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I've automated a couple of small processes that are used by several people. And I've also added some pretty solid error-handling in our automation code in order to automate a pesky app that has a very brittle UI.

And while a few people are appreciative of my efforts there are a few who're constantly trying to pull me down or belittle the work.

This question is NOT about deciding whether or not the teammates are trying to hold me back. For the sake of this question, please assume that there are teammates out there in the world who try to hold back their colleagues' performance.

And that they're repeating this behavior over and over again - trying to find faults or pull down my work in some way or the other whenever I've done something good. Always trying to find some way or the other to criticize but never appreciating anything I do or say.

I find it difficult to send out an email informing people of the new feature/tool that I've created because my stomach hurts at the backlash that I'm going to get from these guys.

How do I deal with teammates who keep trying to hold me back and bring me down while I'm going the extra mile?

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Kilisi
    Sep 7, 2021 at 5:03

2 Answers 2

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And while a few people are appreciative of my efforts there are a few who're constantly trying to pull me down or belittle the work.

You seem to be under the impression that your co-workers owe you validation and praise. They do not.

While you may have a personality that craves approval, and struggles with criticism, you need to appreciate that other people have different personalities. This is probably the most important advice for working in a team: accept that people are different from you.

This question is NOT about deciding whether or not the teammates are trying to hold me back. It's not about solving these individual examples. These incidents can keep varying. Please assume that there are teammates out there in the world who try to hold back their colleagues' performance.

Ok, let's assume that these people are definitely "holding you back and bringing you down". Even though you have provided no reasonable evidence of this.

The fact is, you don't "deal with them" - you are not their manager, it is not your responsibility. What you can do is:

  • You accept them for what they are, and you learn to tolerate them.
  • You shut yourself away and you don't socialise with co-workers.
  • You respond to them only when it is required as part of your job responsibilities.
  • You take instructions from your direct manager only.
  • You stick with the job responsibilities that are assigned to you.

Now of course you have to ask yourself, is that the kind of work environment you want to be a part of?

Finally, I advise that you have a long think about the positions of your co-workers. Have you considered that it might be this person's job responsibility to make sure you are following policies, standards, etc.? If it is their responsibility, how do you suggest they resolve those tasks other than to ask you these questions?

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  • I just read this. This is a great answer! This is the only answer on the page that is actually helpful and at the same time there's something that feels eye opening for me. You mentioned While you may have a personality that craves approval, and struggles with criticism - is it possible for you to elaborate a little bit more about this please?
    – Mugen
    Sep 6, 2021 at 14:11
  • How do you validate that you're doing great work because IMO this needs to be external thing right? If I validate myself it could mean that I'm just flattering myself. Is anyone truly objective towards themselves? Or does everyone have a partiality towards themselves? I think we are all secretly partial towards ourselves and love ourselves more than anyone. So I cannot validate my own work. Need external validation. If the boss has a personality that just gives an "okay" to everyone and half the time not even that. I can't just tell myself that I'm doing good work right?
    – Mugen
    Sep 6, 2021 at 14:13
  • Then I'd rely on co-workers praise. I would be grateful to you if you could elaborate on this point please. I think you're on to something big and I really want to dig deeper into this point.
    – Mugen
    Sep 6, 2021 at 14:13
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    @Mugen: Ideally your validation will come from your manager during regular performance reviews. But for day-to-day working life, you just don't get validation. You do the job asked for you to the best of your abilities and you hope it's good enough by the standards of your manager.
    – musefan
    Sep 6, 2021 at 14:19
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    IMO this is what answers my question. It answers everything that I asked. I request everyone to please not downvote this answer. It strikes the right chords and answers a little more than just the question. Thank you for taking the time to reply Musefan!
    – Mugen
    Sep 6, 2021 at 14:25
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Some Questions:

Who assigns tasks at your workplace? Do you keep your superiors in the loop on what you are working on? Or are you spending days automating tasks without telling anyone?

If your managers know what you are doing, you are good to go. Colleagues coming at you with remarks "why are you wasting your time" have nothing to complain about. You are doing what you are told.

If your managers don't know, you are in a very tight spot, as you have effectively wasted company resources on something no one told you to do. Regardless of the "worth" of your work, or if your automation is as awesome as you claim. Maybe you have improved workflow considerably, maybe you have contributed greatly to your workplace. But it's not your place to decide. It's also not you colleague who should do that. Let your superior make the call, if what you've done was valuable or not.

Different note: I am concerned by your attitude. If a colleague takes the time to assess your work and gives your feeback, the only correct answer is: "thank you for your input, I'll consider it". If you, after careful assessment, think that the feedback is totally worthless, you can ignore it. Never take feedback personal.

As most of the time in the workplace, the opinions of coworkers don't matter too much. It's your job to keep your manager happy, not John from the neighbouring cubicle.

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – motosubatsu
    Sep 6, 2021 at 14:49

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