Dealing with insecure coworkers

posted 3 months ago in Career
Post # 31
547 posts
Busy bee

khloemichelle :  Your superiors aren’t your equals, which is why you always make following up with them a priority. You are hired on as their support system, and it is your job to get an answer, and get back to them quickly. When I am copied on a group email, I consult with my coworkers who are also copied on the email to make sure one of them isn’t researching an answer. If no one has had a chance to address it, I let them know I’ll follow up. I wouldn’t jump ahead of my coworker assuming she wasn’t going to respond. I would address the tension with the coworker you’re at odds with. It’s hard to work as a group when colleagues are feuding. It makes everyone’s jobs harder, whether they’re admitting it to you, or not. I would try to get to the bottom of it so that lines of communication are open. Don’t think tension amongst your peers goes unnoticed by your superiors. It can be damaging to your reputation at your company. Always try to keep your relationships professional, and lead by example. You want to stand out by how professionally you handle unpleasant relationships. 

Post # 32
1019 posts
Bumble bee

khloemichelle : 

What happened to treating everyone equally with the same amount of respect, regardless if they are your superior or not?

That’s not a thing. Your superiors are your superiors: they are assigned to lead you, and you are their support system. They guide and direct you; you assist in an activity that supports the company.  You also are not her superior, so you cannot expect/demand/be upset by the fact that she doesn’t give you the same “respect” she does her superior. (Respect being a quick reply to your messages, apparently). You are not her superior.

So because I am not her superior, I’m supposed to be “ok” with it and can’t bring it up?  

Pretty much. How exactly do you think you are going to present that conversation when you bring it up? “You aren’t giving me the same level of respect or responding to me as quickly as you do our bosses, and that isn’t OK with me?”

Ok. If that’s how it should be then there are nothing else I should say. I guess that’s why you hear about so much office politics. 

“Office politics” and managing your workload professionally are two different things. You may not always be in the position to jump at responding to messages and e-mails in your career with your workload, so you have to establish a heirarchy of importance and how to address those things and people in the best way possible. This often involves setting aside less important projects and people in order to focus on primary goals. Responding to your inquiries in a delayed fashion is perfectly professional. Not responding to them at all would be unprofessional, but that is not happening here.

I’ll stick to my pack of people who choose not to do that,

You can’t “stick to your pack” because you are in a work environment. If your position in your company necessitates you working with an individual, you have to work with them. There’s no sticking to people you choose to work with because you like the way they treat you in their response times and “respect” you. You work with who you are assigned to work with.

You claim you have many years of experience in a particular field, but it seems that you have a rather inexperienced view and set of expectations about a work environment.

Post # 33
460 posts
Helper bee

You sound very difficult to work with. Read back over your responses to people hear and see how you sound to us.  Time for a bit of self reflection and owning up to your part in the office dynamics.

Post # 34
1860 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

khloemichelle :  the easiest way to tell if your coworker is the problem or if you’re the problem, is to watch your coworker’s interactions with other people in the office. People of similar levels to both of you, superiors and juniors. If your coworker is insecure, likely they’ll actually be rude to most people in the same level as you, not just you. If she is treating everyone at a similar level rudely then actually it would have probably come up in conversation with your other colleagues. A toxic coworker is noticed by the many, not just one. If they’re just rude to you, then actually you’re the problem. It could be your attitude or just that she doesn’t like you (or a mix of both).

If it’s just you and it’s because she doesn’t like you, well, tough. Everyone is allowed to not like someone, or multiple people. You don’t even really need reasons for it. So just get on with it, be polite, professional and kind. You might want to roll your eyes but do it out of sight of her. Complain about her at home. Take a deep breath when she’s being rude and move on. Because that’s life. There isn’t anything to do. She’s allowed to not like you, even if you think everyone else does.

Post # 35
80 posts
Worker bee

I agree that your tone has been quite defensive and not becoming, but also want to acknowledge the possibility that your interpretation of the situation may be more accurate than not. I had a coworker who was for the first year of my employment a friend stop speaking to me and start undermining me one day (making sure I was “forgotten” for group lunches, meetings, etc). This lasted for two years. I was the only recipient of this treatment as he was sweet as pie with everyone else in the office. I knew the issue was unlikely to be me as everyone else was kind and friendly. Then suddenly it stopped and he went back to being friendly and open. I learned that around the same time he had heard lots of positive feedback about my work from our management. Putting two and two together (along with things he said about others “not deserving their career progress” in that first year we were friends) I can only conclude that he thought I somehow didn’t deserve the successes I quickly achieved and was jealous of how much faster I was progressing (I was getting more responsibilities more quickly). So yeah, it happens. Nothing you can really do but just act professional and try to circumvent any attempts to undermine you that you might be aware of. 

Post # 36
443 posts
Helper bee

Is this the same job you posted about 7 months ago where you were burnt out and saying that there were a couple people who ‘didn’t like you but you don’t know why?’ So obviously you don’t get along with everyone and in your post one of those people was the office manager.

Anyway, usually the response time for emails in any coprorate world is 24 hours unless it’s marked as highly important. If a higher up asks a questions, you bet your ass I’m going to respond to that immediatley.

Boasting about how you’re buddy buddy with the higher ups just gives more insight of why people don’t like you.

I work in the corporate world and have worked my way up and have dealth with many different personalities. You have some growing up to do and you’re almost or already are 30. Come on.

Post # 37
1421 posts
Bumble bee

If the woman in question was a man….would you be picking apart his behavior and calling him insecure?

Seriously think about that.

Post # 39
12 posts

khloemichelle :  

Insecurity is their issue, not your’s. Don’t waste your time (or energy) being caught up in the drama. Go to work, do your best, and go home.

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