What Really Grinds my Gears: Haters at Work

Updated: Mar 23

Not going to lie, I was watching an old Chappelle Show sketch when the idea first began to blossom. Haters is something we can all fume about and rants for hours on end. While these human trolls are encountered in all walk of life, haters at work can be potentially toxic to your work environment and bleed into your personal life. They aren’t the types to work hard usually stuck in their own ways. On top of that they are big gossipers and will try to get one on you any chance they get.

Never put in any extra effort.

They always victimize themselves saying how unfair it is that you get the big promotion. As a matter of fact, all they do it complain. Complain how it used to be better in the old days even though it is a rosy tinted view of the old days. The other employees who been around them during those years say they used to complain about everything then as well. The days haven’t changed the person was always allergic to hard work and in addition to not adapting with the times only have themselves to blame.

Gossip around you how unqualified you are.

Even though their workday starts a few hours after yours. You completed more in those extra minutes\hours then they will all day you are considered a slacker, somehow unqualified or undeserving of what your achieved. That should have been their office, you making your job look easy not having a sad hardened expression is only perceived as skipping on your duties somehow. Of course, these never have any proof because when offered they do not have a leg to stand on. Not to mention they are nosy about how much you are making and scoff on why you make more than they do.

Backhanded compliments snarky comments

When they get brave enough to slight you directly it is in a form of a back handed compliment or a “Must be nice” comment. For a real life equivalent of an internet troll, they do keep their composure most days. They will pretend to be nice to you. So, in a rare moment when they lose it, they will either invoke the “Hater’s Anthem” and remark “Must be Nice” after a great story or an accomplishment is being mentioned. The cleverer of the bunch will deploy a backhanded compliment to show their discontent. “I could never get away with the stuff you’re doing.” That may be a bad ass comment at a bar but in a professional environment that sort of comment may project a certain unsavory reputation especially when upper management happens to be listening.

How to deal? Jealousy vs Envy Best start with the most important distinction. While all Jealousy stems from Envy. Not all Envy becomes Jealousy. Envy is wanting something that someone already has. Jealousy is a feeling of insecurity and a practice of sabotage based on the former. In other words, a jealous person will only be happy when the perceive want is taken away from the other person rather than achieving the same thing. In an Office setting, rather than be inspired that someone you didn’t expect got a promotion and thus working harder to get a promotion yourself, you go out of your way to sabotage that person’s success until they are worse off before getting that said promotion. In basic math terms both people are losers in this case. So, to avoid Jealousy ourselves, channel the Envy to outwork everybody else so when they open the books again you will be the one promoted. Tweak your approach That all fine and dandy. How about when you mastered “Zen Master” techniques and you get people jealous of your accomplishments. There are things that you may be doing to provoke such behavior. Boasting about your own accomplishments constantly, how this place wouldn’t function without you. No one likes a showoff. Instead, long term leaders “Win” and “Lose” together. Make it about the team. Praise others. If a hater pops out in that scenario like a dandelion on a beautiful lawn, rinse and repeat and it will act like “weed be gone” for the workplace. However, don’t apologize for your accomplishments, you earned them fair and square right?

Be a teacher , don’t ridicule There are tasks you can complete with your eyes closed. That same thing cannot be said about your teammates of a person from a different department that is not accustomed. Be empathetic and offer a tutorial. Helping others get better not only helps you when hater pops out or scores you brownie points with management. It can be an uplifting experience.

Keep your Eye on the Prize This isn’t a popularity contest at a local high school. Cold Hard Fact: you were hired for a task in exchange for a Salary plus Benefits. Do that task surpassing expectations, make sure you show your work and that it is documented. Even in this here age of spin it is hard to argue with facts and figures.

Clear the Air It is a simple act yet people run circles around it and rarely deploy it or deploy it too late. Nip it in the bud address the issue with the offended party as a professional. Most carbon-based human beings have the capability to act rationally. Demonstrating that your star rising doesn’t take away from them and their efforts goes far and wide. Acknowledging co-worker's efforts may be what solves a problem. After all haven’t we all felt underappreciated at one point or another?

Don’t take it Personally To go further than that if this article demonstrated anything take it as a badge of honor. People are so threatened by your success they are willing to talk smack about you behind your back. Office has been a place for “Office Politics” for eons now and that is unlikely to change. So long as it isn’t a toxic work environment you are looking for long term gains. If it is, well time to dust off and edit that Resume.

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