Having to work alongside a jealous female coworker can make your work life miserable. Female coworkers may feel jealous of you for various reasons – your position, your relationships, or your accomplishments. Whatever the cause, their envy can lead them to act in petty, passive-aggressive, or even sabotaging ways.
Spotting jealous female coworkers signs early allows you to handle the situation better. But how do you know if a female colleague feels jealous toward you? What drives her envy? And how should you respond?
If you have a female coworker who seems to treat you differently, review the 27 signs below to determine if her actions may amount to more than a bad day at work or some other minor difference of opinion:
“I learned very young that jealousy is a waste of energy, and the more you think about jealousy or act upon it, the more you create it.” –Eva Longoria (1975- ), American actress, producer, and director
1. Exhibiting Negative Body Language
A hostile female coworker often sends overt messages through their body language. They may roll their eyes, refuse to smile, or stare or glare at you. Even if they attract the notice of others, they want to send a profound message through negative body language.
2. Avoiding You and Areas You Frequent
Some jealous or angry coworkers will go out of their way to avoid having any contact with you at all. These women employees may even inconvenience themselves by avoiding common areas, such as the lunch room, if it means sharing space with you. They choose to keep their distance.
3. Avoiding Eye Contact Whenever Possible
When an individual lacks respect for another, they find it difficult to look directly into that other person’s eyes. In the workplace, this may happen when an individual totally ignores your presence within a room or refuses to offer even a simple, “Good morning.”
This practice of avoiding eye contact is a psychological trait that connects with deep feelings of anger, dislike, or jealousy. Such situations will make life difficult for you, as well as provide discomfort for the unhappy person who creates them.
4. Mocking Any Honors or Recognition You Receive
Female jealousy in the workplace may lead them to mock or trivialize any awards, honors, or recognitions you receive. They may offer a modicum of praise, but shroud it in sarcasm or passive-aggressive passages. Never allow yourself to lower your standing by jumping into the mud-pit and soiling your reputation.
5. Offering Only Backhanded Compliments
Passive-aggressiveness goes into overdrive whenever female jealousy in the workplace compels a person to offer only insincere, backhanded compliments. In some situations, they may diminish your achievements by pointing out past failures. At other times, they may claim that your success occurred because you “sucked up” to management or were given an unfair advantage.
You may need to inform them that such actions are uncomfortable and should be stopped. Prepare for a less-than-friendly response after confronting them.
6. Never Inviting You to Join Them
This example of jealous female coworkers signs often begins early in the morning, when they exclude you from coffee conversations or informal meetings. These tendencies continue throughout the day, as you find that a jealous and insecure coworker tries to limit your interactions with other colleagues or makes excuses about your absence after they had failed to invite you in the first place.
This behavior may extend beyond the end of your work day. A jealous female coworker may choose to keep you uninformed about happy hour, as well as various social and virtual events available to your colleagues. They seek opportunities to disinvite you at these events.
7. Openly Criticizing You
A jealous female coworker might want to embarrass or criticize you in front of your colleagues. They may take their condemnations beyond the workplace, to include personal choices such as your clothes, shoes, hairstyles, or child’s name. Separate legitimate critiques from petty put-downs, and alert your supervisor or human resources to slanderous statements.
8. Celebrating Your Mistakes
Some of the most obvious jealous female coworkers signs happen when they celebrate mistakes you have made. They thrive on your difficult moments because it reaffirms their goal to show you are not as great as your achievements would indicate. Their most cheerful interactions with you occur during these moments.
9. Lacking Time to Assist You
Even in a team-focused environment, these jealous colleagues are either too “busy” to assist you or they ignore your requests for help. You may go out of your way to offer assistance to others, but they never reciprocate since they do not want you to succeed.
10. Snidely Remarking that You Unfairly Have the Better Job
These jealous female coworkers see themselves in endless competition to prove they are better than you. If in similar positions, they will try to surpass you in everything you do to prove you have an unfair advantage. If they have different assigned job duties than you, they will assert that you received special, perhaps unfair, preferential treatment.
11. Acting Resentfully towards You
Whether it involves talking behind your back or creating intense tension at staff meetings, their resentfulness toward you becomes a workplace distraction. You may ignore them or confront them. If you do challenge their assertions, do your best to remain calm and apply logic rather than unbridled emotion.
12. Gossiping behind Your Back
If your coworkers act like chatterboxes until you enter a room, part of that conversation may involve gossip they share behind your back. This may be confirmed if your attempts to continue the discussions are met with silence or tense looks. This negative gossiping may extend to groups beyond your immediate cohort and even among social media sites with global exposure.
13. Refusing to Accept Opportunities to Collaborate
An indication of jealous female coworkers signs in the workplace involves their refusal to collaborate with you. If a supervisor assigns them to serve on the same team with you during a project, they will dominate the conversation with disagreements and attempts to derail your efforts. They may interrupt you mid-sentence and reject all of your proposals.
14. Limiting Office Compassion for Your Personal Concerns
Some jealous colleagues allow their bitter anger or envy to work against you. They lack the sense of decorum and try to turn others away from having personal concern for you. Whether it involves fewer personal conversations within the office, or refusing to share or listen to events in everyone’s personal lives, these attempts to alienate will certainly frustrate.
