Work Relationships

21 Subtle Signs Your Coworkers Hate You

Written by Peter Jones

Are you secretly (or not so secretly) afraid that your coworkers hate you? Plenty of people will make this painfully clear, but there are people who give off much subtler signs. Rather than dwelling on the angst, why not ask yourself whether your coworkers are showing, through their behavior and their comments, their dislike for you?

Here are 21 subtle signs you might need a personality makeover at work (or a new batch of coworkers).

1. Your gut says so

It could just be in your head, but it could also be true. If you have a particularly grumpy or nasty coworker, but you notice they aren’t being grumpy or nasty to anyone else, that might be a sign to trust your instinct. If you have a strong feeling, listen to it!

2. They take credit for your work

If someone goes out of their way to steal the credit for your ideas, and they don’t do that with anyone else? Problem.

3. They won’t maintain eye contact

When you dislike someone, it’s painful to look at them, right? You’re constantly afraid your look will convey the underlying hostility. If you notice a colleague avoiding your eyes, this is a possible reason why.

4. They never smile near you

Let alone at you. When you’re around, you feel like you have personally rained on their parade. They’re usually very chipper, just never with you.

5. They’re snippy

Again, people can have bad moods and days and be generally snippy, but if you notice this happens mostly to you and almost all the time? Red flag.

6. They exclude you

Your colleague makes a ton of jokes and banter about the office, but you never seem to be able to wiggle your way into it. If you’re not part of the inner circle or the team, there might be a reason.

7. They avoid you

Your coworker practically dives into the elevator when he sees you coming, or ducks around the corner, or takes a break as soon as you arrive…well, the writing is on the wall.

8. They spread rumors

You’ve heard a few rumors about yourself and they all trace back to one person…yeah, there’s a very good chance that person just doesn’t like you.

9. They play boss

This person is not your boss. You might even be on the same level. But they constantly try to wield unauthorized power over you. That suggests, at very least, that they find themselves superior to you in some important way.

10. They don’t acknowledge you

You walk into the room and say “good morning” and everyone else says “good morning” back…except him.

11. You never get the invite

Your coworker is constantly inviting people out to happy hours or coffees or lunches, but you never make the list.

12. You pick up on bad body language

If you catch little eye rolls here and there, or other prickly body language like arms crossed over the chest, you can sometimes read the truth in how your coworker feels about you through these cues.

13. They’re defensive

Your coworker get super defensive in your presence. This can indicate a lack of trust, intimidation, or deeper dislike. Add it to the list.

14. They don’t talk to you

You sit five feet from this person, but they never communicate with you except by email. That’s a good sign they’re trying to limit your in-person contact.

15. You’re met with a chorus of “no”

Your coworker(s) is always disagreeing with you. Shooting down your every idea—sometimes even before you can get the whole thing out. Ask yourself, does he/she do that with anybody else?

16. They’re cliquey

If your office has started to feel like high school and your coworker like a mean girl that bullies you, then that’s a good sign something is off in your dynamic.

17. They never ask about you

Your colleagues are always talking about their hobbies, families, weekend plans. Just not around you.

18. You’re always on the back burner

Your concerns and needs and projects continually take a back seat. The most important things to your job performance are never prioritized by your team. Bad sign.

19. You get thrown under the bus

If you’re getting tattled upon, turned in, blamed for things… that’s never good. There’s a good chance your disgruntled coworker is trying to get you fired.

20. They encourage you to leave

If a coworker keeps insinuating that there might be a perfect position for you somewhere else, and that you’d be “so much happier or more successful” there, that’s a great sign they’re trying to get rid of you.

21. There’s no trust

If you can tell you’re on a need-to-know basis when you shouldn’t be, or that your motives are being questioned, then this is a big sign that there’s a rift.

Once you figure out the verdict, you’ll have a chance to alter your behavior and right the situation. It’s always best to have your colleagues on your side. Be sensitive to their needs and wants and you’ll be much happier at work yourself.

About the author

Peter Jones