How to Deal With an Undermining Coworker

Not everyone at work is your best friend and unfortunately, at times, they intentionally work to undermine your credibility. Learn how to deal with a coworker that undermines you and makes your life harder than it needs to be. Follow these tips for dealing with difficult people at work.

Not everything that happens at work is in your hands. Not everyone gets along with everyone and unfortunately some colleagues intentional try to paint you in a poor light. It is important to remember that you are not the only person at work and that there are things happening outside of your control. Don’t get discouraged; instead, use this as an opportunity to learn how to better manage difficult situations and relationships. Additionally, be yourself! Don’t try to be someone that you’re not in order to fit in or make people like you. You will be more successful and happier in the long-run if you are genuine.

A wise colleague of mine once mentioned that you can tell what someone thinks of you by how their friends treat you? If their friends are kind to you, then they probably think positively of you. If their friends seem to avoid you or talk poorly about you, then they probably don’t have your best interests at heart. It is important to remember this when navigating relationships at work. Don’t take things too personally and always try to maintain a positive attitude!

Noticing the ‘passive aggressive’ tendencies can alert your attention. Watch out for gossips. But why do people actively try to undermine others? Some of the reasons for this include:

  1. Jealousy: This could just be about the success you are achieving or that they are wanting your position. By putting you down they are trying to make themselves look good.
  2. Tall Poppy Syndrome: This is where people don’t like it when someone stands out from the rest. They feel threatened and may try to cut them down to size.
  3. Lack of Confidence: This could be because they are new to the company or just don’t have the same skillset as you. They may feel that by putting you down, it makes them look better.
  4. Poor Performance: Some colleagues are unable to “produce the goods” so actively gossip against you. They try to deflect their poor performance by centering on what others are doing.

What can you do?

There are a few things that you can do in order to deal with difficult colleagues:

  1. Control What You Can: There are things that you can control and things that you can’t control. try to focus on the things that you can and don’t get wrapped up in the things that you can’t.
  2. Talk To Them: Sometimes all it takes is a conversation to clear the air. Talk to them about your thoughts and feelings and see if they are willing to do the same.
  3. Document: If the situation continues to be difficult, it might be a good idea to document what is happening. This can help you if you need to take any further action.
  4. Stay Positive: It can be tough but try to stay positive and don’t let them get to you. Remember that you are doing your best and that is all anyone can ask for.
  5. Continue to Focus on Doing Your Best: Ultimately, the only thing you can control is yourself. So, continue to focus on doing your best and don’t worry about what others are doing.
  6. Actions Speak Louder than Words: Sometimes the best thing to do is just act. Show them that you are not affected by what they are saying and that you don’t believe in their nonsense.

Difficult colleagues can be a challenge to deal with, but by using these tips, you can navigate the situation and come out on top!