Career Advice

How To Deal With Someone Trying To Get Me Fired

When a coworker becomes one of your worst enemies, it can be stressful and challenging. It takes your focus off of your work, which means you probably aren’t performing at your best. If you are currently in this situation, it’s time to learn “how to deal with someone trying to get me fired”.

You are not alone in this situation. A survey by CapRelo found that one in four people have left their jobs because of a coworker. Once it’s obvious that your coworker is trying to get you fired, your first instinct is to run to your boss for help, but this isn’t always the best way to handle things.

You want to act intelligently rather than emotionally. Instead of dumping this in your employer’s lap, you can take action. This is done by staying focused, documenting everything, becoming familiar with your company’s policies, and talking to human resources.

Can Your Coworker Get You Fired?

A coworker could influence your boss when it comes to getting you fired, but they don’t have the power to fire you themselves. These decisions are the responsibility of management and HR. Unfortunately, your coworker can report any legitimate concerns they may have when it comes to your performance, negligence of company policies, or behavior.

Your coworker may try to get someone fired by acting maliciously. They can start rumors that aren’t true, create a hostile work environment, and ruin your work.

Signs That Someone Is Trying to Get You Fired

Is my coworker trying to get me fired? You’ll know they are when you start noticing the following signs:

Keeping Tabs

Is this person all of a sudden taking an interest in you and the work you are doing? They may be asking you how it’s going, and they might even offer to help you out for no apparent reason. What they are actually doing is watching you closely and waiting for you to make a mistake.


Gaslighting is when your coworker uses psychological manipulation to make you doubt yourself or become confused. They can do this by feeding you misinformation, which they’ll later deny. They’re hoping this causes you to mess up your work.

Refusing to Help

It’s important for everyone to work as a team, but this coworker may be refusing to help you and keeping essential information from you. Instead, they are trying to sabotage you.

Bad Advice

They can give you bad advice when it comes to projects you’re working on. Once you see that they are doing this, stop listening to them. They are completely unreliable at this point.

Making You Look Bad

A coworker who wants you fired will try to make you look bad in front of your employer and your other coworkers. They are letting everyone know that they don’t like you and want you fired.

Fortunately, many bosses and colleagues realize what is happening by the time it reaches this level. Hopefully, they will take the necessary steps to resolve the issue.

Read More: How To Get Someone Fired For Bad Customer Service

What to Do If a Coworker Wants You Fired

Regain Control

If you have a coworker who wants to get you fired, they have probably been spreading rumors about you and making your life miserable. Ruining your image is their goal.

You need to know if anything bad has been said about you and document it. You also need to keep track of any time that they interfered with or sabotaged your work. This provides you with a way to defend yourself. 

Document Their Actions

Documenting the details of what your coworker is doing is crucial. In addition to what we already mentioned, save or print out any emails related to these events. If this situation reaches a point where you need a lawyer’s advice, a paper trail can be very helpful.

Stay Calm

Don’t let your emotions take over. No matter how much you want to scream and show your anger, you must stay calm. Losing your temper only plays into their plans.

Remain professional and be polite whenever you are dealing with this coworker. Keeping a calm voice shows you’re strong and stable. If possible, avoid talking directly to them unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Review Your Company’s Policies

Most companies have some sort of conduct policy in place. This will tell you what behaviors are not tolerated and what you can do if a coworker violates them. Review this policy before discussing this issue with your employer or HR department.

Some companies have zero tolerance for harassment and will immediately let any employee go who is bullying others. Others may have a more tolerant policy that recommends the worker receive counseling before any disciplinary action can be taken.

Take a Close Look at Yourself

One of the worst outcomes of having a coworker who is determined to make you look bad is that there will always be others who will begin to look at you in a negative light. Take a closer look at the type of employee you are. Ask yourself if there is more you can be doing.

No employer will fire you if you show up on time, are friendly, and are always helpful. Put your best foot forward to dispel any doubts others may have.

Meet with Human Resources

If you can’t solve the problems you are having with this coworker on your own, you’ll want to discuss them with your employer or HR department. This feels like a big step, but when nothing else is working, it can be beneficial. Going through the proper channels will help keep your job secure and protect you legally.

Don’t Spread Gossip

Gossiping may feel wonderful, but it’s never a good idea. Venting can alleviate some of the stress, but it does nothing to solve the problem. It will more than likely make things worse.

If you catch yourself mentioning the issue to other coworkers, stop. Talking directly to the person who is trying to get you fired is much more productive. Gossiping will only support their opinion that you should be let go.

Reduce Communication with Them

While you want to address this coworker directly when trying to resolve this issue, you also need to know when it’s time to take a step back. The type of coworker who wants to get people fired enjoys making others miserable. They tend to constantly complain.

This coworker may have started out being pleasant but soon started being obnoxious. When a coworker is constantly saying something bad about someone, they are difficult to work with.

If you do have to work with this type of coworker, limit conversations to subjects dealing directly with the job you’re working on. You don’t want to give them any more reason to dislike you.

Learn How to Handle Complaints

When your employer has a meeting with you and announces that a complaint has been filed against you, don’t get upset. Instead, ask exactly what the complaint was about. Ask to see any evidence that backs up the complaint.

Make sure that you fully understand the problem. If your employer isn’t being straight-forward with you, something isn’t right.

Throughout the conversation, be confident and logical. Make sure you completely understand what you are being accused of. Your confidence will help you deal with the situation.

Stay Focused

Throughout this entire process, remain focused on doing the best job you can at work. Doing your job as well as you can is the best way to prove your coworker wrong and retain your position. If you let all of this affect your work, it will only show your employer that you really do need to be terminated.

No employer is going to fire one of their most productive workers. When a coworker suggests otherwise, the management will immediately see their complaint as jealousy, and it won’t hold any merit.

Look for Another Job

If you have tried all of these tips and nothing is working, it may be time to start looking for another job. When you can’t get management on your side, it can be frustrating. That frustration will begin to show in your work, and it may even affect your personal life.

Finding a less hostile work environment may be your best option. Be very clear to your employer as to why you are leaving. You want to part on good terms so that you can still use them on your resume or as a reference.

Moving Forward

When figuring out “how to deal with someone trying to get me fired”, it’s important to stay positive. Don’t let a coworker who is spreading rumors and badmouthing you ruin your life. Do all that you can to improve the situation.

If nothing helps, turn this situation into something positive. Find a new job where you can work in a pleasant environment and have the ability to further your career.

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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