Satisfaction:

Whether you’re involved in that competition or not, your coworker will drag you into the mess.

He competes with you in every little task and satisfies his ego if he wins at doing so.

He’s always looking to be one step ahead of you and can do anything for it. Such people get nothing at the end, but they still don’t give up on that unhealthy competition.

3. Why Does My Coworker Compete With Me – He Is Threatened By You:

It’s common to feel threatened by the people we’ve been working with for some years. Your coworker might be thinking that you’ll snatch away his job.

The Coworker Sees You As A Threat To His Job
Why Does My Coworker Compete With Me – He Is Threatened By You

He doesn’t want to get kicked out of office for not being good enough. That’s why he starts a competition with you before such things happen.

You’ve been performing so well all these years, and this threats him; there’s nothing else.

4. He Hates You And Wants You To Fail:

Your coworker might hate you for no specific reason, and his competition is a way of showing that hatred.

He tries to outsmart you and do better in every job so that he can smirk at you at the end of the day.

Why Does My Coworker Compete With Me
He Hates You And Wants You To Fail

When the boss appreciates such people in front of you, they feel they have won the battle with you.

5. The Coworker Got Impressed By Your Charisma:

You have that loud charm that impressed everyone at the office from the day you joined. Your coworker might be impressed by your vibe, and he wants to be like you!

He Likes Your Vibe And Wants To Follow It
The Coworker Got Impressed By Your Charisma

You see it as a competition, but he might be just trying to follow you. His intentions are not that bad, but his actions say that he’s trying to compete with you.

If you feel that he’s trying to follow your way, you should let him do that because he isn’t harming you.

6. Why Does My Coworker Compete With Me – Wants To Prove He Can Replace You:

It’s instilled in some people that they want to prove themselves better and satisfy their ego. Your coworker is doing the same!

He wants to prove that he can replace you anytime and you have no worth in the company.

Let him do what he’s doing until and unless his actions put your job in danger.

Such people just want you to accept that they are superior and can do anything they want.

7. He Wants To Be In Boss’s Good Books:

A coworker who always sees himself in a competition with others might be doing it for recognition.

This Competition Is For The Sake Of Recognition From Boss
He Wants To Be In Bosss Good Books

Most of us want to get appraised and recognized for our efforts by our boss. Maybe he wants to be in the good books of the boss. That’s why he’s always in an unseen race of being better than you.

Also, being in the boss’s eyes will sooner or later get him a promotion; that’s what he’s working for.

8. He’s In Pressure To Get A Promotion: 

Maybe your coworker got worried that you’re too good and replace him in the near future. He competes with you because he wants to secure his job.

Sometimes a coworker unknowingly competes with others because they want a promotion.

They’re under the pressure of getting a promotion, and this is what makes them compete against you. It can be possible that his job is in danger, and competing is a way of coping up with this problem.

5 Steps To Deal With A Coworker Who Competes With You

If your annoying coworker doesn’t stop that unhealthy and unwanted competition, you must take steps for yourself.

Sometimes it’s fine to let go of such people, but at days you don’t have the energy to bear it with anymore.

So here’s what you should do with a coworker who competes.

1. Let Them Do What They Are Doing:

Annoying coworkers will always see things from a competitive perspective. They might be doing it to show you that they are better than you.

Why Does My Coworker Compete With Me
Let Them Do What They Are Doing

If your coworker keeps on telling you about his unseen achievements, you should smile at him. Don’t let his freakish behavior get onto your head, and keep moving on with your day.

If you respond with the same behavior, you’ll be just adding the fuel to their fire.

2. Tell Him Clearly You Don’t Want To Compete:

If his behavior was not harming you before, then it’s fine to let him do what he is doing. But if he intends to portray a bad image of you in front of the boss, then deal with it.

Confront your coworker and openly tell him that you aren’t a part of any race.

Tell him that you’re doing your work, and so he should as well. Also, offer him to work as a team and not as competitors.

3. Why Does My Coworker Compete With Me – Get In Touch With The Boss:

Even if your boss is not a part of this chaos, you can tell him about your feelings at work. If that coworker is stressing you out and the matter is going out of hand, involve your boss.

Ask Your Boss To Solve This Matter
Why Does My Coworker Compete With Me – Get In Touch With The Boss

He will take the necessary steps to stop this unhealthy behavior in the workplace.

4. Keep Your Focus Clear:

While working in a competitive atmosphere, it’ll be hard for you not to indulge in that competition.

Instead of involving yourself in that filthy competition, focus on your ongoing projects.

Work hard and do your job the way you want to do it. When you take these measures, you won’t feel the stress of competition.

5. Understand Their Side Of The Picture:

Before you start the rivalry against your coworker, understand why they are doing so.

Try To Comprehend Why They Are Doing This
Understand Their Side Of The Picture

Although stepping back and thinking won’t change their behavior, but it will give you a new perspective.

It will also help you to have a healthy discussion with your coworker and team up as good teammates.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Tell If You Threaten A Coworker?

You threaten a coworker if he doesn't make direct eye contact with you. His body language will tell it all. Such a coworker will abruptly end conversations and never shares his own ideas.

How Do You Respond When A Coworker Challenges You?

Dealing with a difficult coworker who openly challenges you can be a bit tricky. Learn their perspective and focus on the positive relationships you have. You must accept their personality and stay neutral at work. Also, limit your interactions with them.

How Do You Deal With A Backstabbing Coworker?

You can use different ways to deal with a coworker who backstabs everyone. Never share your plans or ideas with them. Avoid falling into their gossip traps and never talk about someone else. You must hang out with supportive coworkers.

How Do I Deal With A Passive-Aggressive Coworker?

First of all, understand why people behave in a passive-aggressive way. You must not feed or add up to their behavior. Also, you can enforce consequences if they don't stop showing such kind of behavior.


You’ll indeed feel uncomfortable when your coworker will compete with you. But remember that someone competes with you only when you’re doing better.

You should feel proud for doing better than others and let your coworker compete with you. The key is not to respond back with the competition.

That’s because you’re already better than them and leading the way very well. Take this competition as an opportunity to reflect on your performance!

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

Last Updated on 1 month by Shahzaib Arshad

Assma Riaz

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