Q. I'm having career success, and some jealous co-workers are making up lies about me. How do I deal effectively with envy? A. Realize that who people...

Share story

Q.
I’m having career success, and some jealous co-workers are making up lies about me. How do I deal effectively with envy?

A.
Realize that who people are speaks louder than any words they say. Realize also that people who are disturbed by the achievements of others feel deeply inadequate 24 hours a day. The success of anyone around them, not just you, engages an automatic need to ruin the achievement or the reputation of the achiever.

In the short term, gossip can briefly tarnish your reputation, but in the long term, you’re the only one who can permanently ruin your reputation. If people speak badly about you repeatedly, two things will occur:

1. Other people will start to consider it odd that certain people keep obsessing and foaming at the mouth about you.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

2. If your behavior contradicts what the back-stabbers say, they will lose credibility and your reputation will be repaired.

It takes great control and patience to wait for others to see that jealousy is the driving force behind much gossip. If you try to counter the lies, you actually lend credibility to your adversaries.

To navigate envious people successfully, try the following:

When around people you know are insecure or prone to envy, keep your latest achievements to yourself. Also don’t give these people any more access to you than necessary.

Speak with kindness and generosity at work about back-stabbers. You can say anything you want outside the workplace.

Take comfort that although it may appear back-stabbers are winning the battle, nobody gets ahead through such behavior. Your patience, refusal to play dirty and future successes will vindicate you.

The last word(s)

Q.
I’m blown away by the thoughtlessness of most people. They steal my desk supplies, leave copy machines jammed and coffeepots empty. What’s up with them?

A.
Many people are overbooked and overwhelmed, which leaves little room for thoughtfulness.

Daneen Skube, Ph.D., can be reached at 1420 N.W. Gilman Blvd., No. 2845, Issaquah, WA 98027-7001; by e-mail at interpersonaledge@comcast.net; or at www.interpersonaledge.com. Sorry, no personal replies. To read other Daneen Skube columns, go to www.seattletimes.com/daneenskube