How to Deal with a Jealous Employee

It’s no big secret that every person is different. We all have specific personalities and character traits. Circumstances in life can either bring out the good or the bad in each person. When you’re at work, you have to deal with people. If you are not a people person, this can make workplace relationships more difficult for you. This is especially true if you have to deal with a jealous employee or coworker. In this article five steps are discussed which can help you deal with such a situation.

Be Professional

When you have to deal with a jealous employee in the workplace, it is very important to be professional. If someone is exhibiting jealous behavior toward you, retaliating by name calling or yelling will only add fuel to the fire. Maintain a professional demeanor and keep your body language friendly. If at all possible, it is best to try to avoid unnecessary interactions with them.  

Stay Positive

If you can stay positive and have a good mental attitude, that will help you deal with jealous behavior in the office. If a coworker is constantly insulting you and acting out in jealousy, try to surround yourself with a good support system. Find other people in your workplace who are encouragers and you can go to them for support. Be careful not to turn that into a gossip session about the jealous person. Keep it productive—speak with the encourager in your “support” system to help you stay positive and maintain a professional attitude.

Filter Your Speech

If you just bought a house or recently got engaged or had something else wonderful happen to you, it is okay to share the good news at the office. However, it would be helpful not to purposefully share this information with the person in your office who exhibits jealous behavior. If you recently received a promotion, it’s fine to share this with others, but be careful not to sound like you’re bragging. No one wants to be around someone who is prideful. There’s a difference between having pride in your accomplishments and bragging.

Do Your Job Well

Another way to deal with a jealous employee is to simply stay focused on your own task. Do your job well. Leave the office gossip, politics and poor behavior behind. Maintain a healthy mental attitude which allows you to focus your energy on creative and constructive projects that benefit your employer and will help you advance in the long run. Act with the end goal in mind. Sometimes it’s better to choose your battles. It may not be worth it to confront the jealous coworker.

Peaceful Confrontation

However, if the situation progresses, it may be necessary to have a peaceful confrontation. Remember to be professional in your actions and attitude. Share your feelings on the issue and that his or her jealous behavior is negatively affecting you. The goal is to share your thoughts in a calm manner and resolve the situation. Allow this person to share his or her “grievances”. Having an understanding attitude is important. Try to think about the situation from this person’s perspective. There is always a reason behind someone’s jealousy. One main reason is usually some sort of insecurity. If the discussion progresses in a negative direction, then you may need to either step away or get an HR manager involved.

Resources to Help you Deal with Coworkers

Remember to remain calm and professional. Maintain a positive attitude. Filter your speech and think from the other person’s perspective. Do your job and if you must confront the situation, do it in a peaceful manner. Dr. Gary Smalley discusses various personality types in his book The DNA of Relationships. This is a good resource if you want to learn how to better deal with others, especially when it comes to workplace relationships. To ascertain your own personality type, visit this website: personality tests. You can take a free online test.


Photo Credit: Loszach Report

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