13 Signs Your Coworkers Are Intimidated By You (And, What To Do)

Last updated on August 26th, 2022 at 06:46 pm

Not every coworker at your workplace is going to like you. After all, they’re not your friends. 

You will know that, when your role and position in a company grow faster than theirs… Because some of your coworkers will start to hate you, most will be jealous of you and a few feel threatened around you.

They see you as competition, even though you belong to the same team or same company.

Well, such unhealthy competition at work can negatively impact your work performance. So, it is essential to recognize early warning signs that your coworkers are intimidated by you.

It can be due to jealousy, insecurity, or just as part of their natural habit to turn a workplace into a real mess.

We share these signs as a way to protect your focus, passion, and commitment to your work


How Do You Tell If A Coworker Is Threatened By You?

We know you don’t go to the office to scare off other colleagues or your employees.

But the way they behave around you is itself proof that they might feel insecure and uncomfortable with you. 

You’re their boss, and that can be the first reason.

Or, your teammate(s) are feeling too competitive due to your increasing role and importance in the company.

There can be several other reasons behind why your coworkers perceive you as a threat to their profile or career, overall.

Whatsoever, the point here is, to know whether your coworkers feel intimidated by you or not. 

And to change their perspective about you, you first need to check such signs that prove they are threatened by you and probably carrying some secret jealousy for you.


13 Signs Coworkers are Intimidated By You

Even if you’re working remotely and have no regular connection with your coworkers, following such signs are enough to know that your coworkers are threatened by you.

There must be some level of insecurity that your coworker(s) have towards you.

1. You just feel that someone at the workplace looks down on you.

Yes, when something is going strange around your cabin, you instantly get to sense that.

Call it your gut feelings or sixth sense, but what you perceive about someone’s behavior towards you, might be right. 

You notice that someone is feeling very uncomfortable around you or the look they give is just a bit awkward to you, as well.

That person talks and behaves normally with everyone else…

But as found you’re around them they get too scared and express unusual behavior.

These are clear signs that someone at work feels threatened or intimidated by you.

2. They never maintain eye contact with you.

Not as a sign of awkwardness or shyness, but due to some negative reasons they try to avoid making eye contact with you.

And that’s the normal gesture that you can expect from someone who feels intimidated, jealous, or threatened by you.

The most common psychology says that it’s quite hard to look into someone’s eye when you secretly hate them.

The same applies to your jealous coworkers, who have some competitive approach towards you and have something which they try to hide from you.

Most probably their insecurity and jealousy.

And they never just stopped here, but also show further-level negative gestures towards you like defensive behavior, disapproval, or ignorance.

Every regular toxic nature and weird behavior towards you are signs that your coworkers see you as a potential threat to their position.

Check other: 8 Signs Your Boss Sees You As a Leader

3. They try hard to stay away from you, as possible.

As you know if someone is feeling uncomfortable facing you plus not confident enough to talk with you, they avoid any chance of connections.

They become more aware of your presence and absence so that they can be relaxed and open to such an environment. 

Either due to shyness or jealousy, a coworker tries hard to keep a distance from you. 

Well, you can decide whether your colleagues are feeling uncomfortable with you or just seeing you as a competition for your next promotion, seeing the present scenario.

4. They never agree with you, out of their hate for you.

If your coworkers are intimidated by you, then they never share approval or appreciation towards you. 

No matter how great your contribution will be, they simply stop themselves from giving any recognition and value to the work that you have done.

Moreover, they are more likely to spread rumors about you.

Because the inner self they carry negativity about you plus a kind of feeling jealous inside.

Avoiding your presence, ignoring your opinions, or completely rejecting your idea or opinions, are clear signs that your coworkers feel intimidated and jealous of you.

Check other: 11 Top Signs of A Good Employee For Company

5. They never show any interest to know anything about you.

The workplace environment is supposed to be friendly at some level to have a meaningful connection. 

After all, they are your colleagues and not friends. So certain limits are required there.

But, if someone is being supportive to everyone and excuses their busyness to avoid helping you, then these are some of those signs that the person is intimidated by you.

From the day of your joining or after any event, when they start ignoring you and not showing any interest to have a connection, that means they carry something negative for you.

6. They micromanage you, only you.

If your manager or boss is threatened by you, they never leave a single chance to put you down. They are constantly looking for new ways to create trouble for you and disturbance in your work.

And just in most cases, such a superior, boss, or manager who feels intimidated by you will start micromanaging you.

They start keeping an active eye on everything from what you do and when you come.

Doing so they want to make you feel insecure and uncomfortable at work.

Furthermore, if their such behavior is only towards you, then are confirmed signs that they are intimidated by you, for sure.

Check other: 9 Signs Your Job Is Killing You (And, What To Do When You Feel It)

7. They never talk much around you.

Probably you have realized that whenever you enter the room or your cabin, every colleague who was talking before you came, just ends the talk and goes back to their work.

Well, as a boss you feel that they are respecting you. Or these are their attempt to avoid any lecture about work responsibility and targets from you.

But when they internationally stop the conversation immediately after finding you get around.

That means such insecure and jealous coworker(s) talk behind your back.

Such negative gestures at work are sure signs your coworkers are intimidated by you.

Either they’re fearful of you or think that they don’t have any chance to win against you, they simply avoid such discussions or topics to share with you.

