You like Tori. You just didn’t expect her to get the promotion you wanted.
You appreciate Josh. Or, at least you did until last week. It still stings that he upstaged you when you both spoke in front of the senior management team.
When Susan asked you to join her after work for an impromptu dinner celebration, you said “sure.”
“So, what are we celebrating?” you asked as you slid into the restaurant booth. When she told you the size of her raise, you lost your appetite.
You’ve been bitten by the green-eyed monster.
Left unchecked workplace jealousy erodes job satisfaction. It can prompt you to do regrettable things, from making snide remarks that tarnish your reputation to treating a talented coworker badly, harming a work relationship that could help you in the long run.
If you find your emotions tied up in knots by workplace jealousy, try these strategies.
If you shove feelings, even dark ones, down, they fester. You may not want to admit to an inner cringe when good things happen to someone else; however, until you own your jealousy, it often owns you.
Accept your disappointment, insecurity or hurt. Hold your feelings up to the light, talk to yourself about them and listen. You’re your best friend. When you let yourself feel them, feelings dissipate like a dark cloud turning to gray mist.
Identify the trigger
What triggers your jealousy? Does someone else’s success have implications for your career?
Often, jealousy masks fear – of losing out because there isn’t enough to go around or of being left behind when others excel. Unravel the fear, and jealousy dissolves.
Even if a coworker got an opportunity you wanted, it isn’t the only opportunity out there. Might you have the same opportunity in six months, or elsewhere? Perhaps it’s time to move on. By reassessing the situation and taking action, you reaffirm your own future.
Someone else’s job fortunes can soar, only to crash a year later. Don’t measure your success against what anyone else does or has, because you can always find someone else to compare to who has more or does better at something.
You have your own career path. Don’t let a missed opportunity make you feel worse about or angry at yourself. Instead, consider what you’re great at, and how you can make your next success happen. What will you find? – positive emotion shoves out negative emotion.
Congratulate the person who got the promotion or raise. Don’t indulge in snarky, behind-her-back comments or give her the silent treatment, either of which make you look petty. If you show support, instead of spite, toward a coworker star, she may gratefully work to boost your success.
Don’t let another’s success get you down. Use it to inspire and challenge you. Let those who succeed serve as role models and learn from what they did or how they did it. If someone less talented won an opportunity you wanted, ask yourself what you need to do differently to be recognized and rewarded. Did a peer upstage you? Redouble your efforts and power forward.
Has the green-eyed monster bitten you? Tell yourself, that was then, this is now.
© 2016, Lynne Curry, professional coach and author of Solutions and Beating the Workplace Bully. Follow her @lynnecurry10 or onworkplaceocoachblog.com.