Many people spend half their waking weekday hours with their co-workers. So, if you figure you’re asleep a majority of your home hours, you’re getting to know what’s going on in the lives of your cubicle mates more than your family and friends most weeks.
Such intimacy does not mean everyone always get along. In fact, the opposite is sometimes true. And, sorry to say, the problem isn’t always with the other guy. It’s hard to accept it, but there may be times when your coworkers don’t like you. Being able to recognize the warning signs may help you to change the things that have made you an outsider. Here comes the tough love—the signs the issue is you, not them.
1. You’re invisible.
Probably the clearest sign that you’re not well liked is that people don’t want to talk to you. If you try to engage your coworkers in conversation or simply make eye contact and they breeze by like you don’t exist, it’s likely that they are not thrilled with you.
2. You’re the talk of the office—not in a good way.
Are your coworkers whispering about you? Well, people usually don’t whisper when they have something nice to say. If you find yourself the source of hushed talk or nasty gossip, you might have a serious workplace problem.
3. You’re getting bad body language vibes.
Coworkers don’t express displeasure through words alone. Sometimes they speak with their movements. Have you noticed your coworkers rolling their eyes or even sneering when you speak? Maybe they move away from you in the break room or speed in the other direction when you come down the hall. None of these are positive signs.
4. You’re always in trouble.
There may be a workplace conspiracy against you brewing if you constantly find yourself in the doghouse. Coworkers who don’t like you may rat you out to the boss for the smallest infraction. Things can get even more dire when its management that has a problem with you.
5. People don’t seem to trust you.
Are your ideas constantly being questioned? Is management constantly looking over your shoulder? Then there may be trust issues at play. When people deem you untrustworthy, personal fondness tends to fly out the window.
6. Everyone talks down to you.
Do coworkers sometimes speak to you as if you’re a child or you might have trouble understanding the simplest direction? Do they speak to you veeeery sloooowly through a nasty smirk? Then they are condescending to you, and few things feel more demeaning than that. No one condescends to someone they like.
7. You’re unwelcome.
Because they are forced to spend so much time together, coworkers tend to build bonds and friendships. After eight hours on the job, they may decide to spend their after-work hours grabbing dinner at a restaurant or drinks at a bar together. But is everyone invited to the party except for you? Then your coworkers might not want to spend their time in or out of work with you.
Sometimes your coworkers may have a genuine gripe against you. However, people are often ostracized at work for foolish reasons–their coworkers are bored and decide to fill their time by picking on someone for no reason at all. It’s mean and unfair. In such cases, they’re the ones with the problem, but it still feels lousy to be on the receiving end of such cruelty. Maybe you can try asking someone you find relatively trustworthy for feedback on why you see to be on the outs with everyone. If that person can’t give you any constructive criticism, then it may be time to get out of that toxic environment.
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