8. They just accept you without sharing their reviews and opinions.

Have you noticed that your team members or coworkers are agreeing with you even on your doubtful or incomplete ideas? 

Well, you’re the manager or boss that, they don’t think they have any chance to say something or go against you.

Or they perceive it that way.

Every time you share something randomly, they just accept it and never share their honest feedback or reviews.

Probably as a boss, you have not given them enough room for expression or confidence to share their views.

Maybe you are that narcissistic boss or employee who is just too much for themselves.

When you’re there just talk about yourself and listen to no one, they will more likely to stay away from you or ignore you. 

And if they have to face you, they just accept whatever you’re saying just to avoid any disputes and arguments.

Check other: 11 Signs of a Good Boss Who Is Hard To Find

9. They contact you indirectly, through someone else.

Probably you also have experienced that one person in your company always stays away from you and never contacts you anyway.

Even when you two are in the same team or cabin, they avoid meeting you personally and keep ignoring you for no clear reason.

Such a person expresses certain signs of insecure coworkers who are afraid of you by your progress.

And further, when a person wants another person to contact you, to assign a task, or to get any help rather than contact you directly, then these are clear signs your coworker is intimidated by you.  

They never talk, never be around you, and always require another person to share a message with you.

Such an indirect communication approach and showing no interest or complete avoidance are the signs that you better know that someone is intimidated by you at the workplace.

10. They think/inform you that you’re intimidating them.

No matter what, nothing is kept secret for so long, especially when someone hates you at the workplace, you get to realize that anyway.

Whether they show some early signs of it or not, working with someone with such harsh feelings about you is quite tough.

Even though you have no intention to scare or threaten them at your job, the inside feels insecure and feels a little strange around you.

That mostly happens when you’re new to the job, at a superior position, or you are a boss overall.

Not interacting enough even in the same team, not being able to ask for leave, or any smallest favor are clear signs that your employees/coworkers feel threatened by you. 

Check other: 13 Signs Your Best Employee Is About To Quit

11. They are insecure and try to backstab you.

Whether it’s a friendship or a professional connection, there must be some people who are jealous, backstabbers, and just good for nothing. 

They can never say anything good about anyone or anything. 

Such people are two-faced who act nicely around you and when in your absence make fun of you or just criticize anything, as their habits. 

If you catch your colleague or someone who you think is your friend at the office, talking behind your back, and spreading rumors then signs that your coworker is insecure and a backstabber, you better watch out. 

The only thing they are interested in is having a topic for gossip during work hours.

They are not to be trusted. 

Also, they are the one who is responsible to create an unhealthy environment at the office.

12. They (jealous coworker) never leave a chance to damage your track record.

You become an easy target for such coworkers when you allow them close to you. 

If you’ve been working hard and making great progress, you can’t expect everyone to be happy with you at work. 

Perhaps there are some coworkers who are backstabbing and jealous, they are setting you up for failure

The presence of such coworkers simply makes the workplace a toxic one. 

They neither give their best to the business nor let the dedicated one do their job effectively. 

Whether it’s a boss or co-worker who seems to be constantly trying to find your fault…

As if they’re always looking for a chance to damage your reputation at the workplace.

Getting into office politics and hurting someone’s (here yours) work morale is warning signs that someone is threatened by you at work and wants to pull you down, anyway.  

Then, if they see that they cannot perform well, they attempt to stop those who do.

Check other: 12 Signs Someone Looks Down On You

13. They pressurize you to leave this job.

This is what you can expect from the intimidated boss and insecure coworkers. 

Since they are aware that they are not as good as you, they want to stand out in the workplace.

They see you as a competition, a hurdle to their growth and promotion. 

Whenever such insecurity and jealousy begin to rule their mind, you will see that your coworker frequently tries to pull you down and keeps you busy with something other than work. 

Having them always around you, they will inject their negativity into you, making you believe you deserve a better job than this one. 

Even sometimes, your boss or coworker may suggest you get the job. 

Such approaches are all clear signs of insecurity in the workplace, and you would be better off recognizing them, than letting such negative influences undermine your productivity.


What You Will Do After Knowing Your Coworker Feels Intimidated By You?

First thing first, remember… It’s not always about you, it’s more about them.

Their jealousy and negative emotions are the driving force behind their strange behavior.

And you have nothing to worry about.

But, when things go beyond limits, due to which your work motivation and performance are affected… you need to take some action.

Especially, when someone’s toxic nature constantly prevents you from fulfilling your responsibilities...

– there’s no need to keep sacrificing your focus or wait for them to change.

Because they are not going to change.

After noticing such signs like your coworker is intimidated by you, you can simply discuss it openly with them and make it clear to them.

And if you’re a manager or boss who notices these intimidation signs from your team player, employee, or anyone then you need to give them enough support and relaxation at first.

Moreover, you can start by slowly eliminating negative influences from the environment or someone’s mind…

Informing what they were thinking about you isn’t all real.

After all, anything is worth doing, to maintain a peaceful and workable office environment.

And yes, you also have to keep your passion and dedication to yourself alone, rather than expecting the same level from them, too.


When a coworker is threatened by you, that’s not your problem. Leave them to deal with their insecurity, you better focus on your work, and that’s the best thing that you can do.