Is My Co-worker Jealous?

Question:

I currently started working in an office where a girl who always undermines my intelligence has trained me. I have over 5 years experience in a legal office environment and as such have acquired a great deal of office skills. I sometimes think it is because it bothers her that I am intelligent and she wants me to fail so she tries to get me in trouble.

Signed,

Troubled


Answer:

Dear Troubled:

Unfortunately, it seems some people boost them selves up by putting other’s down. That is not the way the world should work. On the other hand, when we are criticized the natural tendency is to think that that person has it in for us or is jealous. In your case, both of those things may be occurring. So the question is how to cope? 1. The place to start is to reflect on how you come across? Review what happened that might have provoked the put down. Don’t obsess about it. Just see what might have caused it. Guard against attributing ill will to this woman who trained you. She may be well intentioned and really want the best for you, but simply have a habit of seeing other’s mistakes, even when they are simply different. 2. Next list the specific ways that your trainer has undermined your intelligence; for what, when, and why. 3. Take time to jot down the dos and don’ts of how you would like to communicate with her. She may still be in the trainer mode and reacts as a dog trainer might when her dog doesn’t heel fast enough. 4. Schedule a time out session with her to discuss how you might make each other’s work more effective, pleasant, and easier. 5. During this time out meeting, ask for her opinion of how well you are working at your job and as partners in your work group. Politely but firmly tell her how you feel about what to you have been put-downs. 6. Propose that you collaborate on do and don’t rules that would make your work in the same are effective, pleasant, and easier. 7. Agree on a time each week to talk about what you and she have done well and what you might do more effectively. Does this make sense? If not, possibly it will prompt you to a think of how to go about it differently. Ego is important to our self-esteem. WEGO is even more so.

William Gorden