15. Ignoring Your Verbal Communications
These coworkers ignore conversations you have with them. Beyond small talk and friendly chatter, they refuse to engage in even basic communications, unless necessary for their assigned job duties. In some circumstances, this failure to communicate may serve not only as an act of defiance, but also insubordination.
16. Devaluing or De-emphasizing Your Work
You may find yourself assigned to a project or a team that either devalues your efforts or de-emphasizes your contributions to the success of a larger undertaking. These jealous staff members take your ideas, discard them or take them as their own, and pull whatever strings necessary to limit any credit you will receive for the final product.
17. Changing Facial Expressions in Your Presence
When these jealous female coworkers share space with you, they either have a stone-cold look on their faces or send a signal that your contributions are not valued. Even when distance or walls separate you, there is a tension that you can perceive in verbal conversation that adds a bitterly cold effect that others may ascertain with little effort.
18. Sending Terse Communications
Jealous colleagues often send terse communications and attempt to isolate you from face-to-face encounters. Emails, phone messages, and actual conversations have a brief and direct tone, more like a text or instant message rather than a full narrative. They may attempt to increase the amount of digital communication as a way to keep others from interacting with you in person.
19. Keeping You Out of the Loop
Whether excluding you from meetings or important emails, these unhappy colleagues engage in petty and pitiful attempts to damage your reputation. When confronted about their actions, they will claim some technology error or administrative oversight. If their adverse tactics persist, inform your supervisor.
20. Openly Lying about You
By the time the situation reaches this level, you must develop a plan of action. Overt and open lies about you will damage your reputation far beyond the present job. When childish rumors transition into libelous language, you need to address this matter with the personnel office and your supervisor.
21. Openly Sabotaging Your Work
If tensions escalate to the level that a jealous female coworker tries to sabotage your work, you need to take care to document present incidents, as well as any earlier episodes that are of concern. Save emails, backup documents, talk with human resources professionals, and consider whether you need to reach out to a lawyer or a collective bargaining unit, if applicable. In the worst circumstances, they may try to encourage you to resign.
22. Taking Credit for Your Ideas or Work Accomplishments
One of common signs of a jealous coworker is claiming your suggestions or accomplishments as their own. They may present your proposals to management as if they conceived them or add their name to successful projects you spearheaded. This unethical behavior robs you of deserved recognition.
23. Invading Your Privacy
Jealous coworkers may cross boundaries by snooping through your desk, files, emails or voicemails looking for personal information. This huge breach of trust and ethics violates your right to privacy. It also signals their extreme envy and hostility.
24. Competing with You on Everything from Projects to Conversations
Jealous coworkers turn trivial things into competitions they feel driven to win against you. Whether it’s who sold the most or who has the best story, they always have to one-up you. Their excessive competitiveness aims to prove their superiority.
25. Over-scrutinizing Your Work
Hyper-critical coworkers pore over your work hunting for any mistake, no matter how tiny, so they can point it out. Their excessive scrutiny and criticism expose their envy and desire to undermine you.
26. Overreacting to Your Constructive Feedback
Offering suggestions for improvement makes highly defensive jealous coworkers overreact disproportionately. They perceive even gentle, good-faith feedback as a personal attack and lash out accordingly.
27. Close With Other Colleagues But Not You
It stings when a jealous coworker bonds and shares inside jokes with everyone but you. Their exclusion sends the hurtful message that you alone are not worth befriending. Their prejudice colors workplace relationships.
Trust your intuition or sixth sense when you encounter jealous female coworkers signs:
Ignore Their Actions
Don’t feed into their drama or passive aggressive behaviors. Stay professional and focus on your own work rather than getting sucked into their envy-driven games.
Never Escalate the Disagreement
Avoid confrontations or petty arguments with other jealous women at work. Take the high road and don’t sink to their level of sniping, gossiping, or sabotage. Kill their provocations with kindness.
Find or Establish a Support System
Bond with colleagues who bring out your best self. Vent to trusted friends outside work. Seek encouragement from mentors. Surround yourself with positive people.
Carefully Document Everything
Record all incidents and inappropriate interactions when you notice signs of jealous coworkers. Keep emails, performance logs, and other evidence in case you need to report them later.
Tell a Trusted Coworker or Friend
Discreetly discussing the situation helps you handle the emotional toll. Confide in non-judgmental people to gain their perspective.
Notify Authorities at Work
If tensions escalate, professionally alert your manager or HR about jealous coworkers signs. Explain how the jealousy harms the work environment and impedes your performance.
Ultimately, Consider Your Long-Range Options
If the unhealthy dynamic persists despite your best efforts, weigh whether it’s worth changing roles or companies for a fresh start.
Female relationships at work can be complex, especially when jealousy enters the equation. The key is identifying jealous female coworkers signs quickly so you can mitigate the fallout. Refuse to get sucked into petty drama. Instead, take the high road and stay focused on your job performance. With emotional intelligence and the right strategies, you can maintain professionalism, defend against sabotage, and foster positive dynamics.