According to Wikipedia, “Social undermining is the expression of negative emotions directed towards a particular person or negative evaluations of the person as a way to prevent the person from achieving his or her goals. This behavior can often be attributed to certain feelings, such as dislike or anger.”
Signs that you are being undermined in the workplace:
- They are very competitive
- They put you on the defensive
- They leave you out
- They gossip a lot and spread rumors about you
- They take credit for your work
- Others are treating you differently
- They are subtle
- They act fake
- You get a bad feeling about them
- They overstep their rank
Solutions to being undermined
- Look for the signs: (listed above)
- Identify the motive:
- Competition- a contest between rivals
- Projection- “a defense mechanism that involves transferring undesirable feelings or emotions onto someone else, rather than admitting to or dealing with the unwanted feelings.”
- Concern- to care
- Be upfront:
- Communicate- let them know how you feel and why. Bring awareness to the issue.
- Stop giving them information:
- This provides them with less ammunition to hurt you with.
- Change the relationship:
- Consider ending and altering the relationship.
- Take what you can from it:
- Use it has a source of motivation and a trigger to identify any weakness that they are alluding to and turn it into strength. Change and grow!
- Find support:
- Surround yourself with individuals who are positive and provides motivation.