How to Know You’re the Ambitious Colleague Everyone Hates

angry  woman showing fists

Sometimes, finding out you’re hated is nuanced and hard to discern, whereas other times someone will spit in your face, kick you in the groin, kick you in the stomach and tell you to “rot in hell” as you walk to the water cooler. Understandably, you are having a hard time being absolutely sure after the rot in hell incident, so this is how to know you’re the ambitious colleague everyone absolutely hates.

1. The Bus

A good indication that you are the ambitious over-achiever that everyone wants to take out is when you become the perpetual fall man for anything that goes wrong in your team, department or company. Because you’re ambitious, you are the most visible employee in your group thus the easiest to blame when sh*t goes awry. After all, the best way to know that you have enemies is by the size of the target on your back…oh and the “kick me” sign.

2. Ignore


If the office is a hive of laughter, camaraderie and small talk that dies down to eerie silence the minute you step foot into it, then you might not be the most liked person in your organization. it comes with the turf; if you’re ambitious and your co-workers know it, then they’ll assume you’re in bed with management (literally or allegorically). This will also make them assume that you report all underling mumblings to their superiors. Which isn’t completely wrong, honestly, I mean you did tell HR about the little tryst between Dave, Susie and Nancy which resulted in most of the internal correspondence between Susie and Nancy carrying the subject line: “Dave’s mine you man-stealing horticulturalist ” to stop. Yes the management was well aware neither Susie nor Nancy had anything to do with plants.   

3. Domina-tricks

Often, when people are intimidated (like the un-evolved animals of the corporate Serengeti that they are) they will try to dominate the person that they are intimidated by which seems counter-intuitive but I’m not a psychologist so I’m not sure how that works. If someone is trying to impose themselves upon you without having any semblance of authority, then they may be intimidated by you, are trying to undercut your authority or shake your confidence. It also might be a matter of them being insufferable a**nuggets, but again I can’t know for sure if I don’t witness it face to face. On an unrelated note, dogs often show their dominance by humping the thing or person they are trying to assert their dominance over, so if a co-worker tries to do that- unsolicited of course (if you want it then it’s not a show of dominance just some good old boning) then they might be trying to assert themselves on you.

4. Social Exclusion

social exclusion

On average, we spend more hours with our co-workers than we do with our family, friends, pets and lovers. So, it’s inevitable that relationships (platonic or not) will develop and spill out of the workplace and onto the floor of a watering hole of ill repute. Happy hour has been a mainstay of the corporate world since 1702 although it meant an hour break sailor got to “wrassle” and box. Okay, so I went on such a hard core tangent that I forgot what I was going to say…oh right, so if your co-workers sprint out of their cubicle en-masse at 5 p.m. to the closest watering hole to drink and cavort and have never invited you and actually have actively avoided telling you when you confronted them, then that might be an indication that they aren’t your biggest fans. Or, it could be your propensity to strip down completely and hug people when you have one and a half Chardonnays.  

See Also: Hate for Sale: The Surprisingly Dark White Supremacist Market

Are there any other clues that might tip you off to the fact that you are loathed by your co-workers? Let us know in the comments section below.