Common Reasons Why Your Coworker is Nervous Around You

Common Reasons Why Your Coworker is Nervous Around You
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Have you ever noticed that some coworkers seem intimidated or uncomfortable around you? Maybe they don’t want to talk to you at lunch because they fear being judged. Or perhaps they’re afraid to ask you for help because they worry you might reject them. Whatever the reason, it’s important to realize that these behaviors aren’t always intentional. They may stem from something deeper.

There are lots of things that can cause someone to act differently around you. For example, they may be insecure about their appearance, feel guilty about their behavior, or be shy. If you notice that your coworker is acting strangely, try to figure out what’s happening. Then, take steps to improve the situation.

This article will examine why a coworker might be nervous around you and how to handle each.

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1. They Don’t Like You

It’s not uncommon for people to dislike others in general. But when it comes to work, there are many different ways to express that feeling. Some people have an issue with authority figures, while others don’t like certain personalities.

For example, if your manager has told you that he doesn’t think highly of you, then chances are you won’t get along well with him. You may even start avoiding him. It all depends on whether or not he has a good reason for his opinion.

If you find yourself working alongside someone who dislikes you, it’s best to avoid getting into arguments. Instead, focus on finding common ground where you can work together. Your coworker will eventually come around if you remain professional and respectful.

If you are dealing with someone who doesn’t like you but still needs to collaborate, consider using humor or sarcasm to diffuse tension. Also, try to speak to your coworker more frequently to develop better relationships.

2. They Like You

Your coworker might like you. Or, they may have a crush on you. Either way, they could be worried about how you’ll react to them. This is especially true if they’re new to the company.

Unfortunately, it’s easier to know for sure if you ask. So, before you assume anything, ask your coworker directly. Chances are they’ll tell you exactly what they’re thinking. And, if they like you, they’ll probably want to spend more time with you.

However, if they don’t like you and you sense that they’re trying to hide it, then you should tread carefully. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to determine if your coworker likes you. However, if you’re too pushy, you could put yourself in a difficult position.

3. They’re Afraid of You

Some people are naturally timid. Others are just plain scared. Regardless of which category your coworker falls under, they may worry about how you respond to them.

This is especially true if they’ve made mistakes in the past. If you catch them doing something wrong, they may be worried that you’ll judge them harshly. That’s why you need to treat everyone fairly.

If you see your coworker being overly cautious, try to reassure them that you aren’t angry. Instead, explain that you understand that they’re afraid of making mistakes. Once you’ve done that, please encourage them to share any concerns. You Can Help Them Feel More Comfortable

Sometimes, people are uncomfortable because they don’t feel confident enough to approach you. They may fear that you’ll reject them or criticize their ideas.

In these situations, it’s helpful to let your coworker know you respect their opinions. Then, offer to help them brainstorm solutions. By helping your coworker feel comfortable, you’ll increase the likelihood that they’ll open up to you.

4. They’re Jealous

Jealousy isn’t always bad. But, when it comes to coworkers, jealousy can cause problems. For instance, if your coworker is jealous of your success, they may sabotage your efforts.

They may be jealous of your ability to advance at work. Or, they may be jealous of your superior skills. Whatever the case, if you suspect your coworker is jealous, it’s important to address this issue head-on.

The first step is to acknowledge that your coworker is feeling insecure. Next, suggest that they join you for lunch or coffee so that you can discuss their feelings. Finally, remind them that you value their input.

5. They’re Uncomfortable With Change

Change is scary. It can even be stressful. Unfortunately, some people find differences particularly challenging.

For example, if your coworker has been working at the same job for years, they may need to adapt to new ways of doing things. They may be terrified of change.

When this happens, avoiding forcing your coworker into unfamiliar territory is best. Instead, focus on building trust by showing them that you care about them as individuals.

You Can Help Them Feel More Confident. When it comes to dealing with nervous coworkers, there are several strategies that you can use. First, make an effort to show your coworker that you appreciate them. This will go a long way towards convincing them that you like them.

Next, ask your coworker what they need from you. Give them both if they tell you they want more feedback and guidance. If they say they need time alone, schedule regular meetings where you can check in with each other.

Finally, remember that you can’t control your coworker’s behavior. So, instead of focusing on their negative traits, focus on your positive qualities. After all, no one likes a complainer!

6. You’ve Been Spreading Rumors

Rumor-mongering is never fun. However, it’s especially unpleasant when it involves your coworkers.

Unfortunately, rumors often start when someone spreads false information without checking the facts. As a result, your coworker might believe that you’re spreading malicious gossip.

Getting the facts straight before spreading rumors is essential to prevent this problem. To do this, take notes during conversations and write names and contact numbers.

If you discover that you’ve made a mistake, apologize immediately. And don’t repeat the rumor. Instead, explain why you were wrong.

If you’re concerned that your coworker won’t accept your apology, try apologizing again. Once you’ve done this, ask your coworker how they feel about the situation. Then, listen carefully to their response.

If your coworker agrees you should stop spreading rumors, thank them for being honest. If they disagree, state that you understand their point of view.

7. They Heard Some Gossip About You

Gossiping is rude. But, unfortunately, it’s also common among coworkers.

Studies have shown that up to 80% of employees gossip at work. The good news is that most gossipers aren’t malicious. They enjoy sharing stories about others.

However, if your coworker does share malicious gossip about you, it’s crucial to respond appropriately. For example, if your coworker says something mean about you, you should ignore them.

However, if your coworker makes a joke or shares a story that isn’t true, then you should correct them. Also, if your coworker tells you they heard something bad about you, you shouldn’t worry too much.

Instead, try to find out whether the rumor is accurate. If so, then you could be facing a serious problem. In this case, you should talk to your supervisor.

If you suspect your coworker has been spreading malicious gossip, you should confront them directly. Explain that you think that they’re spreading lies about you.

If your coworker denies the rumor, you should inform them that you plan to report them to human resources. Finally, if your coworker doesn’t negate the rumor, you can assume they’re guilty.

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8. They Have A Disorder

Disorders are difficult to deal with. Unfortunately, some people suffer from mental illnesses. These conditions include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

Unfortunately, these disorders can cause coworkers to act strangely. For example, they may become aggressive or depressed. Or they might experience hallucinations or delusions.

As a result, addressing any symptoms your coworker exhibits is important. However, you should avoid confronting your coworker about their condition. This will only make things worse.

Instead, try talking to your supervisor. If your coworker refuses to see a doctor, you can suggest they seek help.

Finally, if your coworker becomes violent, then you should call 911. Don’t hesitate to use physical force if necessary.


You should now better understand the numerous potential causes of your coworker’s nervousness around you. Therefore, you should work on mending fences with them.

There could be many reasons why your coworker could be nervous around you. Try getting to know them and seeing if a connection can be made.

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