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How should I deal with overly competitive co-workers?

17 Answers
Last Updated: 10/24/2017 at 1:55am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Alison Humphreys, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

During the therapeutic process, individuals will learn to manage transitions, overcome obstacles and work towards their full potential .

Top Rated Answers
December 23rd, 2014 5:24am
Let them win. It's that simple. Are you there to win a competition, or are you there to do your job well, get paid, and go home? It is very seldom that people work at a job where they have to outdo each other every day, because most jobs require teamwork over competition to succeed anyway. Most competitive people fail to realize that people see through their efforts to curry favor as shallow attempts to climb the career ladder through politics rather than hard work. Their efforts will be their own undoing. All you need to do is step back, get out of their way and wait for them to crash and burn...or move on to that high-level post that requires 60+ hour work weeks that no one else wants anyway.
June 18th, 2015 2:46am
Don't pay them any mind. In a sense, /humor/ them. Don't condescend or fall into their games. Just keep focus on your own work- nod and smile while letting anything to do/say roll off your shoulder. Keep focused in your own lane. The only person you have to be greater than- is who you were yesterday.
December 23rd, 2014 7:14am
Do your job the best that you can and don't worry about what others are doing or think. If you do what you can the best that you can you'll be recognized for it.
August 3rd, 2015 2:56pm
Competition can be a positive but also negative thing. On one hand, it can help us achieve things in life but on the other, it can cause negative feelings about ourselves. Competitive spirit can be attributed to different things: Compensation for a feeling of inferiority, pressure from external sources to be "successful", a coping mechanism, past trauma, and many others. When I encounter a competitive person be it professionally, academically, or leisurely, I tend to take a compassionate view of them and think to myself, "Something is either going on, or has happened in this person's life to cause them to feel as though they need to prove something to themselves or others." So I just smile, internally acknowledge their spirit, and continue doing what I need to do to maintain my job, grades, or happiness.
March 21st, 2017 5:11pm
A healthy approach could be to consciously differentiate between their behavioral drivers and your own. Having something to prove, seeking attention and praise, obsessive perfectionism, or other factors could be behind their excessively competitive attitude, while your own stance might be the more balanced one. Recognizing this, could help you disengage and ignore comments or behaviours that aim to drag you into a race that you have no interest being in.
December 23rd, 2014 7:47am
For me, all you need to do is do what's tasked and do what you think is right. Remember that you're there to work, and not to compete with them. If they go overboard with their stuffs, tell your boss.
December 23rd, 2014 5:32pm
Sometimes it's best to just walk away. to avoid conflict. do your job and let them do them. If it get out of line and they are doing something against the rules then report it to the boss.
December 23rd, 2014 7:23pm
Because I do not know the nature of your work, it is a little difficult answering this question. However, there is an option. Some individuals tend to be overly competitive and focus on personal numbers. May I suggest trying to influence a team dynamic? As example, lets say your work strives on personal numbers. Perhaps you can add those numbers together and compete with outside businesses or other locations within your district/zone? This will strive teamwork and help the business grow with a positive, helpful atmosphere!
December 23rd, 2014 9:23pm
Concentrate on yourself and lead by example. Let them be as competitive as they like, dont lower yourself to their level, they cant compete if they aint in the same league. Employers want reliable, professional and hardworking so regardless of those around you, set personal goals and focus on those.
December 28th, 2014 10:05pm
Remember that you are good at what you do and this shouldn't be compared with others. If they are competitive they are trying to make up for something. You can go a really good job without needing to live up to their standards.
January 4th, 2015 5:56pm
Just do your job. Don't compete with them because it just fuels their competitiveness. You just need to remember that you're all working towards the same goal with the company you are with so just ignore them and continue doing your job the best way you know how.
January 8th, 2015 2:25pm
Understand that each person has a personality, some people are very competitive and others no. DonĀ“t let their competitiveness affect your work, your performance. Focus on your goals, not theirs. Try to take the best learning from their behaviour, and understand that being competitive can be something good or bad, it depends how you deal with it.
October 26th, 2015 2:15pm
I prefer not to be competitive as them and step back. Or talk about it. I think things are often resolved with a good honest talk.
December 28th, 2015 12:21am
Overly competitive co workers can be very hard to deal with if you are not in that space. Sometimes it's a matter of working harder, not smarter for them, because work looks so good. If they are getting in your face, have a short pleasant conversation with them, do not feel imitated by them, and explain you have a different work style, if they have something to say about your way of doing things. Keep the relationship open and lightweight.
August 23rd, 2016 7:56pm
maybe talk to them about it. maybe suggest that you could work together to be better together instead of working against each other.
August 25th, 2016 10:35pm
Focus on you not on the ovrely competitive coworkers. They are everywhere. We all have something special to bring to the table. Also, to feel more confident, you can insure your place at the company by bringing in more value.
Anonymous - Expert in Work Stress
October 24th, 2017 1:55am
There are good competition as well as bad competition out there. You get to decide what competition it is. You can use the competition to better yourself and move forward. But if the competition is bringing you down. Then maybe you need to know when to fight that competition and when to not. Pick your battles wisely.