As one of the emotions we experience as humans, jealousy towards others can sometimes become difficult to contain. But how should we deal with workplace jealousy so that it doesn’t have an impact on our performance or attitude?
In the current work environment, there are several factors that can make us feel resentful or envious towards others. Daily mixed feelings associated with stress, fatigue and even our own personal insecurities can all conjure up emotions associated with workplace jealousy. In addition to this, a colleague receiving a promotion, credit or pay increase can further exasperate our nature to experience the green-eyed monster. So, how can we battle our workplace jealousy and avoid others from experiencing the same feelings towards us?
Avoid Creating Workplace Jealousy
According to several career experts, the first consideration we need to recognise is that some people can be naturally more jealous and envious towards others success and lifestyle. Identifying these types of individuals can be difficult, so using emotional intelligence when discussing things in the office is usually the best course of action.
Understanding how you are or aren’t responsible for someone’s feelings of workplace jealousy is also something to understand, according to career coach Jenny Ungless. “It’s important to distinguish between the jealousy you might be responsible for and the jealousy you are not. For example, you can’t help being younger or good at your job. But you can help being arrogant or overly pally with the boss. So, ask yourself to what extent you stoke the flames. If the problem is partly your behavior, address it.”
Dealing with Longstanding Workplace Jealousy
Sometimes however, these words of guidance might not be enough to put a stop to longstanding workplace jealousy from a colleague. It’s at this point that Alan Redman, Business Psychologist at Criterion Partnership, advises that we should evaluate how career threatening or emotionally damaging someone’s workplace jealousy is to us. “It’s worth asking how much you care. Is it important to your job or a key relationship? If it is, talk to the person one to one, not in front of an audience. Control your emotions and choose your moment. You can’t reason with someone who is angry.”
Redman also explains that you should allow them the chance to talk and explain their feelings towards you. Should that not work, attempt to explain your viewpoint on the effect their behavior is having on you.
Combatting Workplace Jealousy Towards Others
Flipping sides, if you begin to develop feelings of workplace jealousy or have long standing envy towards a colleague, then business process platform Quick Base suggests four steps to take to combat the green-eyed monster rearing its head:
Learn from the experience rather than dwelling on it
Instead of making negative comments about a colleague or treating them unfavorably, consider how they achieved their success. Be a constructive critic of yourself and understand what you can perhaps do differently to achieve the same goals or start working towards them.
Avoid potential triggers
If your workplace jealousy is so severe that you can’t stand to look or speak to someone, then try to avoid that person for a bit. You don’t want to risk further inflaming the situation due to getting into a heated verbal or physical confrontation, so it’s best to stay away if you don’t feel that you can be civil with a colleague.
Take some time to reflect
Why are you feeling envious towards a colleague? Is there any need for you to build up a negative view of that person? Sometimes, our own insecurities such as job security, financial matters and personal pride can cloud our judgement. Next time you feel jealousy building up, try to understand if you are projecting your negativity onto someone due to your current situation, and attempt to work on it.
Create your own victories
If you’ve developed workplace jealousy due to another colleague’s success, perhaps it’s time to create your own success. You could do something good for others by taking part in a charity fun run, help a friend with an important project or even start your own personal plans. Try to remind yourself that just because someone has recently achieved a success that everyone might be talking about, it’s never impossible for you to do the same.