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Congrats, I hate you!

Posted by | June 23, 2017 | Jealousy, Workplace

via Times of India : Congrats, I hate you!

You’ve bagged a new project, gotten a promotion or become the go-to adviser for your boss. It feels great to be appreciated and if anyone knows how much you deserve this, it’s your closest friend at work. But where you expected affectionate praises, you are treated with cold detachment. Suddenly, your confidant/e in office has gone from supportive to withdrawn, and you are torn between righteous anger (‘Why can’t you just be happy for me?’) and regret at what seems like the loss of a friendship. But it need not be the end.

Clinical psychologist Shivani Misra Sadhoo says, “Co-worker jealousy is not uncommon in the corporate world. A recent event, like a promotion or winning the ‘best employee’ award, or simply a contrast in personalities (one is more social and so gets more attention) can trigger envy.”

Jealousy, essentially, arises from a resentful longing for another person’s qualities, advantages or luck. Studies in workplace psychology suggest that it is usually aggravated in those with low self-esteem or those discontented with their own situation. It not only ruins your work equations but also affects your overall productivity.

Wait before reacting

The first step towards trying to deal with such a person is to determine whether their behaviour affects your work or not. Senior HR consultant Bhavna Bhalla says, “If not, it is best not to do anything; especially if they are not in the same team or department. Maybe the negativity will die a natural death.” Clinical psychologist and life coach Rachna K Singh says, “Avoid office politics and gossip. If you maintain a clean image and even temperament, the efforts of somebody trying to ruin your reputation with baseless claims will yield no results.”

Talk it out

If the two of you have to work in proximity, try to resolve the conflict that might be plaguing the relationship. “There might be something you did unknowingly that irked them, or something that might have landed you on the wrong foot,” says Singh. Such misunderstandings can only be resolved if you try and directly communicate with the person.

Tread lightly

Another way of dealing with the situation is to show that it doesn’t discourage or put you off. Make use of your sense of humour and laugh off the rumours doing the round. Sadhoo says, “Conduct yourself with dignity. This will help you gain the respect of other colleagues. Eventually everyone will realise that the other person is out to mar your reputation and stop paying attention to her gossip.”

Bring in the boss

If all the above steps doesn’t resolve the conflict, go a step further. Bhalla says, “Try and convey your thoughts to your immediate boss, if your team’s or your work is getting affected (by the uneasy equation). Find solutions to improve your productivity, whether it is by changing teams or laying down certain ground rules.” At the same time, don’t let your colleague feel that you are ganging up on him or her.

Report it to HR

If things continue to escalate to an unmanageable level, approach the HR department. Bhalla, however, cautions that you may have to play this by ear. “HR departments don’t have any policy to deal with such office politics,” she says. You will have to broach the issue, register your complaint and make sure there is a record of the unprofessional behaviour, or harassment, you are facing.

Get a positive ID

How to know if you have a jealous colleague…

  • The person will stop talking to you: This is usually the first sign to watch out for. You will notice that this person has stopped greeting you and avoids you. S/he may appear curt if you initiate a chat.
  • You will find him/her busy during lunch or tea breaks. You will stop feeling comfortable around the person concerned.
  • Won’t appreciate applause for you: S/he may abruptly leave or pretend not to hear any appreciation directed at you. She may even snap or appear angry or rude when confronted with someone singing your praises.
  • She will talk behind your back: On spotting you, if the person concerned stops suddenly in the middle of an animated conversation with someone else, all’s probably not well. S/he may become increasingly sarcastic and just unpleasant to be around.

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