Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Outmatch green-eyed monster.
Ragini Gulati
JEALOUSY is a natural emotion that starts from childhood, continues into adulthood and lasts throughout our lives. Be it craving for a friend’s new bicycle or resenting a colleague’s promotion, it can happen to people of all ages. Every professional encounters some form of jealousy, whether deserved or not, from her/his co-workers. More than often it is sparked off when a colleague wants something that we have – a better designation, pay packet or perk. Although a normal part of life, it can be daunting when someone takes his jealous feelings too far. Jealous colleagues can not only create an unpleasant atmosphere at workplace, but also be extremely damaging for one’s career. Most importantly – jealousy damages relationships, disrupts teams, and undermines organizational performance. So, it must be dealt with wisely to surmount negative feelings at workplace.

Question yourself

Before blaming the jealous colleague critically evaluate your own behaviour and manners. Ask yourself whether you have fueled their feelings or done something to ignite their jealousy. Try to regard out how you might have contributed to it in any way. There is a possibility that you bragged about your promotion, spoke harshly or belittled the colleague. More than often it is not our success but our behaviour that draws ire from co-workers. Identify your negative traits and tone down your attitude which could trigger jealousy in co-workers. In case you have been arrogant in the past, apologise and a show a change of heart.

Be nice

No matter how badly the jealous person behaves, exhibit kindness and patience towards him/her, approach the co-worker with a helping hand, despite envious glances and rude comments. Although they may not take up on your offer, but will surely drop the jealous act. Find out how long the person concerned has been working in the particular field and make it a point of giving compliments where warranted. The nicer you are, stronger are the changes of the stained relationship becoming more positive. Moreover, this approach has the added benefit that you will be perceived as a true professional, even in the face of misconduct from the jealous co-worker.

Keep record

Maintain record of any confrontations or arguments that you had with the jealous individual. Document specific incidences of hostility by saving emails, notes or voice mails sent by the person concerned. However, avoid engaging in an unimportant professional exchange and responding to the co-worker’s jealous missives. Address the issue in person, if necessary but ensure that he has none of your words in print. These records will act as proof to validate your word against his and also make it possible for the supervisor to verify the version as presented by you. Additionally jot down information such as dates and witnesses in journal to help recall relevant details.

Focus on performance

Rather than exhausting yourself in an emotional turmoil and start making one mistake after another, be the best at what you do. Concentrate energies on constructive activities to avoid losing sight of work responsibilities. More than often, jealous co-workers are not satisfied just by antagonizing and go one step further by trying to sabotage what makes you successful. Keep your nose to the grindstone so as not to let them find faults that they can turn against you. It is especially important to ensure that work assignments are completed in an exemplary manner. Go the extra mile and do more than what your job requires.

Avoid retaliation

Jealous co-workers look for opportunity to annoy you to the extent that you lose your self-control and say or do something out of line. Difficult as it may be, it is however, necessary to succeed in staying cool and collected while dealing with subtle attacks. Always remember that two negatives don’t make a positive. No matter how tempted you might be, don’t resort to revenge. If you start returning tit for tat, you are no better than the jealous co-worker. Also ignore attempts of war by gossip mongers since they only want to be entertained at your expense.


Although easier said than done, the best way to deal with jealous people is to completely ignore them. Don’t allow yourself to be affected by a co-worker who is envious and finds it difficult to feel happy for you. Rather than to ruin  your composure and peace of mind over them, push yourself to work harder. Learn to detach by focusing time, energy and talent on productive pursuits. Most people get jealous because they are not getting enough attention. However, once they realize that you are unaffected with their negativity, they will eventually stop. Nothing is worse for a jealous person than not getting through to their intended victim.

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