Competitive coworkers can be a challenge to work with. They’re desperate to get ahead. They’ll take any opportunity to promote themselves, and even take credit for things they didn’t necessarily do. They won’t mention other team members’ contributions. And they may even discredit other people’s work in an effort to make themselves look better.

Do you have a competitive coworker? If so, you might be feeling stressed and upset. It’s really difficult to have a coworker who is always trying to get attention and acclaim – especially when it’s at your expense.

So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation? Author Gloria Larson has a few suggestions.

  • Form a friendship – One of the best ways to deal with a competitive coworker is to befriend him or her. Sure, you might not like your competitive coworker very much. And your coworker might not be that interested in being friendly with you either. But if you work at it, you might be able to discover your coworker’s good qualities and find some common ground. And most importantly, you’ll be able to turn a competitor into a friend and ally.
  • Enhance your skills – If you really can’t stomach the idea of befriending your competitive coworker, use that person as a motivating force instead. Start working on enhancing your skills and abilities. Learn new techniques and broaden your repertoire. You’ll be such an asset to the team that there will be no need for you to feel stressed or threatened by your competitive counterpart.
  • Take the high ground – Always behave in an honest, respectful manner – even towards your competitive coworker. Your behavior might inspire your coworker to change. But even if that doesn’t happen, you should still be kind, fair, helpful, and professional. Your other teammates will appreciate it, and you’ll all be happier and more productive.

Larson, G. (n.d.) How you can use a co-worker’s competitiveness to your advantage. The Muse. Retrieved from: